The American Obesity Foundation is committed to highlighting current research so our members have the latest information to help guide them along their health journey.
Information equals power.
Fact 1: The reduction in the frequency of the meal or the overall energy intake coupled with vigorous exercise promotes weight loss.
- Glycogen stores in the body takes about ten to twelve (10-12) hours to be depleted by the liver, hence, if one eats three meals every day, as prescribed by the Standard American Diet (SAD), it is very unlikely this will occur. However, intermittent energy restriction, such as, reduction in the time window in food consumption, will hasten this process which bodes well for overall health. According to world-class researcher, Mark Mattson of the National Institute of Health (NIH), intermittent energy restriction bolsters brain power because it’s a challenge to the brain, by which, the brain adapts by opening adaptive stress response pathways, to help cope and resist disease (reduces inflammation, reduces oxidative stress, bolsters energy level, etc.)
Fact 2: Make your environment work for you not against you. Start by throwing out all the junk foods/snacks, such as salty crackers, cakes, sweets from your refrigerators and kitchen cabinets. Remember, prevention is better than cure. The initial withdrawal period will be difficult, but kepp the end goal in mind.
Fact 3: To prevent childhood obesity, families need convenient access to healthy, affordable foods. Recent data shows that just in New York City, approximately, 400,000 children live in homes that lack access. Far too many families, especially, those from under-served and underprivileged neighborhoods do not have enough nutritious food to eat each day, resulting in food insecurity. Plus, childhood obesity is an epidemic, leading to life-threatening health problems, such as, diabetes, heart conditions and even cancer. Against this backdrop, AOF actively works with area-based community organizations in support of the following:
- Improvements to the nutritional value of the food children eat in schools, child care centers and after-school programs
- Support increasing children’s physical activity by improved compliance with physical education mandates by NYC schools, as well as, through making activities available in after-school programs and City parks and playgrounds
- Advocate to expand education for children, adolescents and parents, especially, under-served communities, about good nutrition and ways to reduce the obesity scourge.
- Support efforts that help New Yorkers, and particularly, under-privileged communities across America, make healthy food choices, such as, legislation eliminating trans-fats, and policies to tax the sizes of sugary drinks.
- AOF advocates to protect and expand public programs that provide meals to children and assist families purchase food, such as, SNAP, WIC (Women, Infant & Children), and emergency food stamps
- Supports the effort to enlarge the number of eligible children who participate in free and reduced-price school meals and Summer Meals Programs.
- AOF heralds sustained efforts that make it possible for children to eat breakfast before the start of the school day.
- The American Obesity Foundation is in the forefront of pushing ahead initiatives to bring affordable fruits and vegetables to communities that lack healthy retail alternatives (also known as, food deserts) and the expansion of SNAP and WIC at farmer’s markets.
Other considerations for obesity support & treatment:
Locate a farmers market where fresh fruits and vegetables are inexpensive and readily accessible. Stock up on what is in season and freeze/preserve any surplus you have leftover.
Plan, prepare and eat regular meals with your children. Aside from helping children eat healthier, it is a critical bonding experience for the entire family.
Find a local support group to promote a healthy culture, particularly, eating and living well, in your home, housing complex, workplace, school, houses of worship and community. If a health support group is non-existent, be proactive and start one. It is important you don’t just keep what you know to yourself. Spread the word about healthy living and become part of America’s crusade for a healthy culture, especially, within under-served communities.
Exercise whenever and wherever you, your children and pets can comfortably do so. Even, a half-hour brisk walk around the block on a regular basis has been shown to do much good for the body and the mind. If you have pets, take them along with you as well.