About Weight Management
The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased substantially in United States and globally over the past decade. Let's look at the facts. Over 300 million adults are obese worldwide, according to latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Obesity Task Force. The Center for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics claims that 30% of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older (over 60 million people) are obese, with BMI of 30 or higher. This can lead to high risk of health problems such as hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. The U.S. government has made the reduction of obesity among adults to less than 15% as one of its national health objectives for 2010. To achieve this, experts agree that consumers must control calorie intake and incorporate exercise into their daily lifestyle. The message: eat less, and exercise more.
The National Academies' Institute of Medicine recently released a report on diet and exercise. To meet the body's daily energy and nutritional needs while minimizing risk for chronic disease, adults should get 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% from fat, and 10-35% from protein. The report stresses the importance of balancing diet with exercise.
A recent Calorie Control Council survey found that the highest number of Americans in the past 15 years, 71 million, or >33% of US population, are currently on diet. The Council recommends to focus on "calories in and calories out", adopt healthy long-term habits, and not to be misled by latest weight loss fad.
It is estimated that Americans spend over $40 billion annually on diet products and self-help books.
Although we tend to focus mainly on weight loss when we think of weight management, it is important to think of weight management also in terms of the need to gain weight, as applied to athletes and patients recovering from surgery or long-term illnesses. So, weight management as a nutritional category requires weight loss or weight gain products to address the need to lose or gain weight, respectively. Regardless of whether your need is to lose or gain weight, the emphasis should be on healthy lifestyle--healthy eating and healthy activity.
Effective and healthy ways to control caloric intake and expenditure include:
- Control satiety or hunger - (1) Fiber supplements or fiber foods create satiety or feeling of fullness, thus reducing the desire to eat. (2) Protein supplements or "high protein diets" with very low carbs" curb hunger. (3) Meal replacements (shakes, drinks, or bars) - high in fiber and protein and low in fat and total calories.
- Reduce body fat - (1) Supplements such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and chromium picolinate help to decrease body fat and increase lean body mass whereas L-carnitine coverts fat to energy. (2) Supplements such as standardized green tea extracts are shown to promote/stimulate thermogenesis, a process that increases body's metabolism such that excess calories in brown adipose (fat) cells are converted to heat energy rather than stored as fat.
- Choose low-glycemic foods and beverages
- Get regular exercise - Perform 30 minutes of physical activity daily
Related Research Articles on Supplements and Weight Management:
Meta-analysis supports CLA's anti-obesity potential May 09, 2007
A meta-analysis of human studies supports claims that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has the potential to help reduce fat mass, highlighting it as a possible aid in the fight against obesity... Read
Science stacks up for CLAs weight management May 07, 2007
Dietary supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) increased lean body mass, adding to previous studies supporting the weight management potential of the ingredient... Read
Fish oil plus exercise linked to weight loss May 23, 2007
A combination of fish oil supplements and exercise led to reductions in fat mass by about 1.5 kg, as well as improving heart health markers, says a new study from Australia... Read