The DASH Diet for Weight Loss : Overweight And Obesity

When i sat down to start researching and writing this book, I was reminded that I have been studying the effects of food on health for over twenty years. In that time, the national concern about overweight and obesity has become a full-blown emergency. Americans are spending $60 billion per year on diet products, pills, and programs. And as a society we spend $75 billion per year on obesity-related health care. What particularly struck me as I started gathering the latest data on overweight and obesity was how fast things are going down hill. In the 1970s, fewer than half of Americans were overweight or obese (47 percent); now two-thirds of us are (66 percent). The number of “obese” people has doubled, from 15 percent of Americans to 30 percent. Whatever we are doing now to halt obesity, it isn’ t working.


What do these terms mean: “overweight” and “obese”? How do we define an unhealthy weight? And where do you fit in? We can’ t use simple body weight to determine whether someone “weighs too much. ” A 5-foot-tall man may be very overweight at 160 pounds while someone 6 feet 6 inches could be considered lean at 210 pounds. We needed a way to assess weight according to how tall a person is. And that’ s where body mass index (BMI) comes in. BMI takes both your weight and
height into account. Using the table on page 17, you can learn your BMI. Or if you like doing a little math and want your precise BMI, use this formula:

BMI = weight (in pounds) × 703/ height (inches) × height (inches)

Here is how we classify BMIs:

  • Underweight: BMI between 1 6 .5 an d 1 8 .4
  • Normal : BMI be tween 1 8 .5 an d 2 4 .9
  • Overweight: BMI between 2 5 an d 2 9 .9
  • Obese: BMI 3 0 or more
So when I say that 66 percent of Americans are now overweight or obese, I mean that 66 percent have BMIs greater than 25. Because the health risks of being obese increase as a person get heavier and heavier, we put obese people in subcategories:
  • Class I obesity: BMIs between 3 0 and 3 4 .9
  • Class II obesity: BMIs between 3 5 and 3 9 .9
  • Class III obesity: BMIs 4 0 and above
Unfortunately, those highest BMI subcategories are growing faster than ever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us that 4. 7 percent of Americans now have a BMI greater than 40, up from 2. 9 percent a decade earlier. That’s 9 million Americans!

Read More : Foods to Eat to Loss Weight

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