People are sitting around and eating themselves to death. Obesity has become underlying preventable killer in many countries around the world. Statistics provided by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that a poor diet and physical inactivity in United States had caused 400,000 deaths in 2000, a 33 percent jump over 1990. Two out of 3 adults and at least 9 million children are overweight or obese.
As we know, obesity or overweight is one of the risk factor of heart disease. As such, numerous researches have been conducted to find out the relationship between the two and how people can lose weight to maintain a healthy heart.
For whatever reasons to go on diet, one should take note that a healthy diet is the key to weight loss and not the type of diet. This is the finding of a one-year study released in 2005 by the researchers in Boston to assess the adherence rates and the effectiveness of four popular diets for weight loss and cardiac risk factor reduction.
The four diets are Weight Watchers (restriction of portion sizes and calories); Atkins (minimize carbohydrate intake without fat restriction); Zone (modulate macronutrient balance and glycaemic load), and Ornish (fat restriction).
A total of 160 overweight or obese adults, aged 22 to 72 years old, with known high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar, were randomly assigned to each of the four diets. After 2 months of maximum effort, participants were told to select their own levels of dietary adherence.
Results showed that while each diet was modestly effective in reducing weight and several cardiac risk factors, increased self-reported adherence level (although overall rate was low) was associated with greater weight loss and cardiac risk factor reductions for each diet group.
The study may provide some evidence that the key of losing weight may not lie with the type of diet, but rather sticking to the chosen diet.
The best treatment of obesity is still prevention, I believe. People should monitor their diet carefully, change their lifestyle if necessary, and exercise regularly. This is by far the most effective measure rather than find ways to lose weight when they become obese.
The American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, and American Cancer Society, have jointly recommended a higher intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish to reduce the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke.
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