The past 20 years has seen a dramatic increase in the number of overweight and obese Americans, both young and old. The good news is that obesity can be prevented, for the most part, by a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Here are ACE's top 10 reasons for maintaining a healthy weight:
ACE'S TOP 10 TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
- LONGER LIFE EXPECTANCY
People who are fit tend to live longer, while people who are obese have an overall mortality rate almost twice that of non-obese people. Even mild-to-moderate overweight people substantially increase their risk for premature death.
- HEALTHY WEIGHT, HEALTHY HEART
Excess weight increases cardiac risk factors, while a healthy weight helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke. If all Americans had a healthy body composition, the incidence of coronary heart disease would drop by more than 24 percent.
- REDUCED RISK OF CERTAIN CANCERS
Obesity is associated with an increased risk for breast, colon and kidney cancer.
- LOWER INCIDENCE OF DIABETES
Individuals with a healthy weight are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The incidence of type 2 diabetes among Americans has steadily grown as the incidence of obesity has increased.
- HEALTHY BONES AND MUSCLES
Excess weight stresses joints, muscles and bones.
- BETTER POSTURE
Evenly distributed weight along the spine and body helps maintain proper posture, which is important for overall back health.
- GREATER MOBILITY
A healthy body weight makes leisure activities with friends and family more enjoyable and more comfortable.
- IMPROVED SELF-ESTEEM
Maintaining a healthy body weight increases self-esteem and helps maintain a positive self-image.
- HIGHER ENERGY LEVELS
Excess weight can make everyday activities more tiresome and laborious.
- BETTER QUALITY SLEEP
Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent obstructive sleep apnea, a blockage in the throat or upper airway that temporarily halts breathing and disrupts sleep patterns.