Holiday Weight Gain Not Just a U.S. Problem

A new option for obesity.
cocoparisienne / Pixabay

Bloomberg reported today that the average American is rapidly approaching the obese range. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average American male is 5-feet, 9-inches tall and weighs 198 pounds. A 5-foot, 9-inch male is overweight starting at 169 pounds and obese above 204 pounds. Obesity starts at 175 for the average American female (5-feet, 4-inches). Since 2000, the American male weight has increased nearly ten pounds.

Obesity increases the risks for heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, gout, sleep apnea and some cancers.

According to the National Institutes for Health, the Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to estimate body fat. It is a calculation of height and weight measurements. It is a good tool to use to compare populations of people, but not for individuals. Most doctors employ BMI measurements for their patients to estimate body fat. I strongly suggest that patients ask their doctors to use individual body fat measurements techniques to determine their body fat rather than rely on population algorithms.

Holidays are times for us to take off from work and relax with family and friends. Most of us use food to comfort us from the stresses of the normal work-a-day-world. As such, we tend to overeat. We return to the work-a-day-world with an a pound or two (or more). Over time, this additional weight stays with us.

This dynamic is seen in other countries, not just the United States. It mirrors the United States Holiday weight gain times. The Holidays in other countries show similar results to weight gain in the United States.

Being aware of a problem is one of the first steps in solving it. Portion control and plate size are two simple ways to approach the Holiday table. Drinking a glass of water between each adult beverage is another way to reduce total calories. There are many options to counter the weight gaining opportunities associated with the Holidays. Eat wisely!


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