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- Netan Bhardwaj
Lifestyle, social status and frame of mind all depend on your health thus everybody wants a perfect physical appearance, which may vary based on gender and age, and the way people see it is by attaining an ideal weight. But every challenge comes with obstacles e.g. lack of knowledge, resources and many other factors, due to that fact obesity and weight management have become enormous problem amongst individuals of all ages. To a certain extent minor weight loss can alter ones path of life. Whether it’s living life to the fullest or being overweight holding you down. And everyone that is overweight or obese is always looking for the “easy way out” to lose weight by not doing any exercise and eating anything they please. So can weight reduction really occur without any medications, surgery, or even extensive exercise?
To begin with, people who are obese tend to be uneducated about effects of obesity, nutrition, and portion control. Now knowing about the major risk that obesity brings is a major issue such as 29% of all deaths in Canada are because of obesity, where females are at a higher risk of dying than males, and learning about these risks can be an eye opener for some and life changer for others. Obesity causes or is closely linked with a large number of health conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes are just to name a few and as many as
11 types of cancer, including leukemia, colon, breast cancer [WHO. 2014]. Not just that but obesity also comes with social and emotional effects including discrimination, lower wages, lower Quality of life and people being effected by obesity are more likely susceptible to depression. The type of diet you eat can have a major impact on your weight i.e. eating a high energy/calorie dense meal (coffee and a doughnut) can cause overeating whereas eating multiple low energy/calorie meals (juice, a piece of toast, and scrambled eggs) can provide an provide array of healthy choices by incorporating more food consumption but less calorie intake and also it can help with optimum weight management. For instance [Rolls. 2014] compiled three systematic studies on various individuals and this is what was conducted.
The first trial involved overweight men and overweight women, they were given isocaloric portions of either high or low dense food to be eaten daily into a reduced energy diet for two months and one year later the group that was given low energy dense soup saw a 50% more reduction then the other control group.
The second trial only obese women were tested and they were split into two groups. One grope was counseled to portion control and eat more water rich foods (fruits, vegetables) and the other group was asked to eat limited portions (fats and everything else). After a year the group that was told to eat more water rich foods lost 23% more weight, had a reduction in hunger and felt greater gratification.
In the final trial, participants from trial one and trial two were monitored for six months. It was found that individuals who eat a low energy diet lost more than 50% of weight and eat
300grams more than the high energy diet group. From these trial it can be concluded that for weight management to occur simply saying “eat less” is not the best approach to reducing the amount of intake. Therefore large portions of low energy dense foods can be used strategically to encourage their lower consumption and caloric intake. If people lowered the density of energy in their diet, they can eat pleasurable portions while managing as well as maintaining their body weight [Rolls. 2014]. Also through these trials it can be said that a variety of portion control methods can be applied, eating less high energy meals or eating more low energy foods, for exemplary portion management leading to a lower chance of weight gain.
Obesity has become a significant problem, it causes more deaths the being underweight, across many regions of multiple countries. Obesity has become such a high risk factor that even minimal weight loss of 5 to 10% seems to be enough to provide a clinically significant health benefit and reduce the risk of death, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and many other [Lagerros. 2013]. But there are limitations to weight loss i.e. physical disabilities, the quality of produce at a supermarket, cultural acceptance (being fat or over weight considered good, shows how healthy you are), neighborhood accessibility (neighborhood around the world tend not to have any sidewalks thus making it difficult for individuals of all ages to be healthy) as well as neighborhood safety (Places where criminal activity is high, People are less likely to leave their residence) and other resources. All these aspects play a tremendous role in weight reduction and or weight management.
A study done by [Amanda Reichards et al. 2014] about adults with physical disabilities with a BMI of >25%. So these individuals were randomized into two weight management approaches. One of these was My plate diet (consists of a meal with fruits, vegetables, protein and dairy all in one plate) and the other was Stoplight diet (foods are based on the light consisted in traffic lights such as vegetables/fruits are green, potatoes/ cheese are yellow and fat foods are red) supplemented with portion controlled meals for 6 months. There were 126 enrollees and of those 70% of them completed initial 6 months and 60% of the 70% completed a follow up phase. The Stoplight diet group reduced weight during initial 6 month and lost more weight during the follow up phase whereas the My plate diet group only lost weight during the initial 6 months from the studies done by Amanda Reichards and her colleagues it can be stated that by using portion control, barriers can be overcome for individuals that are overweight and have physical mobility impairments.
Consumers are uncovered to many pieces of data such as the media, commercials and promotions. The comparison between two merchandises that are similar in prices or completely buying a product for the first time, “58% of the consumers said that they used product labels” [Wills et al2009].Furthermore, Canadians believe that labels are the most important way to get nutritional data. “This source is then shadowed by various forms of media, friends and family, electronic media channels and lastly family physicians or other professionals “[Willset al.2009]. It is notable that family physicians/medical professionals seem to play such a minimal role in general information.
In the past, significant findings have been conducted by researchers to help modern scientist. Lexis, L (2004) conducted multiple studies where 38% of the people’s portions were controlled and the others weren’t. The research shows that 5% of the 38% examined saw a weight reduction from their baseline weight whereas the other control group saw a 5% weight gain from their base line. She also did a study on Elevated waist/hip on men and women this a body mass index (BMI) greater the 27. Being overweight comes at a cost and its “$656 higher annual medical care costs, and the IV results indicate that obesity raises annual medical costs by $2741 in 2005 dollars.” [Cawley J. 2012]. “More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese. More than 0.33% adults are considered to be obese. More than 0.05 adults in North America are considered to have extreme obesity. About 0.33%of children and adolescents from ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese. More than 16% of children and adolescents from the ages of 6 to 19 are considered to be obese” National Health and Nutrition (2010). “Obesity can occur one pound at a time. Just like obesity so does prevention. ” [National Institutes of Health. 2013] these are just some facts about obesity that can be prevented by portion control.
Solutions. Are there any? With so many problem and hardly any solutions. Here are a couple of solutions that can help with implicating portion control, first would be liquid meal replacement (shakes) can be a very useful technique there were small experiments designed to makes many of the studies on the effectiveness of meal replacements were tough to interpret as few were intended to regulate whether meal replacements are closely linked with greater weight reduction than a self-selected consumption of regular foods. They also found that there is a relationship between the intakes of meal replacements in exchange of regular meals in the framework of energy controlled diets and decline in body weight. The second method would be tax increasing and front back trafficking. Increasing the tax on unhealthy food could be a substantial answer to many problems, the Danish government has put a 25% tax on unhealthy foods (sweet based) such as ice cream chocolate and many others and beverages. They also banned the use of Trans-fatty acid (increases coronary heart cancer) leading companies to use a different method of production and provide a better fat quality product. There is also Front – of – Pack traffic light nutrition labeling (this is when the nutritional label is put in the front and the product is labelled as a colour that indicated the type of product which is stated earlier in this paper). There was a randomized-controlled study was conducted to determine different food label formats on consumers’ product choices, the study established that traffic light labels had the most influential on consumers, compared to other methods. Even with time constraint consumers the traffic light labels and logos were more effective and efficient rather than the ordinary label furthermore the likelihood of healthy choices had increased moreover with unlabeled food it is more difficult to classify as whether it’s healthy or unhealthy [Borgmeier and Westenhoefer, 2009]. By making such a major impact, neighboring countries are putting an emphasis on disease deduction methods as well. The third method is Pre-portioned foods it is an alternative approach to liquid meal plan it is a pre-packaged single meal /snack which is bound to reduce weight also temporary studies have found that solid meal substitutes (bars) caused the tendency to feel more full than isocaloric liquid meal substitutes (shakes) [ Tieken et al. 2007].
In an 18-month study conducted by [Wing et al. 1996] where contributors were allocated to one of the four groups: a usual behavioral treatment was given, a behavioral treatment accompanied with financial encouragement for weight reduction, food source, or a combination of food establishment and motivations. The food that was provided to the individuals consisted of pre-portioned conventional foods suitable for five breakfasts and five suppers each week for 18 months. The quantity of weight reduction in the two groups, provided with sufficient food, was significantly superior to the other groups at 6, 12 and 18 months [Wing et al. 1996].
Also in another study, patients were given either a prepackaged, nutritionally complete, organised meal, plan that provided almost all of their diet and the other group was given a macronutrient equivalent usual-care diet. The prepackaged meal was designed to sustain long-term weight loss. This was proven at 1 year when the first group lost 5.8 kilograms while the other group only lost 1.7 kilograms loss [Metz et al. 2000].
A certain study, sought to separate the properties of the portion-controlled diets from other mechanisms of the weight reduction intervention by keeping the additional variables similar across the two study groups. The pre-portioned food group was provided with three starters and one snack daily, which they could substitute with conventional foods by the rules of their program. After 6 months, the pre-portioned food group lost 7.3kg whereas the control group only lost [Foster et al. 2013]. The take away message from these studies is that Portioned food can cause a substantial difference between casual meals in terms of weight reduction thus allowing a greater consumption of food and loss in weight. Another solution is by regulating the advertisements that are shown to adolescents. This will cause children to be less attracted to food which can lead them to gain weight. In Sweden, Norway and Quebec the government has restricted television advertisements for children. More specifically, the Swedish Radio and Television act does not grant commercial television advertisement that is intended to attract or gain the attention of children who are under the age of 12. However, most countries tend not to revise advertisements, to make sure they are meant for children. A comparison of food advertising in 13 countries in different parts of the world, found that children who were watching more than 2 hours would be exposed to between 28 and 84 food advertisements per day [Lagerros. 2013].
Weight management/reduction has been a major problem for decades now. Obesity is something that is increasingly on the rise today and will continue to rise unless we do something about it, food is being pushed on television all the time. Corrupting minds to eat calorie dense food but there is a way to fix that by informing people of how bad it really is and encouraging people to live a health-enhancing lifestyle. The solution is as simple as eating a portioned diet and making it a lifelong diet. Some fat is essential for the body. It uses it for various implications such as heat, padding, insulation, and stored energy. Eating healthy and keeping active is all a part of a lifelong daily routine No diet should be promoted as being a temporary eating plan, but rather a permanent plan for healthy eating and living.
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