I think that one could say common knowledge suggests that extra weight is hazardous to your health. But can it really cut a year or more off of your life?
Philly.com recently included an article from the Associated Press entitled “Digest this: heavy people may die up to three years early”. As soon as I read the headline, I could not help reading the article written by Maria Cheng.
In the first paragraph, Cheng points out that “scientists say overweight people die one year earlier and that moderately obese people die up to three years before expected. This paragraph almost knocked me out. Although many who suffer from being overweight or obesity have mobility issues, Cheng’s article seems to suggest that these two conditions could literally shorten your life.
Although I was surprised by the findings, I was not that surprised—if that makes sense. Too much fat takes a toll on one’s body and according to shapeup.org, “it increases the risk of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and certain cancers. In addition, these risks are exacerbated when the fat is located around the abdomen area”. So if one is struggling with extra weight or obesity, what can he or she do to solve the problem?
Richard Peto from Oxford University says ,“people struggling with excessive weight and obesity need more than being informed to lose weight. Losing weight is difficult, but keeping it off is a challenge in itself”.
In my opinion, the sad truth about weight loss is that it is as much a mental grind as it is physical. Mentally, one might feel like they have to eat, but he or she might be used to reaching for something processed, high in sugars and fats. I can remember having a hard time resisting many processed foods when I was first going through a lifestyle change—diet and exercise culminating in weight loss.
Peto goes on to say that a solution to the overweight and obesity epidemic could be “to recommend that people try hard not to put on weight in the first place, particularly before they hit middle age”. Now you and I might have a different outlook on what age that is, but I would recommend that if someone is in their teens or early-twenties, he or she should start to monitor any extra weight and watch what he or she eats. In addition, one must remember that physical activity is the key to everything, one must be active.
If someone is a healthy teen or twenty-something, he or she most-likely can fit physical activity into his or her daily life without health restrictions. The physical activity doesn’t even have to be extreme, just a ten to fifteen minute walk could suffice, so my advice is to squeeze it in. A little physical activity has never hurt anyone who is healthy enough to participate.