Then have another plate full of heavy food and start another TV-binge session!
More Americans than ever are obese – 42.4 percent, according to new research.
It’s been steadily rising for years, and this is the first time the number has topped 40 percent. The obesity rate has gone up by 26 percent in the last decade alone, says State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America. The data from 2017-18 was reported by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Trust for American’s Health.
This information was gathered before Covid-19, of course – and countless people around the world have gained weight during the pandemic. There’s even a funny new phrase about it — the “Covid 15,” as in 15 pounds gained since all this started.
But obesity is more dangerous than ever because of the novel coronavirus: Obese people are more likely than others to die from being infected with it.
They’re also at higher risk for a range of ailments – type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and many types of cancer, to name only some. It’s not surprising, then, that obese people have substantially higher medical costs, too.
A Quick Check to See If You Might Be Obese
In this report, obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher. The BMI is a quick assessment to determine if someone might be overweight. But it’s not a diagnostic tool and it shouldn’t be relied on as the sole indicator.
To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches, and then multiply that number by 703. Or use a simple online calculator. If the result is over 25, you’re considered overweight by BMI standards. If it’s over 30, that means you’re obese.
BMI is NOT a perfect indicator, and all bodies are different. It doesn’t even account for gender, and it often defines super-fit athletes as obese, for instance, because they might have a lot of muscle mass.
So, talk to your doctor or a dietician if you’re overweight or obese or want better information.
You Know What to Do
In general though, it’s good for most of us to limit your caloric intake to around 2,000 calories a day – and to burn more than that in activity.
Eat plenty of plant-based food, limit the amount of super-processed material you consume, drink plenty of water, and make sure you’re eating enough protein.
Then, of course, you’ve got to move that body – every day! US and international recommendations say that each adult should get 150 minutes a week of moderately vigorous exercise a week – plus at least two sessions of resistance training.
The pandemic is not an excuse.
If anything, it should fire you up more than ever to take care of yourself. To build your immunity. To be strong and healthy, now and in the future.
Don’t go along with the trend on this one. The older we get, the easier it is to self-isolate and become sedentary – and, yes, the pandemic really does make all of this worse.
We’re here to help with exercises and healthy living tips you can do from home. You know what to do and why: Eat less, move more, and live better!
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.