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Weight Loss Trends and Integrated Approaches

Reviewed by Fabio Comana, American Council on Exercise

According to recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 65 percent of all U.S. citizens are overweight. Even worse, the organization has estimated that 30 percent, totaling more than 60 million Americans, are obese. And more than 12.5 million children age 2 to 19 are overweight, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

For centuries, standard diet and exercise was the norm. Since that has changed in modern society, weight-related issues have become a priority in the health fields; obesity is better addressed, services are more easily accessible and whole wellness initiatives continue to rise.

The cause of excessive weight is no mystery. The effects of excessive weight are becoming painfully clear. In recent years, excessive weight has been more conclusively linked to many medical conditions, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and osteoporosis. Excessive weight can also be linked to psychological difficulties such as mood swings and lack of confidence. Proper diet and exercise can slow the aging process, improving skin tone or texture and reducing wrinkles. Weight loss is a multifaceted concern, meaning that it must be addressed in multiple ways, including

  • regular physical examinations by a doctor
  • body fitness assessments by fitness professionals
  • diet-and-nutrition services, information online and bookstores

For the past half century, weight loss programs have evolved into an integrated strategy — a cooperative effort involving the consumer and the healthcare industry. According to MarketResearch.com, approximately 30 percent of women online are interested in losing weight. About 57 percent of American consumers are interested in buying and cooking healthier food. The employment outlook posted by the National Department of Labor indicates that the need for fitness and recreational workers will increase by 21 to 35 percent — an indication that more people are looking for the help of fitness experts.

People are beginning to benefit from advanced services provided by healthcare organizations, the food industry and health clubs. New multifaceted weight-control strategies are a positive trend for maintaining proper weight.

Services at a Glance

  • Calorie Density Buzz: The North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) forecasted a calorie-density buzz for 2005. The idea behind calorie density is that if we replace high-calorie foods with more nutritious foods that are filling — while eating smaller portions of foods high in calories — we can reduce an average of 800 calories from our daily diet. The organization recently published a book entitled The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Fuller on Fewer Calories.
  • Low-carb, high-protein has been the focus of restaurateurs who now offer more nutritional selections. Ruby Tuesday has launched many healthy choices on their menu as part of their Smart Eating Program. TGI Friday's has partnered with Atkins to produce appetizers and entrees. Chili's Restaurant is offering entrees with 15 carbs or less.
  • Online dieting has become quite the craze as well. Websites such as caloriescount.com, jennycraig.com, a-personaldietitian.com, and dietwatch.com offer a new approach to dieting.
  • Weight-loss frozen dinners and entrees dominate the supermarket retail sales category, according to MarketResearch.com.
  • Health Clubs have integrated the services of personal trainers and nutritionists to meet the demand for an integrated weight-control approach. The American Council on Exercise offers a healthy recipe guide.
  • Physician services to treat obesity is a growing trend. Bariatric physicians offer integrated and referral services for obesity treatment. Bariatric surgeons perform gastric bypass surgery as a last resort. Plastic surgeons perform liposuction, tummy tuck, panniculectomy and a host of other procedures to address difficult weight-loss issues. For issues of appearance, helpful cosmetic plastic surgery procedures also include neck-lift, facelift and eyelid surgery.
Learn more about weight loss surgery

Why Do We Use These Services?

When it comes to diet and exercise, you'll need to set and achieve sub-goals towards the weight-level and appearance you want to achieve in your ultimate health-and-beauty goal. With a busy lifestyle, you'll want to keep the weight loss process as simple as possible. Below are the top 10 reasons for using the health industry's available weight-loss services.

  1. To Obtain a Greater Quality of Life: Without question, proper diet and exercise lead to a greater quality of life.
  2. To Live Longer: By maintaining proper diet and exercise, we reduce the risk of medical conditions and disease.
  3. To Be Educated: Understanding the reasons behind diet and exercise.
  4. To Be Motivated: Personal fitness trainers and dieticians offer motivation.
  5. To Be Held Accountable: Instantaneous calculating, online recipes, personal trainers, dieticians, and regular doctor visits are all part of today's integrated approach.
  6. To Prevent Injury and Medical Conditions: Proper diet and exercise is known to reduce the likelihood of injury and medical conditions.
  7. To Heal Our Bodies: The right foods, with the right vitamins and minerals, along with exercise can offer tremendous healing benefits.
  8. To Set Realistic Goals: With all of the information learning opportunities today, we can set realistic time frames to reach our goals.
  9. To Have Easy Access: Restaurants with low carb-high protein offerings, growing numbers of personal trainers and a wealth of information on the Internet make the process easier than ever.
  10. To Reach Goals in Half the Time: Constant motivation, accountability, reminders and better information help to reach goals in half the time.

Integrated Approaches with the Help of Professionals

For diet and exercise today, you can find support in many areas: restaurants, weight loss professionals, doctors, health-club workers and healthcare organization leaders. It makes sense to seek help from a professional, just as you would for any important life-changing decision. You'll want to find the right professionals for your needs, who fit your lifestyle and our checkbook.

Understanding integrated services is important in today's world. Successful strategies may include a combination of plastic surgery procedures, skin treatments, diet-and-nutrition schedules, exercise regimen and an overall lifestyle shift as you assess your individualized health-and-beauty goals. Taking advantage of available services, and customizing them to your needs, is a big part of today's healthcare trends.

About the Reviewer of This Article

Fabio Comana is the manager of certification and exam development for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and instructor for a San Diego ACE-affiliated extension program. Mr. Comana is an ACE-certified personal trainer, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a certified health and fitness instructor.





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