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Is Fat Normal in America? A Surprising Reason Why We’re Gaining Weight

If you are tall enough to stand out in a crowd, probably aware of your height - perhaps even self-conscious about it. But imagine that you are in a room full of basketball players. Suddenly, you do not look louder. Its above average height feels normal.

The same scenario - but weight, not height - may be happening throughout u.s.

According to CDC, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Now that the medium body weight tends towards SLUMP, instead of nave, the perception of normal can be slid. And this can have health consequences that are flying under your radar.

Dave's Fat Loss Calculator - Is Fat Normal in America? A Surprising Reason Why We're Gaining Weight

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The new normal

The American average is 23 pounds heavier than its ideal body weight. If we equal "normal" with average, it is not much stretch to say that it is normal to be fat.

"for children and for many adults who are overweight, they are starting to realize as the new normal," says Obesity Expert Robert F. Kushner, MD, MS. Overweight people can dispense their weight, he tells WebMD because they feel "all others seem exactly the same." Kushner is a professor at the Feinberg Feinberg School of Medicine and clinical director of Northwestern University of the comprehensive northwest center of obesity.

"It is very clear that people are changing their idea of ​​what is acceptable body size," says Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School. As the average body weight increases, there is more acceptance of heavier body types. This, in turn, cleans the way for more people put by weight, says Christakis, which is the co-author of connected: the amazing power of our social networks and how they change lives.

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Is Fat Normal In America? A Surprising Reason Why We're Gaining Weight

Are Americans really fat?

The obesity rate has risen dramatically in the last 20 years: a third of adults are obese today, compared to 23% in the late 1980s. But this trend may have reached a plateau. According to a new study in the Journal of American Medical Association, the obesity rate has not changed significantly in recent years.

This is no reason to become complacent, Kushner says. "The prevalence of obesity is level, but it is leveling in the flood phase. So we need to turn it around."

Is the contagious weight gain?

How do we come to this "flood phase" of obesity? Maybe you should look around you.

"Our work suggests that weight gain spreads on social networks," says Christakis, who researched the spread of obesity.

Your findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009, show that your chances of becoming obese rise 57% if you have a friend who becomes obese and 40% if your brother becomes obese. "We are social animals," says Christakis. "We are influenced by the choices and actions and appearance and behaviors of those around us."

In short, our social contacts - people in our lives - have a great influence on what we eat, how we exercise, and how we judge our own appearance. This can help explain why obesity rates are not the same throughout the country. In fact, there is what can be called obesity access points.

Obesity point

Jana Gordon Bunsic, saw evidence of this first hand in his practice. She is a family certified by the Council and Clinical Nutritionist in Morristown, Tenn. - A city in a state with one of America's highest obesity rates.

"When moving my family and medical practice to the East Tennessee, I was immediately surprised at the prevalence of obesity in the area," says Bunsic, who used to live in South Florida. She cites a culture that likes "biscuits and sauce" as well as very little exercise. "The society is quite rural, and few people walk or walk by place to another."

With obesity to be so common, Bunsic finds his patients have a distorted idea of ​​what is normal. "A 16-year-old patient came with his mother the other day," she recalls. "By following my recommendation, he had lost 45 pounds ... his mother was very worried, he was beginning to become very thin" even though he was still overweight by medical patterns.

Change of perceptions

inclined perceptions are not confined to Tennessee.

"is taking more and more weight as time goes by people to judge heavy," says Christakis. In a study using government data, he discovered that obese people usually knew they were obese for 20 years. This is not necessarily the case. In 2007, a national consumer league survey showed that although 34% of adult research participants were obese, only 12% said they had already said that by a health professional.

Contribute to these changing perceptions is a fashionable trend known as vanity sizing. Manufacturers have made more lost clothing sizes over the years. "This is making women feel good about themselves," Kushner says, "but the bad thing is that it is supporting weight increase in the population."

Pros and cons of a new normal

Kushner sees two positive aspects of society's weight change. One is that people overweight "do not tick a lot of their self-esteem to the weight," says Kushner. The other is that women of a healthy weight are less likely to see how fat. With much more population being truly overweight, those in the healthy category may feel thin in comparison.

But Kushner warns that there is a disadvantage, particularly for the obese. If people do not recognize that they have a problem, they will be less motivated to lose weight, he says. And although social norms may be changing, the risks to the health of obesity are not.

Obesity Health Risks

"It is clear that being overweight is bad for your health," says Christakis. This does not mean that everyone who is overweight will develop health problems, but the risks are well documented. Overweight was linked to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and some forms of cancer. And last year, a study discovered that weighing a third more than its ideal weight can take three years off your life.

"Many [patients] intuitively know that their weight is a large part of your diabetes, hypertension, lower end swelling and feel bad," says Bunsic, "but they never had a doctor saying that his weight was a root cause." To turn the situation, it says doctors should advise patients about the dangers of being overweight and helping them to develop accurate perceptions about what is normal.

Chatakis agrees, but he says health professionals must deal with the weight issue gently. "People could tell their patients," when you make an effort to lose weight, that does not only benefit you. "" The bottom line: Healthy habits tend to spread between social contacts. So when you make a positive change in your life, you can also affect the people you like.

Why do we get fat - Why do we gain weight as we get older? - How To Lose Weight - Dave's Fat Loss Calculator

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the smoothie diet


the smoothie diet
the smoothie diet