Grow with Words

Kilocalorie ~ a unit of heat equal to 1000 small calories or 4186 joules. Also called large calorie.

Source:  The Free Dictionary

According to the CDC more than 1/3 of adults in the U.S. are obese. These numbers are from the 2012 statistics. They have broken down the cost of obesity and also the state by state outlook on their site.

Obesity has many causes, some of which include overeating—taking in too many calories and not doing enough physical activity to burn those calories. Sometimes it is genetic or health issues that can lead to excessive weight gain.

While there are several possible causes, there is not a one size fits all solution to the problem. To learn more about the obesity rate and things that might help with weight loss check out the CDC site. To learn more about kilocalories check out the Encyclopedia Britannica.

While doing my research I found that the childhood obesity rate is just as high as the adult rate. One of the questions in a .gov article I read is how did we get here? They point to the fact that years ago people led more active lifestyles. Children typically walked to school and had recess at school.

According to adolescents now spend more time with entertainment related activities like computer use, video games, watching movies, etc, than getting in physical activity. Apparently the amount of snacks has increased from one a day to about three a day. They say that increases the calorie count by about 200 calories a day.

Have you ever paid attention to calories? I never used to and the moment I actually looked at the details of what’s going into my body I had that instant, “That many!” response because I never realized certain foods held that many calories.

One thing to pay attention to along with calories is the serving size. If it has 150 calories per serving yet the serving size is 4 then if you eat the entire product you are looking at 600 calories. Is it worth it? Only you can decide that…but do you really need to eat for four people?

My Environmental Health and Science class really opened my eyes to reading the ingredients and understanding what they are. My teacher, the doctor who had worked for the CDC and other government entities, pointed out if you don’t know what it is then write it down, look it up and come back for it if you still feel comfortable eating the product. And of course he pointed out that ingredients are listed by amount. So if sugar is the first listed ingredient it’s because sugar is the highest quantity ingredient in that product.

One of the sites I found years ago while doing my own healthy weight calculations is WebMD. On this site you factor in your physical activity, body height, weight, gender, etc. Each page is tailored to fit the calculations you put in so honesty is key. It gives details about healthy weight, target heart rate and more. You can get all that for free. There are additional pages like creating a plan via the Food Fitness Planner. I have not used that so I don’t know what it entails.

I like the WebMD calculator because it goes beyond BMI and then not only helps you calculate where you are and where you need to be, but it also provides some details on how to get started on the healthy weight journey.


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