Why is obesity dangerous? ~ Charlotte

Charlotte, Today 16 percent of all children and teens in this country are overweight, and 65 percent of all people age 20 and older are overweight or obese. Excess weight and obesity are serious health threats because they are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other serious health problems. The current generation of children may become the first in American history to live shorter lives than their parents. Medical expenditures attributed to both overweight and obesity had reached over $75 billion. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine followed 900,000 adults for 16 years. They found a high body mass index was associated with up to 20 percent of cancer deaths in women and 14 percent in men.


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What is a healthy breakfast? ~ Noah

Noah, You don't have to wake up in time to cook a huge breakfast. It only takes 5 - 10 minutes to eat a bowl of cereal with low-fat milk and fruit. Try yogurt mixed with your cereal. If you don't like traditional breakfast food, eat a sandwich. Eat frozen waffles or pancakes with fruit or light syrup. This is a great time to be creative with what's in the refrigerator. Mix leftover vegetables from last night's dinner with scrambled eggs. What matters is that you are eating something and that it is relatively healthy: preferably with protein, fruit, and fiber.  


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Why is breakfast so important? ~ Laura

Laura, Medical studies reveal that people who eat breakfast regularly show increases in learning ability, attention span, and a general well being. Conversely, people who skip breakfast show an increase in weight gain and memory impairment. Eating breakfast increases your metabolic rate by 25 percent, which is one of the reasons why people report feeling better early in the morning. The American Heart Association suggests that you may be more prone to diabetes and obesity if you skip your morning meal because breakfast helps control your appetite for the rest of the day.


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I lost my job and kept wanting to snack. Could my stress be making me hungry? ~ Brianna

Brianna, When you are stressed, you can experience emotional eating. Stress makes us anxious and when you eat these carbohydrates calm you down and make you feel better. The problem is weight gain and unhealthy eating. Do a substitute activity such as reading, walking or playing with your pet. Make healthy snacks ahead of time and have them ready. This way when you are hungry you are not foraging around eating high-fat snacks. Keep some gum available. Research shows this helps with your stress. Download a meditation app and take five to ten-minute breaks during the day to relax your mind, body, and soul to relieve the stress that is driving you to snack. You don't have to give in to stressed out emotional eating.


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