Everyday Wellness: Reduce the weight, reduce the risk

August 4, 2011

Download image

Diet, fitness and exercise. The latest tips are featured in every magazine and on every talk show. Yet even with so much attention, 33.8 percent of U.S. adults are obese, as are about 17 percent of children and adolescents, ages 2-19.
These statistics can be attributed to lifestyles that are more sedentary and our increased access to more highly processed foods. But regardless of the cause, weight gain is a growing concern, and one that can affect more than just your scale.
Increased risks
Being overweight or obese has been associated with increased risk for several conditions. While being overweight may not be the cause, it does make managing the conditions more difficult. These include:

* High blood pressure.
* Cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease and stroke.
* Type 2 diabetes.
* Gallbladder disease.
* Sleep apnea and respiratory problems.
* Some forms of cancer, including colon, breast and prostate.

The good news is that losing weight and improving your health is achievable. Losing even 5 percent of your body weight can lower your health risks for weight-related disease.
You can do it
If you're overweight, consult with your doctor about starting a wellness program that includes:

* A well-balanced diet: Make sure you're as nutrition-minded as you are calorie-conscious.
* A regular exercise program: Even one daily walk can begin to make a difference in your weight and overall health.

If you're obese, your doctor will need to manage your condition more carefully and focus on reducing the risk of additional health problems.
It's never too late to get started on the road to better health. No matter what your shape or body size, you can reduce your risk for certain diseases and improve your health by eating well and keeping active.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/obesity

How Purdue can help

* One-on-one nutrition counseling
Free one-on-one counseling (www.purdue.edu/hr/WorkLife/counseling.html) with a WorkLife Programs registered dietitian (R.D.) is available. Consultations are also available in Spanish. To make an appointment, complete the nutrition questionnaire (www.purdue.edu/hr/pdf/NutritionQuestionnaire.pdf), print it and send it to WorkLife Programs R.D., VPHR, PWF (campus mail) or 1402 W. State St., PWF, West Lafayette, IN 47907. Call 49-45461 if you have questions.

* Purdue Farmers Market
The Purdue Farmers Market will be open every Thursday through Oct. 27 at the corner of Sheetz and Wood streets. The number of growers and amount of produce on a given day depends on the natural progression of the growing season. For up-to-date information, visit the Purdue Farmers Market website at www.purdue.edu/physicalfacilities/farmersmarket.htm.

* Choose Well, Live Well Personal Health Team
Live Well advocates on Purdue's Choose Well, Live Well Personal Health Team are available to provide nutritional information and counseling at no charge to you. Live Well advocates can also discuss related benefits available through your Purdue medical plan. Contact the health team at 800-767-7141.

* Purdue Medical Plans
All Purdue medical plans cover nutritional counseling and evaluations. Refer to the Purdue Benefits website at www.purdue.edu/benefits to see what your plan offers.