Controlling Obesity through Diet and Exercise
Obesity is a major problem in the developed countries like UK and USA. “Young adults can generally eat more and not gain weight, but metabolism tends to slow in the mid-30's (and middle-aged people become more inactive), so that is when many adults begin to gradually gain weight.” (The University of Utah, 2012) Increased calorie intake, low physical activity and lack of dietary awareness are the key issues.
According to Yanovski et al (2000), environmental or behavioural changes in life (e.g. smoking cessation) can be cofactors of weight gain. Powell et al (1994) subjected 35 obese women to calorie restriction and exercises for 12 weeks. Results showed that “All subjects lost body weight and body fat; … percent of calories derived from dietary fats does not influence loss of body weight or percent body fat in adult obese women.” (Powell et al, 1994, pp. 446-447) Further, Dall et al (2009) advocate sodium, saturated fat and calorie restrictions in American diet. According to the findings of their research “reduction in caloric intake should be the highest priority” (Dall et al, 2009, p. 142) in setting public health benchmark for dietary and nutritional guidance (Please refer to Appendix - II). In order to control the problem of obesity, organizations like NHS have categorized it under major public health concerns; hence health care professionals like the nurses (who generally serve in public environments such as hospitals) are considered to have an increased responsibility. (NHS, 2010)