In the 1960s, the Detroit Lions’ Roger Brown was the NFL’s first regular player to weigh 300 pounds. In 2014, when 256 players entered the league, 57 weighed in at 300 pounds or more! That trend mirrors the ever-increasing weight of all Americans. This year for the first time, according to a new study published in JAMA, there are more obese people in the U.S. than those who are simply overweight!
The repercussions are huge for obese individuals who have to battle heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, impotence and self-esteem issues. As a society, we face the burgeoning health costs due to these chronic conditions. Clearly, it’s time to take to stake steps to reverse this trend.
No. 1: Ban high fructose corn syrup in our food supply, just as the Food and Drug Administration did for trans fats. (YOU can ban it from your diet now.)
No. 2: Develop alternatives to hormone-disrupting chemicals used in everything from shampoos to receipts and plastics. (Wash your hands after touching receipts.)
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No. 3: Limit the use of antibiotics in the food supply. They alter gut bacteria, tip the scales in favor of weight gain and increase the likelihood of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
No. 4: Set up programs to help obese adults get the support they need to start and stick with a lifestyle do-over (see Dr. Mike’s book “This Is Your Do-Over”).
No. 5: And if you are overweight start a walking routine aiming for 10,000 steps a day, and make sure your children enjoy at least two hours of active playtime daily.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.