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Causes of obesity are many but choices can be made

Although scientists agree that poor diet and lack of exercise are the main ingredients to being overweight, they gathered a list of at least 10 “other” contributing factors. (The Trucker file photo)

By MICK SEVERIN
The Trucker News Services

6/27/2011

Obese, overweight, husky, big boned or “in between diets” are just a few terms we use to describe our battle of the waistline. We also know a litany of reasons of why and how we got involved in the waistline battle.

We Eat Too Much: Just can’t seem to control our portions of foods or how many times we eat.

We Eat The Wrong Foods: Too many fats, too many sugars, too many snack and fast foods.

We Describe Our Foods: Tasty, Delicious, Magnificent and “comfort” but never “nutritious!”

We Don’t Exercise: No time, Waste of time, It hurts, It stinks, I’m too old or doctor’s orders.

Of course there are some legitimate reasons in which one could be in a position to live with obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease such as taking medications for other health problems, living in an unhealthy and stressful environment and heredity factors.

An interesting twist to the obesity problem was published in the International Journal Of Obesity. Twenty scientists from the United States, Italy and Canada looked at a variety of studies on obesity and factors that contribute to the problem. Although they agreed that poor diet and lack of exercise are the main ingredients to being overweight these scientists gathered a list of at least 10 “other” contributing factors.

1. Lack of adequate rest and sleep. (This is common knowledge but rarely taken seriously.)

2. Endocrine disrupters. (Reaction to some foods can cause extra fat storage.)

3. Perfect temperatures. (Not being cold or sweating once in a while limits calories burned.)

4. Quitting smoking. (Lack of some type of appetite suppressant.)

5. Medications. (Any medication affects the whole body and could cause weight gain.)

6. Population changes. (Age categories and race influences.)

7. Having children later in life. (Older moms seem to have heavier children.)

8. Genetics. (As it relates to influences surrounding a pregnancy.)

9. Darwin’s Law. (Need to have more fat to survive.)

10. “Birds of a Feather.” (Fat parents seem to have fat children.)

I found these points to be very interesting and some of them fairly obvious reasons for gaining weight. But I’d like to point out a few that really stand out. The “perfect temperatures” seems odd doesn’t it? But when you really think about it, unless we are forced to do otherwise we all pretty much live in temperature-controlled environments so we lose opportunities to burn calories by sweating or shivering.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous bodybuilder, actor and California governor, used to always preach about the benefits of “training” in freezing temperatures.

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Population changes also struck me as interesting and very true. We all know what havoc age can do to our bodies but your race can be a “stumbling block” to staying trim. Some nationalities due to genetic factors cannot assimilate into other cultures nutritionally. They are raised to consume certain foods and their bodies “rebel” to the change — sometimes in the form of obesity.

The last item that stands out but seems the most common to me is ‘birds of a feather.’ Overweight individuals seem to marry overweight partners and have overweight children. I have found in my observations that this circle of life is very hard to break. An overweight family can go on for generations until one of the members breaks the cycle. In the meantime, the children suffer through ridicule and abuse at the hands of outsiders and find comfort and refuge in food.

Yes, there are a lot of reasons one can get caught up in an unhealthy lifestyle but it ultimately comes down to choice. Your health is just one category of your life but it certainly is an important one so choose to work at being as healthy as possible.

If you’re having trouble deciding, think about how the status of your health affects all of those around you, particularly your kids and the other kids around you. Work hard to be a good example not a poor sample.

Remember, we are here to help. We offer a variety of programs: Check us out on the Web at www.fitnessroad.com. Our new website now includes a forum so please feel free to sign in and start a topic. You can also call us at (888) 348-7623 or reach us by e-mail.

God bless you and yours, Mick.        

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