New year can bring attention to weight
Published: Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 at 11:11 p.m.
With the start of the New Year, Americans are thinking about losing it. Losing weight, that is.
Approximately 124 million Americans are either on a diet or trying to control their weight, according to recent surveys conducted by the Calorie Control Council, a nonprofit association that has tracked weight loss trends for the past 20 years.
Two-thirds of all adults are overweight, and the alarming trend extends to children, as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 20 to 30 percent of youngsters are now obese or likely to become so.
The council sponsors a national survey every two years to explore Americans' eating and weight control attitudes and habits.
Based on that survey, it predicts the following top five trends in dieting and weight loss for 2004:
Gainesville dietitian Kathryn Parker warns that anyone can lose weight by cutting calories, but it's important to keep the proper balance of carbohydrates and protein in our diet.
"The only carbs we need to be phobic about are the processed sugars in our foods," Parker notes.
"We've just got to make more time to play with our kids, and why not do it through exercise?" Parker asks.
Depending on Web advice alone to guide your diet can be bad news, warns Parker, because those sites are unregulated.
"If you are going to provide diet counseling, you need to be licensed," she said.
Children, following the example of their parents, are caught in the trend.
Type 2 diabetes, once a disease of older, overweight adults, is now being diagnosed in third-graders.
Preventing weight gain and losing excess weight will be top priority as a healthy weight can help protect against type 2 diabetes.
The survey findings are based on a nationally projectable sample of 1,200 Americans age 18 and older, the Calorie Control Council reports.
Diane Chun can be reached at 374-5041 or chund@ gvillesun.com.
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