Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity,” the risks for the following conditions also increases: Coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon), Hypertension (high blood pressure),Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides), Stroke, Liver and Gallbladder disease, Sleep apnea and respiratory problems, Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint), and Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility).
Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher. When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime, the bottom line is – calories count! Weight management is all about balance – balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses or “burns off.” This balance is achieved through a healthy diet and physical activity. There is a right number of calories for you to eat each day. This number depends on your age, activity level, and whether you’re trying to gain, maintain, or lose weight. Choose the most nutritionally rich foods you can from each food group each day—those packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients but lower in calories. Pick foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products more often.