Managing Weight: a Key to Health and Personal Well-Being

Weight management acquires special significance in today's America where extra weight is turning into a major problem affecting vast masses of population. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that "more than 56 percent of grownups in the U.S. are overweight or obese" (Gorrell, 2002). Therefore, decision of weight problems and additional weight and discovering new efficient ways to slim down protecting health are topical concerns for lots of. At the exact same time, it is very important to create strategies that will keep the weight within limits.

Among the steps utilized to evaluate the additional weight in individuals, the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated utilizing the person's weight and height, is the most popular. Although it does not specifically indicate the quantity of physical fat, it does "associate to direct steps of body fat, such as undersea weighing and double energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)" (CDC, 2006). Although this step offers fairly little information about possible health dangers arising from extra weight, it is used by physician as a quick-and-dirty estimates of potential issues.

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The formula for the Body Mass Index utilizing pounds and inches is as follows:

BMI= [weight (pound)/ height (in)/ height (in)] x 703

The normal body weight is expected to range between 18.5 and 24.9, while people with a BMI going beyond 30 are expected to be obese.

It is very important to discover out whether one's body is overweight or not due to the fact that weight has strong impact on human health. Health risks related to additional weight consist of, but are not restricted to "Type 2 diabetes, heart illness and stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, gallbladder illness, and fatty liver disease" (NIH, 2004).

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The increased incidence of heart stroke in obese people is explained by the increase in LDL ("bad") cholesterol in their blood and rise in high blood pressure.

In this case, the link is explicit, while the reasons for which extra weight increases the frequency of type 2 diabetes are not exactly clear, although the scholars have established a clear correspondence. The same is true for augmented cancer risk. With sleep apnea, a condition “in which a person stops breathing for short periods during the night”, the risk is increased by the presence of large amounts of fat around a person’s neck in case of extra weight.

These health risks are enough of a reason to make overweight people aspire to lose at least part of their extra bodily fat. Added to this are the standards of beauty accepted in society that underscore the importance of being slim and even skinny to appeal to others, in particular for women. This is why most overweight people try to struggle to attain two desired end goals – lose weight and keep it off once lost.

Scholars state that to lose weight, a person needs “to make long-term changes in eating and physical activity habits” (NIH, 2004). A healthy diet will include “vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low-fat meat and dairy products” (NIH, 2004). To keep the weight off, at least 30 minutes of regular physical activity a day is recommended. This can be walking or other types of exercising. To lose extra weight, more may be needed.

While exercise is a sound option, many people prefer to control their weight relying primarily on changes in their eating habits. Common diets include low-fat, low-carb, glycemic-index diets, meal replacing and meal providing diets, and group approaches.

Recent disappointment in the effectiveness of low-fat diets that can lead to a large number of calories consumed even in the case of low-fat product consumption led to the increased popularity of low-carb and other diets. The logic behind low-carb dieting is that “a decrease in carbs results in the lower insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy” (Mayo Clinic, 2006). However, it is not always effective either and is rather difficult to maintain. The problem with diets is that people tend to drop out of them after a while, after which they tend to gain weight again.

This is why many people turn to comprehensive weight loss programs that enable patients to lose weight relying on a variety of methods and ways. In addition to establishing an individualised health program in which experienced doctors will select appropriate diet with the necessary number of calories. Supplementing the diet can be weight loss medications that are usually applied in clinical weight loss programs to patients suffering from severe extra weight with a BMI in excess of 30, or 27 for those experiencing health problems because of extra weight (NIH, 2004).

If the doctor believes that the medications are not enough to correct the patient’s problem, the professional can prescribe gastrointestinal surgery, also called bariatric surgery. This operation focuses on the isolation of a part of the stomach so as to reduce the amount of food consumed and rearrangement of the small intestine, the actions intended to reduce the intake of calories. It can change the eating habits; however, it does not entail a miracle and is applied only to those patients whose BMI is over 40 (NIH, 2004).

The main challenge comes after the weight loss program that was successful – keeping the weight within healthy limits. One of the ways to accomplish this goal is to continue strict monitoring of the diet, in particular by eating a low-carb, low-fat breakfast. Professionals at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) founded by joint efforts of the Universities of Colorado and Pittsburgh in 1993 supervise such patients, unwilling to gain weight after they successfully shed it in special programs.

These patients are advised to engage in physical activity, “burning an average of 2,800 calories per week each, which is roughly equivalent to walking four miles a day” (Gorrell, 2002). The researchers of the NWCR found that self-control is an essential component of the weight maintenance effort.

Thus, weight control and fighting extra weight is a serious challenge. Given the high prevalence of this problem in contemporary America, it is important to devote attention to weight management on the national level. Losing and keeping weight off requires strenuous efforts, but they are rewarded for those who take their health and looks seriously and exercise rigid self-control, remembering to seek expert advice.

Works Cited

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). BMI — Body Mass Index: About BMI for Adults. 30 May 2006. 11 July 2006 <>.

Gorrell, Carin. “Fit for life: keeping the weight off: shedding those extra pounds is a struggle, but even more difficult is keeping them off. Now, as the proven health benefits of slimming down are weighing in, researchers are learning what it takes to maintain long-term weight loss.”  Psychology Today (Jan-Feb, 2002). 11 July 2006 <>.

Mayo Clinic. (2006). Weight-loss options: 6 common diet plans. 11 July 2006 <>.

National Institutes of Health (NIH). Do You Know the Health Risks of Being Overweight? 11 July 2006 <>.

Updated: Nov 20, 2023
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Managing Weight: a Key to Health and Personal Well-Being. (2017, Apr 04). Retrieved from

Managing Weight: a Key to Health and Personal Well-Being essay
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