Recently there was a film released by the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) and HBO titled Weight of the Nation. The film is a compelling portrayal of the plague of obesity that has a potential to wreak havoc on the health of thousands of Americans, not to mention the heavy cost of health services that will accompany it.

Obesity is a word that strikes fear in millions, anger in millions more, and depression in more than ten percent of the U.S. population. At this moment, more than one-third of U.S. adults are clinically obese. There are a number of different ways to measure whether or not someone is obese, but it is classified as when an excess of body fat starts to have a chance of causing adverse medical conditions. Obesity has been linked to type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and a variety of other medical issues that all contribute to a lower overall life expectancy.

Closely monitored by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, aka the CDC, obesity has become an epidemic in all but the most official facets of the word. It poses a bigger threat to our survival than terrorists, drugs, or potential nuclear holocaust. In 1985, only a handful of states were between the obesity rate 10% - 14%, which was the highest rate at the time. Now, according to the CDC, the state with the lowest obesity rate is Colorado, at 21%. The adult population of every state in the U.S. is over 21%, twelve states have more than 30% obesity rates. In twenty-five years we went from fit to fat.

Of course, simply being extremely overweight won’t kill you. All it means on the surface is that you have more than enough backup energy to burn. However, because you have so much backup energy to burn, your metabolism, which we will get into a bit later, slows down and you become much more susceptible to metabolic disorders such as type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes there is; more than 90% of people with diabetes have type II. Unlike type I diabetes, type II means that your body is still creating insulin, a hormone that regulates fat and carb metabolism in the body. A type II diagnosis means that your body is either not creating enough insulin or that it is not using the insulin it creates efficiently. Without insulin, glucose, aka sugar, is unable to get into blood cells and starts to build up in the blood instead since it has nowhere else to go. People with type II diabetes are easily dehydrated, suffer significant damage to their body over time that can cause heart attacks and strokes, and can potentially undergo severe life threatening complications if they don’t closely monitor their blood sugar levels.

Metabolic Syndrome, known by a myriad of other names and titles, is a group of factors that increase one’s risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. It is becoming increasingly common in the United States. While age, genetics, and lack of exercise are all considered risk factors by various organizations, the major two factors involved in metabolic syndrome are central obesity, characterized by excess weight in the middle and upper areas of the body, and insulin resistance.

Metabolic Syndrome essentially means someone is on the precipice of obtaining type II diabetes and other metabolic issues. About twenty-five percent of the U.S. population is estimated to fall into the category of metabolic syndrome. When coupled with more than 25% of the population who already has type II diabetes, the prognosis for the country’s state of health is not good.

These problems aren’t just affecting adults either. More than 20% of children and adolescents over the age of five are estimated to be obese, triple what it used to be not thirty years ago. More obese adults mean a higher chance for obese children, who are likely to end up obese adults and start the cycle all over again. Obesity has indeed become an epidemic that needs to be treated immediately.

I’m not here to place blame and tell you that you need to go back to the technological Stone Age and eat nothing but tofu for the rest of your life. We don’t have time to wag our finger at television or whatever else you want to use as an excuse for our current state of affairs. The time to play the blame game is at an end; the time for action is upon us.

There is one way to treat obesity - through regular exercise and proper nutrition. I use the simple acronym S.U.M.M.E.R., when talking about the solution. S.U.M.M.E.R. stands for Shut Up (quit talking about it and take action), Move More (start exercising), Eat Right (nutritious foods).

Unfortunately, we are surrounded by falsehoods and half-truths when it comes to health and fitness. Calories have become the demons that plague our bodies, making fasting and starvation popular fad diets. According to most infomercials, all you need to get in shape is ten minutes a day, while money hungry personal trainers will tell you that you still aren’t getting the results you want because two hours isn’t enough. They all spit scientific facts as if they were doctors and end up telling you only a third of what you really need to know.

Want to know what most fad diets don’t? The real secret to losing weight in a healthy manner isn’t by eating less. It’s by monitoring and increasing your body’s metabolism. Metabolism is the natural means by which your body burns fat. All you have to do is take advantage of it.
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Published on November 29, 2012 18:40 • 125 views • Tags: exercise, fitness, greg-justice, kansas-city-personal-trainer, workout
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Greg Justice This post is the introduction for my latest project titled "Where FIT Happens - Metabolic Resistance Training".


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