Another new diet pill! Is this the answer to the obesity epidemic plaguing our families?

You may have heard about the newest controversial pill to fight obesity on the news recently. Contrave can help stop cravings and has already been used for treating alcohol and opiate addiction. I don’t think a pill is the answer we need to stop the obesity epidemic plaguing our families or sets a good example for children.

A physician on one of the early morning shows said that people can’t lose weight through diet and exercise alone. We need to find a step between diet/exercise and surgery. I could have a field day discussing weight loss surgery, especially weight loss surgery on children and teens, but I will save that for another post.

The truth is the public has been lied to for so long by shysters’ and charlatans’ wanting to make a quick buck off peoples pain and depression about being overweight, that includes the 56 billion dollar diet industry, including many well known companies the public trusts. A sad fact, only 3% of people who go on one of these diet programs keeps the weight off. The physician was correct on one point. The word “diet” no longer co notates a way of eating, but conjures thoughts of doing without, being hungry, eating foods that you don’t like. These so called diets have only added to the obesity epidemic. This is evident by the following statistics. The Surgeon General has now listed the childhood obesity crisis as a National epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007, 16% of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old were obese or overweight, a number that has tripled since 1980. Another 15% were at risk for becoming overweight. 67% of adults (200 Million) were overweight or obese. If you are among the 200 million and are dieting, your child is watching you and has a 70% chance to become an obese adult by mimicking this unhealthy behavior.  I am saddened to report my friends and colleagues children could very well die before their parents, due to this epidemic. This is the first generation this will become a reality, not a legacy I want to leave behind.

One of the reasons people cannot keep the weight off is because they turn to a diet to lose it fast. Before studying nutrition and exercise I dieted and watched family members diet, I know the feeling, you are depressed, unhappy with yourself and you want the weight off right now! Diet brain is not looking for long term health or weight management, diet brain wants immediate results. This results in multiple diets throughout ones life, an unhealthy relationship with food and a slow down in metabolism. As for exercise, doctors tell you to walk, while walking is important for cardiovascular health, the best way to speed up your metabolism is by increasing lean body mass, muscle. Diets that cause more than 1 ½ pounds of weight loss per week have a nasty side affect, Muscle loss. This is one of the reasons; you gain the weight back and typically a few extra pounds.

Parents, I know you love your child and want the best for them. That is why I want to get the truth out to parents. We can stop the obesity epidemic one family at a time. It will take educating people and urging an end to dieting. May the next generation never go on a diet in their lives, how great would that be!

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