Obese women walking on the street (Source: foxnews.com)
Obese women walking on the street (Source: foxnews.com)
Obese women walking on the street of the U.S.  (Source: foxnews.com)

Do you know that women have a greater tendency to gain weight than men because they generally have a higher ratio of fat cells to muscle cells, indulge in lesser outdoor activities than men and have slower metabolism to burn calories, that is, lower Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Also, puberty changes a woman’s body such that they gain more weight around their waists and thighs. A lot of women in America work for long hours in offices and jostle between their work and household responsibilities. This often gives way to a lot of stress, leading to binge eating and preference of oily foods. Grabbing fast food items to eat through their way is convenient.

Lifestyle of Women in America

Unlike India, the technology in America has delivered a wide range of household gadgets to get work done, and hence there is little or no physical exertion required. Also, most of the women in America get involved in hectic work schedules and barely have any time to pursue exercises for body fitness everyday.

As a cherry on the cake, fad diets and treatments attract women in America to lose weight without exercises or leaving any fast food.

Pregnancy too leads to a major weight gain in women, as the body has to become able to support child delivery and lactation. A lot of baby fat develops in the body, and if not burned by an active lifestyle, it keeps getting stored, thereby deshaping the body.

According to a recent report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 4 out of 10 women in American (40%) have been classified as ‘obese’. About 8% of all women are considered to have extreme obesity.

As a result, high cholesterol in women has soared from 24.0% in 1988-1994 to 27.3% in 2011-2014.

Women in America
Trends in Obesity (Source: newsela.com)

Overweight and obesity result from the extra (unused) energy that gets stored in the body. The body needs a certain amount of energy from food to perform basic life functions. When the energy we acquire from food gets completely used in our day-to-day activities, then there is no storage of extra energy. Although, when the expenditure of energy in the form of calories gets lesser than what we eat, extra energy in the form of fat gets stored in our body, leading to overweight and obesity.

A huge reason behind such enormous climb in obesity in the nation is the food choices and eating habits of its people.

Women in America
Foods that increase weight (Source: medicaldaily.com)

Firstly, unlike India, the quantities of food in America are great in size. One serving of regular coffee in America is about 16 oz. in size and 350 calories, while the same serving is 8 oz. and contains 115 calories in India. The same goes with most of the basic food items like popcorn, French fries, burger, soda, ice cream and chocolate cookies. If people get used to eating large servings of food, which are actually more than what their bodies need, then their bodies will start storing the extra fat, while their minds will not realize that their stomach is full and they have to stop eating, because you would be taking only a ‘single serving.’

Women in America
An American woman eating large size burger (Source: Indiatoday)

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Dietitians always suggest to take small servings of food and finish eating a little before you are completely full so that by the time the food reaches the stomach, you don’t overeat. Small quantities ensure that you eat just the right amount. Contrastingly, all fast food chains heavily rely on extravagant images and greater sizes of food for marketing, to lure in customers.

Secondly, fast food, as from its name, is meant to be quick in service, and hence all of its products are produced in bulk. This is substantially different from eating at a fine restaurant as the food items at a restaurant are relatively fresh and personalized. Most of the semi-cooked food of fast food chains comes from factories where preservatives are added to give it taste and make it last. Also, a lot of trans fats and saturated fats are added for glossy looking food and more taste, which makes it still more attractive. Nothing is really healthy or fresh inside any fast food item.

A Report on Obesity Among Women in America:

If food has to be eaten on-the-go, then fresher home-made alternatives should be chosen, like a simple vegetable sandwich, fruits, yogurt, roasted nuts, carrots, or anything homemade that you can grab instantly. Tiffins can be carried to offices with home cooked meal inside. Burgers are okay for taste once in a while, but the staple diet should consist of vegetable salads, boiled or roasted chicken, eggs, bread made from wheat and barley, et cetera, whatever is local.

A lot of awareness is now around regarding being weight and fitness conscious, both for health and for shape, but people continue to eat more food than they need to and remain less active than they should be. The new era, where everybody seems to be in a hurry and busy in work, has produced a huge lot of laid-back people. Women in America consume half more calories per day of what is needed to stay healthy. The escalating fast food culture makes it even harder to stay fit.

Sedentary lifestyle and workload has given way to stress and hypertension among women, which in turn cause abnormal menstrual cycles and hormonal imbalances.

Overweight and obesity increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer (breast, colon, endometrial and kidney).

women in America
Source: library.usu.edu

As a result of this obesity epidemic and food culture, type 1 and type 2 diabetes in American women have risen from 8.2% in 1988-1994 to 11.2% in 2011-2014.

Preventing weight gain, increasing activity levels and losing excess weight considerably reduce the possibility of developing diabetes in the future.

Obesity increases the risk for heart diseases and strokes. But it harms more than just the heart and circulatory system. It’s also a major cause of stones in gall bladder, arthritis, and other respiratory problems.

Although heart disease is thought more of a ‘men’s disease,’ almost same number of men and women die from it every year. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in women in America, as it killed 289,758 women in 2013—that’s about 1 in every 4 female deaths.

Heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is hampered, causing tissue damage. This usually happens because of a blockage in the coronary arteries. An artery can get blocked due to a buildup of plaque, which is made of fat and cholesterol present in fast foods.

women in America
Source: theheartfoundation.org

Reducing the chances of heart diseases could be achieved by leading a physically active lifestyle with healthy food choices. Smoking and alcohol should be cut. Diabetes should be kept in control, and cholesterol should be kept in check. Also, stress levels should be maintained at lower levels and frequent blood pressure checkups should be done.

Obesity is also linked to depression. It is seen that obese people are about 25 percent more likely to experience a depression compared to people with normal weight. Obesity can result into low self-esteem, poor self-image, and social isolation, which in turn leads to depression.

In every age group, women who are depressed are also more likely to be obese than women who are not depressed. It is seen that women are more likely to be obese than men. Percentage of adult obese women who are depressed is 46.7%.

Obesity can result in complications in pregnancy too. Obese women are screened for any signs of diabetes early in pregnancy and are screened at later stages as well.

 

According to a Recent Study: Obesity in Mother is Linked to Premature Births of Babies

Pre-eclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder caused due to obesity that can occur during pregnancy or after pregnancy, in which another organ system (usually the kidneys) is damaged. It is a serious illness that affects a woman’s entire body.

Women who are obese during pregnancy are more likely to be infected with infections of urinary tract, labor induction is more prevalent in obese mother’s delivery and use of certain types of medication to alleviate labor pain, is hampered. Obesity during pregnancy increases the likelihood of emergency C-sections and its complications, such as wound infections. It can result in overdue pregnancy or miscarriage too.

These complications can be avoided if excess weight is lost before conception. Also, regular checkups and exercises can help curb the complications for the mother and the baby.

women in America
Complications during pregnancy (Source: Source: Slideshare.net)

Instead of losing your mind over fad diets that promise weight loss without exercise, go for healthy and thoughtful changes in your lifestyle. People on diets feel deprived and don’t stick with them. They should choose foods they like to eat within the context of varied, healthy choices.

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People have started confiding in deceptive diets and treatments which promise them to lose weight within a specific period of time without exercise. They make people starve, and drink and eat meagre amounts of food. This ends up people losing a lot of body fluids and getting hollowed bones. So, never starve yourself, or enroll in any such fraud diet, as they bank on the gullibility of their customer and leave their bodies damaged.

Eat small portions of food, drink lots of natural fluids, exercise moderately every day and eat multiple times (about 7-8 small meals) in a day, of whatever you like to eat and cook at home. Never go hungry, because when the body goes without eating for a long time, it starts converting energy as carbohydrates into fats and stores them.

Women in America
Foods to eat to reduce weight (Source: kitchenaim.com)

Eat a heavy breakfast and reduce the amount of intake of food as the day advances. Eat the lightest meal at dinner. The metabolism of the body is the fastest in the morning when you wake up, hence it burns more calories efficiently, and slows down gradually as the day goes by, and so the food has to become lighter. The more calories the body burns in the morning, the more its metabolism gets faster and calorie burning and weight loss is more efficient.

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