More US adults are overweight or obese, but a lot of Americans have just given up on trying to lose those extra pounds, a new study reveals.
One in every three Americans are overweight, compared with one in five 2 decades ago, researchers report. It seems that adults were more interested in weight loss years ago but now have lost interest somehow.
People who were observed between 2009 and 2014 were 17 percent less likely overall to say they had tried to lose weight during the previous year than those observed between 1988 and 1994, the study discovered.
Individuals who were overweight but not quite obese have went through the greatest loss of interest in maintaining a healthy weight, said senior researcher Dr. Jian Zhang.
“This is not good. We are missing the opportunity to stop overweight from becoming obesity,” said Zhang, who is an associate professor of epidemiology with Georgia Southern University. You can start to see even the younger generation become overweight which is another problem we are facing.
Zhang and his colleagues studied data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a federally funded ongoing survey that keeps track of Americans’ health and diet habits.
All ethnic and racial groups across both genders reported decreased interest in losing weight, but women in particular were more likely to say they had given up on it, the findings showed.
By 2014, black women were 31 percent less likely to have tried weight loss compared with 20 years prior, and white women were 27 percent less likely to have made the attempt, the researchers found.
People might be giving up on weight loss because it’s just too difficult, Zhang said.
“It’s painful,” he explained. “It’s hard to drop pounds. Many of us tried and failed, tried and failed, and finally failed to try anymore.” Finding a diet and exercise plan that is easy to follow is difficult and staying dedicated is another issue that we go through.
Modern medicine has also improved on preserving the overall health of individuals, perhaps causing them to ask why they should bother, Zhang said. Everyday there seems to be some sort of a new pill that will improve your health or increase your life expectancy.
Many might not take weight loss seriously because evidence shows that adults overweight may live as long or even longer than normal-weight adults. Since more than half are overweight, we may think we are okay, and it is not necessary to change our body weight.
Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery for Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, mentioned that conflicting diet advice also probably dissuades many from trying to shed some pounds.
“First they were told don’t eat fat, and now we are telling patients to reduce simple carbohydrates,” Roslin said. “While I believe that reducing carbohydrates is key, what the public hears is, ‘I might as well eat what I like because all this advice has not worked.'”
I believe doctors, public health officials and the media should do a better job at binging awareness to living healthy. The ups and downs of losing weight is frustrating and the health risks of being overweight should be emphasized with better education.
Zhang said that future efforts to improve public health should focus on lifestyle changes that promote healthy eating and exercise for everyone, rather than an emphasis on losing weight.
I agree that prevention is the better way to tackle overweight and obesity, so further efforts should focus on just that to get Americans back interested in weight loss.
Source: Jian Zhang, M.D., DrPH, associate professor, epidemiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.; Mitchell Roslin, M.D., chief, obesity surgery, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Rajpal Chopra, M.D., endocrinologist, Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, Forest Hills, N.Y.; March 7, 2017, Journal of the American Medical Association
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