Overweight? All Is Not Lost!
September 2017

Need to shed 15 or 25 pounds? Try this trick: Pick up a 15- or 25-pound turkey in the grocery
store (or a bag of soil at the nursery). Then carry it around for a few minutes. Did you find it
tough to do? Extra pounds take a toll, don’t they? But weight gain is often such a gradual
process that you might not even realize it’s happening.1

Sadly, more and more people are dying from weight-related health problems. This includes
high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions. In 2015, 40 percent
of 4 million deaths linked to weight were in people who weren’t even considered obese, just
overweight.2 And for those who gain more, the risks are even greater. For example, 44 extra
pounds in midlife increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 10 times.1 There’s an emotional toll
as well. A recent study found that heavy kids faced three times the risk of depression in

Okay, enough of the scary statistics. I’m here to also say that even small changes can make a
big difference. For example, did you know that losing just 7 percent of your body weight can cut
your risk of diabetes by 60 percent?4

So what can you do? As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s no shortage of weight-loss tips out there.
Here are a few backed by recent research:

    •        Weigh yourself regularly, especially during times of life transition, such as
    pregnancy or marriage. See the number going up? Nip that trend in the bud before it
    gets even harder to do.1

    •        Down water instead of other drinks. Following 16,000 adults, researchers found
    that drinking a glass of water instead of a beer every day reduced the risk of obesity by
    20 percent. Substituting water for sugar-sweetened drinks lowered the risk by 15

    •        Be wary of artificially sweetened drinks, though. Among 1,000 subjects in seven
    clinical trials, aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose showed no major weight-loss
    benefits. In fact, data from 30 observational studies involving 400,000 people showed a
    link between artificial sweeteners and obesity. These kinds of studies, however, can’t
    prove a cause-and-effect relationship.6

    •        “Keep on walking, keep on walking,” to paraphrase Dory from Finding Nemo. A
    global study looked at “activity gaps” and found that waistlines have widened in places
    where walking rates have declined.7 The great thing about this activity is that nearly
    everyone can do it. And it doesn’t cost much, just the price of a good pair of shoes. On
    your walks, you can also try a few quick bursts of fast walking or running to burn extra

    •        Get enough sleep. This link might be something you don’t think much about. But
    studies have shown a lack of sleep may contribute to obesity.  

Of course, it goes without saying that you need to focus on healthy food choices, too. Eat more
vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, and nonfat dairy products. And don’t tempt fate. Keep
sugary, starchy foods out of your house, if you can.8

If lifestyle changes aren’t quite enough to be effective, your doctor may prescribe a medication
or other measures. As you know, I’d be glad to share my insights. Good luck!

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional
advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you
have questions or concerns about a medical condition.


1.        HealthDay: “More Evidence That Midlife Weight Gain Harms Your Health.” Available at:
https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_167272.html Accessed 8-2-17.

2.        HealthDay: “2 Billion Worldwide Are Obese or Overweight.” Available at: https:
//medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_166514.html Accessed 8-2-17.

3.        HealthDay: “Heavy Kids Face Triple the Odds for Depression in Adulthood.” Available at:
https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165743.html Accessed 8-2-17.

4.        WebMD: “Weight and Diabetes: Lose Pounds to Lower Your Risk.” Available at: http:
//www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/diabetes-weight-loss-finding-the-right-path#1 Accessed

5.        HealthDay: “Drink Water, Fight Fat?” Available at: https://medlineplus.
gov/news/fullstory_165714.html Accessed 8-2-17.

6.        HealthDay: “Could Artificial Sweeteners Raise Your Odds for Obesity?” Available at:
https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_167249.html Accessed 8-2-17

7.        NHLBI: “Treatment.” Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-
topics/topics/obe/treatment Accessed 8-2-17.

8.        WebMD: “Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely.” Available at: http://www.webmd.
com/diet/features/lose-weight-fast-how-to-do-it-safely#1 Accessed 8-2-17.
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