You hear it in the news daily -
- Lose excess weight because of the health hazards it can cause.
- Watch salt intake because high levels can put you at risk of high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease.
- Beware eating too much saturated fat or trans fat because it can clog your arteries.
- Watch the calories you consume daily, because once you gain excess weight it can be very difficult to take off and keep off.
- Beware excess weight because it can increase your risk of developing certain cancers.
According to researchers, though, the "weight alarm" continues to be rung by health experts, a recent survey shows that many Americans are ignoring the warnings or are simply confused by the information. The survey, which began in 2006 by the non-profit IFIC, International Food Information Council, seems to showcase a downward trend in concern about weight. Some experts feel that it is time for people to grasp the reality that regardless of what is causing the weight gain, people need to wake up and realize that you need to eat less and move more to lose weight, and then you need to remain in control of calories and commitment to daily exercise to keep those pounds off. It's not a sexy message but it is a fact. The survey also seemed to indicate that many people simply do not identify themselves as overweight or obese or in need of weight loss, despite the often obvious reality.
It's important to note that many people still put taste at the top of the list of "why they buy specific foods" and that palate pleasing aspect of food trumps the need to have some sense of calorie and quality investigation. Some experts feel that Americans are overwhelmed with their daily demands and are unable to figure out how to give "time" to food, other than to buy it if it tastes good. One expert, Dr. David Katz, uses a phrase "normalization of body size comparison" which means that as the population around you grows larger, you begin to think that you are part of the new norm. He finds this a rather disturbing trend considering that many people who are dealing with excess weight are also dealing with troubling chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancers and they are handing off this legacy of extra fat to their children.
So how do you explain the fact that the survey showed that most people do look at the calorie count of the foods they buy somewhat regularly? Well, they may be looking at the count but repetitive dieting with repetitive weight gain and weight loss cycles may cause them to calorie look but not calorie count.
What do you think? Can people who struggle with weight ultimately win the weight loss battle and keep weight off for good?