Sunday, November 18, 2012

Making the Effort

Given that two-thirds of adult Americans are overweight and five out of the ten leading causes of death in the United States and Canada (heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease) are asso- ciated with being overweight, weight loss is an issue that both women and men must face.
Many adults have a fair amount of experience when trying to lose weight.
Here are some of the findings from four U.S. surveys that have looked at the health practices of men and women:
   33 to 40 percent of adult women are working to lose weight, and
20 to 24 percent of adult men are doing so.

   28 percent of both men and women said that they were working to maintain their current weight.
   Over the past year, women who work at trying to lose weight report spending an average of 6.4 months in the effort; men say that they spent an average of 5.8 months.
   Over a two-year period, the average woman says that shes
made 2.5 weight-loss attempts; the average man indicates that he made 2.
   Among  those working to lose weight, 84 percent of women and
76 percent of men reported following a low-calorie diet, and 60 percent of both men and women reported increasing their phys- ical activity.What do these numbers mean? First, the percentage of people actively engaged in weight loss is quite low compared with the num- bers who are overweight and obese. This is particularly true for men. Second, the statistics indicate that most peoples attempts at weight loss are an on-again, off-again experience as opposed to an ongoing effort using a lifestyle approach. Finally, many people have a tendency to make a choice either to restrict food or to exercise as the means to achieve success, but not both.Clearly, achieving lasting weight loss needs to be a priority to stem the growing rates of overweight and obesity among men and women. Its apparent that there is much room for improvement in the approaches that both women and men take to make that happen.

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