This is not a secret, the United States has a problem of obesity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 93 million Americans are obese and millions more overweight. But a recent study from the Cleveland Clinic shows that few people actually do anything about it.
The researchers found that three-quarters of those surveyed worried about their weight and 65% were worried about getting heart disease due to overweight. Yet less than half have actually tried toat .
The results also revealed that many Americans do not fully understand the relationship between being overweight and their overall health. Nearly one in five of those surveyed said they thought their diet had nothing to do with their heart health and more than half did not know that obesity was related to a high "bad" cholesterol level. Two-thirds said that they did not know that obesity could lead to.
"Most Americans understand abstractly thatIncreasing weight does not hurt your health, but it seems we do not understand that the leading causes of death and disability – stroke, cancer, coronary artery disease – are all affected by weight gain. " said Steven Nissen, MD, president of Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement: "We need to better inform patients and the public about the main consequences of being overweight and about the benefits of losing weight.
He notes that a person only needs to lose 5% of his body weight to begin to perceive significant health benefits.
So what's the best way to lose those extra pounds?
Samantha Heller, dietitian at NYU Langone Health, says that physical activity is important, but it all starts with what we put on our plates.
"As much as I like, diet is everything. It's not just the amount of food you eat, but the quality of the food you eat makes all the difference, "Heller told CBS This Morning.
The dietary guidelines of the US Department of Agriculture for Americans emphasize a healthy diet including many fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as lean meats, fish and beans.
Specifically, the USDA says most adults should consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables and 2 to 4 servings of fruit a day. Or more simply, half of your plate must be filled with products.
Trans fats, sodium and added sugar should be limited.
Although there is no single diet that suits everyone, a diet that has been shown over and over againis the Mediterranean diet. This heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, as well as healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts and avocados.
A number of studies have shown thereduces the and can have many other health benefits, including a reduction in LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, as well as a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cancer. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition even revealed that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 25% probability of all-cause death.
The DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) is another option to consider. The diet was originally designed to help manage blood pressure, but experts say it has many health benefits. The diet focuses on healthy food sources, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry and skinless fish, nuts and legumes. It also limits red meat, salt and sweets.
The DASH diet has been proven to lower blood pressure, and research suggests it may also reduce the risk of diabetes and help fight depression.
Healthy eating habits
Experts recommend staying away from fad diets to lose weight, such as "detox diets" and current diets.because they are not sustainable in the long run.
In addition to following a healthy diet, scientific research has revealed.
A 2018 study published in the journal BMJ Open, which follows the eating habits of nearly 60,000 people, found that eating more slowly, avoiding snacks after dinner and not eating less than two hours before going bedtime were all related to weight loss.
"I like the idea of closing the kitchen after dinner," Heller said.
To stay on track, she also recommends consulting a dietitian, who can help you customize a healthy diet that will work for you. She advises to check with your insurance if it is covered. A dietitian can also work with you on a variable cost scale.
Finally, Heller emphasizes the importance of planning.
"Sit with your family and plan what you will eat during the week," she said. "It will help reduce food waste, save money and get your kids and family involved in shopping and preparation."