Obesity is an epidemic in America, especially among the African-American community. It leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems. So, how do you beat this epidemic? By changing your eating habits. If you change the way you eat, you can break the obesity habit.
Change the way you eat and live
It's not just how much one eats but what you eat that can increase the amount of fat in your body. It's known as Body Mass Index, or BMI, and it's one way of measuring whether or not you are obese. What is a normal BMI? According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control, a normal BMI should be under 30. But the CDC reports that more than 57 percent of African-American women and almost 48 percent of all African-Americans are obese. Obesity has also increased, not decreased, over the last two decades.
Why obesity has increased
Why? Lifestyle. Schedules are busy and eating healthy doesn't happen often enough. People find it more convenient to gobble down fast food or nuke frozen dinners just to get a meal in. Eventually it takes its toll with obesity and poor health. This way of eating is particularly harsh on African-American women who often have a higher level of body fat and muscle tissue than white women to begin with.
Break the cycle
The only way you can beat obesity, diabetes, and heart disease is by breaking the cycle and doing these 5 things:
- Exercise - 30 minutes a day of light to moderate exercise.
- Eat healthy - eat more servings a day of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. It doesn't take any more time to eat healthy than it does to eat unhealthy.
- Forget the dieting - a diet indicates a temporary plan to lose weight. What you really need is a permanent change in your whole way of eating.
- See a doctor - make sure you get your blood pressure checked regularly, as well as your blood sugar, cholesterol and other indicators. If you don't understand the numbers, ask your doctor to explain them to you. The numbers are important.
- Have a plan - do your homework, start out slow, but have a plan for gradually eating healthier and healthier.
Old habits can be broken, but it's easier when you replace them with good habits like these.