Magazine article Nutrition Action Healthletter

The Battle to Lose

Magazine article Nutrition Action Healthletter

The Battle to Lose

Article excerpt

Since the late 1970s, overweight and obesity rates in adults, teens, and children have soared, raising concerns about the impact on diabetes, heart disease, and cancer rates. This month's cover story is our effort to treat with humor a most serious problem.

The epidemic is most poignant in youngsters, but adults have to deal with it too. Losing weight--and keeping it off--isn't easy. Our culture conspires against dieters at every turn.

Tempting high-calorie foods at restaurants beckon us to overeat. Laborsaving devices-from telephones to automobiles--aren't going to disappear. And snack vending machines, ads extolling all-you-can-eat buffets, and home and work imperatives keep us off the bike path.

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Then there are the factors we can't control, like our genes, our in utero environment, and perhaps contaminants in our air, water, and food that distort hormonal balances.

If we don't make the effort to lose (or avoid gaining) weight, it won't happen. But it also won't happen if we ignore the environment that undermines our efforts.

So, where to start?

* Restaurant meals. Those 1,000-calorie entrees, shakes, appetizers, and desserts are fattening us up. It is essential that we push for state and federal laws requiring calories on menus and menu boards at chain restaurants.

The first such law, in New York City, is not only spurring consumers to choose lower-calorie foods. It is prompting restaurants to lighten up their menus. …

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