A recent study has shown that North Carolina has the 16th highest adult obesity rate in the nation, and climbing. Reports from The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America states North Carolina's adult obesity rate is currently 31.8 percent, up from 20.9 percent in 2000 and from 12.3 percent in 1990.
Data was taken from adults and children, and took into consideration obesity-related health issues found in NC. North Carolina has several policy actions and initiatives in place to prevent and reduce obesity, such as Healthy Food Financing Initiative Grants, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Farm-to-School Programs, but it is up to each individual to reduce their own personal risk as much as they can. It’s not just an NC problem: According to the most recent data, adult obesity rates now exceed 35 percent in five states, 30 percent in 25 states and 25 percent in 46 states.
Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle
Stanford Health Care notes that healthcare professionals are seeing earlier onsets of Type 2 diabetes (normally an adult-onset disease), cardiovascular disease and obesity-related depression in children and adolescents. They further say that the longer a person is obese, the more significant obesity-related risk factors become. Given the chronic diseases and conditions associated with obesity, and the fact that obesity is difficult to treat, prevention is extremely important.
What can you do? Here are some tips from the experts at Stanford Health Care to reduce your chances of obesity, tackle those New Year resolutions, and give 2018 a healthy start.
- Limit screen time and encourage physical activity. Stanford states that children should have an hour of moderate physical activity most days of the week. More than an hour of activity may promote weight loss and subsequent maintenance.
- Change habits. Gradually work to change family eating habits and practice exercise together rather than focusing on weights and scales.
- Be a role model. Parents and caretakers who eat healthy foods and are physically active set an example that increases the likelihood their children will do the same.
- Eat your veggies. The recommended amount is five to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Skip the white rice. Choose whole grain foods such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. Avoid highly processed foods made with refined white sugar, flour and saturated fat.
- Check your portions. Weigh and measure food to gain an understanding of portion sizes. For example, a three-ounce serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Avoid super-sized menu items.
- Get moving. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activity on most or, preferably, all days of the week.
As with all Internet health tips and tricks, consult with your doctor before making radical changes that may affect other parts of your health, and stick with the healthcare plan your doctor has provided. Remember that small changes can make a big difference, and creating a habit that is practiced daily is easier than keeping an arbitrary resolution.
What are your plans for exercise in 2018? Are you eating healthier this year, and how? Let us know in the comments or join us on Facebook.