Weight Loss: Why should we care?
What exactly is weight loss?
Weight loss is an increase
in body weight in which the amount of calories or energy expenditure exceeds the
amount of calories or energy input over a period of time. For specific
individuals, body weight is determined by genetic, metabolic, behavioral,
environmental, cultural and socioeconomic factors. The rapid increase in
prevalence of obese individuals considered to be overweight, suggests that
behavioral and environmental factors play a very large role in contributing to
the current epidemic. Many experts consider what they refer to as the "toxic
environment" characterized by high calorie (energy dense) foods and an
increasingly sedentary lifestyle as being the primary attributes leading to the
steady increase in overweight individuals in need of weight loss. This series
of articles will focus primarily on the behavioral treatment of overweight and
obese individuals, including implementing and maintaining increases in energy
expenditure (i.e. physical activity) and decreases in calorie consumption.
Some basic facts about being
overweight or obese:
It order to have a
determination of being overweight, you have to have some standard measure
relating height compared to some level of desirable weight. Individuals with a
body mass index (BMI), or ratio of weight-to-height, of 25-25.9 are considered
is usually defined as the excessively high amount of body fat in relation to
lean body mass. Individuals with a BMI of 30 or greater are usually considered
Obesity is the number two
preventable cause of death in the United States. It is a chronic disease that
has also reached to global proportions.
In the United States, it
is estimated that approximately 64% of adults are either overweight or obese.
The prevalence of obesity in adults has increased from 15 to 31% in the past
According to statistics
from the Centers for Disease Control Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
states reported obesity prevalence rates of 15-19%.
states report obesity rates of 20-24%
states also have reported obesity prevalence rates greater than 25%
In adolescents and
children, approximately one of five children meet the criteria for being
overweight or obese. Prevalence rates have almost doubled in the last 25
The National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey Data report prevalence rates increased from an
in 6-11-year-old children;
in 12-19-year-old children.
An increased risk of adult
morbidity and mortality is also associated with overweight children. Also,
overweight children are at a significantly higher risk of becoming overweight
Additional trends reported
from prevalence data on obesity indicate:
The trends reported above
apply across all racial and ethnic groups, genders, ages and educational
For all ethnic and racial
groups combined, women of lower socioeconomic status were approximately 50%
more likely to be obese than those from higher socioeconomic levels.
The prevalence of obesity and being overweight increases
until about age 60, after which it then begins to decline.
Adolescents who are
overweight have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. If one
parent is overweight or obese, this also has a tendency to increase the risk
to about 80% for adolescents.
from Practitioner's Guide to Evidence- Based Psychotherapy
Additional Information and webpage by
Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate
(Health and Geriatric Psychologist)
Page on Google Plus