Health Matters

Dealing with Obesity

Experts estimate that approximately 70 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and the issue has reached epidemic levels in today’s society.

Obesity is determined by a person’s body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by comparing his or her height and weight. People with a BMI of 30 or greater are considered obese.

What Causes Obesity?

A number of factors can contribute to obesity, including genetics, certain medications that cause weight gain, and—in rare instances—medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome. For the majority of people with obesity, however, the primary causes are overeating (consuming more calories than the body needs for energy and maintenance) and sedentary lifestyle (not getting enough daily physical activity).

 How Can Obesity Affect Me Negatively?

In addition to its often negative impacts on body image and self-esteem, obesity also can diminish quality of life by affecting health, social well-being, job prospects and finances. Specifically with regard to health, over time obesity can lead to serious issues, including the following:

•     High blood pressure

•     High cholesterol

•     Heart disease

•     Stroke

•     Type 2 diabetes

•     Sleep apnea

•     Joint problems caused by excessive weight

•     Osteoarthritis

•     Infertility

•     Certain cancers

What Can You Do About Obesity?

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, obese persons should aim to lose 5-10 percent of their weight. To help lose weight and lower your BMI, be sure to follow these recommendations:

•     Begin by trying to lose just one to two pounds per week.

•     Reduce portion sizes.

•     Avoid sugary drinks like sodas, sports drinks and sweetened fruit juices.

•     Eat mostly fruits and vegetables and lean cuts of meat—preferably white meat.

•     Limit the amount of carbohydrates (e.g., baked goods, pasta, bread) you consume.

•     Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

Also, avoid relying on willpower, trendy dieting fads or “miracle cures” to help you achieve lasting weight loss—long-term success usually requires thoughtful planning, diligent monitoring and sustained motivation. To learn more about your weight-loss options, talk to your healthcare provider.

Next Story

La Salud Importa

Hacer Frente a la Obesidad


Guiding with Compassion Through Difficult Times

Palliative Care Provides Hope, Direction to Patients and Families

Finding a Fix for Chronic Pain

New Sentara Martha Jefferson Service offers Specialized Treatments for Back and Neck Problems

On a Mission to LOSE

Sentara Starr Hill Health Center Helps Keep Patients on Track with Weight-Loss
Presidents Letter

Grateful for Our Community Hospital

The Best Medicine

Shark in the Gene Pool?

Physicians Perspective

Find LOVE Where you Least Expect It

Dr. Romano discusses his unexpected, perfect path.
On-Call Advice

What are the signs of depression and when should you seek help?

When Blue Ridge Region physicians of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and Sentara RMH Medical Center answer your health and wellness questions.
On-Call Advice

What is a tendinitis, and how is the condition treated?

When Blue Ridge Region physicians of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and Sentara RMH Medical Center answer your health and wellness questions.
Improve Health Everyday

Tips for Relieving Dry Skin

Improve Health Everyday

Benefits of Pumpkin

Improve Health Everyday

6 Safety Tips for Ladders

Improve Health Everyday

Stay Active in Cold Weather

Clinical Excellence

The Future of Healthcare Information Technology is Here

Sentara eCare Improves Patient Safety, Satisfaction
Health Matters

Dealing with Obesity

La Salud Importa

Hacer Frente a la Obesidad

Active Living

Digging Deep for Answers: Genetic Counseling Empowers Patients to Take Charge of Their Health

People with a strong family history of cancer often live with a sense of foreboding and dread that they, too will one day be diagnosed with cancer. If knowledge is power, genetic counseling is certainly one powerful means of helping patients assess their risk and make informed healthcare choices.
Aging Well

Keep on Ticking

How to Keep Your Heart healthy as You Age
Eat Well Live Well

Reducing Food Waste

Womens Health

3-D Mammography: Game Changing Technology Detection at Sentara Martha Jefferson and Sentara RMH

Sentara in the Community

Stroke Care Takes Flight in the Blue Ridge Region

Sentara Martha Jefferson and Sentara RMH Partner with AirCare5 to Provide Medevac Service for Stroke Patients.

Gifts From Our Community, Supporting Our Community

Aug. 28, 2016, marked the fifth anniversary of Sentara Martha Jefferson's move to our new hospital on Pantops.

Developing Nurses for the Long Term

Nurse Residency Program Reduces Staff Turnover, Improving Quality Care

Celebrating 10 Years of Palliative Care at Sentara Martha Jefferson


The Caring Tradition Fund: A Nurse's Perspective