If 20 million Americans were to appear on the streets tomorrow, each with a cement block weigh璱ng between 20 and 40 pounds permanently attached to his body, it would create a tremendous stir. Everyone would ask how they carry a load like that for the rest of their lives? They would command the sympathy of the entire nation. As a matter of fact, such a situation does prevail right at this moment. The only difference is that the weights those 20 million Americans are carrying consist of fat rather than cement. And the burdens are less conspicuous because they are distributed over the entire body. But from the standpoint of health and the added work load placed on the heart, it makes no difference whether the cargo is cement or tissue. The cost to the individual, in poor health, loss of energy, and in most cases, a shorter lifespan, is the same.
The Price for Being Overweight
Overweight is a hidden disease. About the only people who seem to take this seriously are physicians and the insurance companies. At least they are the only ones concerned in terms of health and longevity. They know that overweight is a "hidden disease", responsible for shortening the life of every average American adult by almost five and one-half years.
Think what that means. Our own generation will lose a com璪ined 108 million years of life because of overweight! This figure represents many times the number of adult years lost by the premature deaths of young men killed in World Wars I and II. Only in the past few years has the public become even dimly aware of the critical and dangerous results of being a nation of "fat cats". It's time we all began to sit up and take notice. If we learn how to count the calories, we will learn also how to count on more years of vibrant, healthful life.
Dr. Louis D. Dublin and Herbert H. Marks of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company were among the first to point to in璫reased death rates attributable to excessive fat. In consequence, there have been a number of campaigns aimed at persuading people to reduce their weights to the normal or even the ideal figure. And we're seeing more of these ads every month.
Diet for Health, Not for Beauty
Unfortunately, people are intensely human and, they commit to a diet program only to slowly slide back into old eating patterns. The result has been a widespread practice of "yo-yo" dieting aimed not at im璸roved health, but at a more fashionable appearance. Each year brings new fads in dieting books. It has even become fashionable to be on the "in" dieting program with everyone else.
The Damage of Yo-Yo Dieting
Nothing could be worse than that kind of up-and-down the scales program. In the first place, you benefit from reduced weight only if the normal weight is maintained from that time on. Taking it off and then putting it on again is worse than remaining overweight, because it is in the process of becoming fat that a large part of the damage is done. This damage occurs in the blood vessels, liver, and heart,critical sites of the body.
Although the process of becoming fat is more detrimental than being fat, carrying around an overly hefty frame is also a way to shorten the period of your time spent on earth. As you put on excessive fat, movement of the blood throughout the body is slowed. The heart has to work harder to keep the circulation going. And the added weight places a greater burden upon your joints, which may develop trouble as a consequence.
Every part of your body experiences the affect of the extra weight being carried. As the ad campaigns continue to expose the seriousness of the American hidden disease, more people will be interested in discovering the information that is currently available and has been available for years. Unfortunately, it may be too late for many.
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