I generally try to make sure we all have a good time here at The Clothes Make the Girl. But I have to jump up on my soapbox today because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a report on obesity, and the news was not good:
- Obesity now affects more than one in four U.S. adults.
- In 2005, 23.9 percent of adults in the United States were obese, or had a body mass index greater than 30. In 2007, that number grew to 25.6 percent.
- No state has achieved the official target to bring obesity down to 15 percent of the adult population by 2010.
CDC officials believe the telephone survey of 350,000 adults offers conservative estimates of obesity rates, because it’s based on what respondents said about their height and weight. Men commonly overstate their height and women often lowball their weight, health experts say.
A different CDC survey — in which researchers actually weigh and measure survey respondents — put the adult obesity rate at 34 percent in 2005 and 2006.
I checked out the exercise stats for Texas; the news wasn’t very promising. (You can see the physical activity stats for all states here.)
According to this chart, 38% of Texans are getting insufficient amounts of activity — and if you add in the 15% that’s defined as inactive, you’re looking at 53% of Texans who aren’t getting sufficient activity. I guess I should be be happy about the 46.7% that are meeting the requirement for “recommended,” but less than half… not so good. Where’s that pioneering, “come and take it,” Lone Star spirit?
To understand the impact of those numbers, here’s how the researchers define their terms:
Recommended physical activity is defined as moderate-intensity activities in a usual week (brisk walking, bicycling, vacuuming, gardening, or anything else that causes small increases in breathing or heart rate) for at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week; or vigorous-intensity activities in a usual week (i.e., running, aerobics, heavy yard work, or anything else that causes large increases in breathing or heart rate) for at least 20 minutes per day, at least 3 days per week or both. This can be accomplished through lifestyle activities (i.e., household, transportation, or leisure-time activities).
Insufficient physical activity is defined as doing more than 10 minutes total per week of moderate or vigorous-intensity lifestyle activities (i.e., household, transportation, or leisure-time activity), but less than the recommended level of activity.
Inactivity is defined as less than 10 minutes total per week of moderate or vigorous-intensity lifestyle activities (i.e., household, transportation, or leisure-time activity).
No leisure-time physical activity is defined as no reported leisure-time physical activities (i.e., any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking) in the previous month.
I don’t know about y’all, but I intend to be active, healthy, and happy for a good, long time. Devoting about an hour a day to exercise so I can do all the other things I want to do in my life seems like a manageable commitment… don’tcha think?!
I know the workouts I describe in my blog are kind of extreme — but I do those ’cause I like them.
Keep this in mind: You don’t have to train like a Spartan to be healthy and happy. The health benefits — and emotional boost — of moderate activity will have all kinds of positive impacts on your life.
Get on the exercise train, people! Look at all the kickass benefits of physical activity:
- Reduces the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) and the risk of dying from CHD
- Reduces the risk of stroke
- Reduces the risk of having a second heart attack in people who have already had one heart attack
- Lowers both total blood cholesterol and triglycerides and increases HDL or “good” cholesterol
- Lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure
- Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have hypertension
- Lowers the risk of developing non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes
- Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer
- Helps people achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
- Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
- Promotes psychological well-being and reduces feelings of stress
- Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints
- Helps older adults become stronger and better able to move about without falling or becoming excessively fatigued
For helpful, non-intimidating information on weight loss, physical activity, and more, check out the CDC’s web site for the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. Pass along the information to your loved ones and help them start a healthy lifestyle.
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