Date: March 8, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height.  BMI or Body Mass Index, is a number calculated for a person’s weight and height.  This index is a reliable measure of a person’s body fat, although body type must also be taken into consideration.  To view the BMI Chart, go to the following link:  http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm

Below are some risk factors that can lead to obesity:

  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Lack of exercise and physical activity
  • Genes and family history
  • Alcohol use and abuse
  • Certain medicines
  • Health conditions
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Lack of sleep
  • Emotional factors and depression

We have more control over some of these risk factors than others.  Certainly we have control over what we put in our bodies and the amount of activity that we give our bodies.  According to the New Jersey State Department of Health & Senior Services (NJDHSS), in 2011, 38% of adults reported watching television or movies for at least 3 hours per day.  They also reported that in 2011, 37% of high school students played video games and used the computer for 3 plus hours each day.  Lastly, the NJDHSS noted that in 2011, nearly 11% of high school students and 26.5% of adults reported to be obese.

So now that we identified risk factors leading to obesity, what can we do to manage and control this matter.  Here are some helpful suggestions to get us started right away:

  • Reduce or eliminate alcohol usage
  • Reduce or eliminate sugary drinks and soda (choose water)
  • Reduce or eliminate smoking
  • Consult with your physician about your family history, medicines, existing health conditions and mental health issues like depression
  • Increase physical activity
  • Join a gym
  • Join a team sport or league
  • Walk or exercise with a friend
  • Stay out of the kitchen as often as possible
  • Stay away from the computer and television as much as possible
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and less fats and sugars
  • Eat a healthy breakfast to start the day and do not eat too late at night
  • Reduce or eliminate snacks (choose healthy alternatives fruits, if hungry)
  • Get sufficient sleep (7 hours is recommended)
  • Get help in getting started with exercise, diet and/or changing unhealthy behaviors

Below are some links and websites to help you get started on eating healthy, becoming more physically active, improving healthy life choices and fighting obesity:


DIET & NUTRITION:                                                                                                              

http://www.nutrition.gov/                                                                                                                                                             http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/subcategory.asp?cat=8&sub=57                                                                                                         https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/ 


EXERCISE & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:                                                            

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/exercise.htm                                                                                                                                 http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/healthy/exercise.html                                                                                                    http://www.healthynj.org/wellness/exercisechildren.html                                                                                                http://www.clubfitnj.com/                                                                                                                                          http://glenpointespaandfitness.com/                                                                                                           http://www.holyname.org/                                                                                           


SMOKING CESSATION:                                                                                            

http://njquitline.org/treatment.html                                                                                                                                                     http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/documents/brief_smoking_cessation.pdf


ALCOHOL & DRUGS:                                                                                                

http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/dir/alcohol-rehab-programs/new-jersey/                                                                                    http://www.nnjaa.org/                                                                                                                                                      http://www.vantagenj.org/