Obesity is a present health concern in the US and it’s important that it is continued to be discussed about. In order to prevent and decrease obesity rates in the US, there have been many attempts and programs to help people better understand what causes obesity, how to prevent it, and the ways we can educate people on it.
Some quick facts from a research conducted by CDC:
“Childhood obesity is associated with negative health consequences in childhood (1) that continue into adulthood (2), putting adults at risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers (1). Obesity disproportionately affects children from low-income families (3).
Overall obesity prevalence increased from 14.0% in 2000 to 15.5% in 2004 and 15.9% in 2010, and then decreased to 14.5% in 2014. During 2010–2014, the prevalence of obesity decreased significantly overall, among non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, American Indian/Alaska Natives and Asians/Pacific Islanders, and among 34 (61%) of the 56 WIC state agencies in states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.” – CDC
Who is generally at risk for obesity:
People without access to healthy food/alternative food options
What can we do to prevent obesity?
Spread the knowledge of obesity among friends, families, peers, co-workers, etc. through various use of communications and social media platforms
Encourage people to live a active, balance, and healthier lifestyle by:
Encouraging healthy habits
Participating in activities outside of home/schools/work environment
Buying produces at local markets/groceries or partaking in a community garden or growing your own produces
Using other methods of transportation such as walking, biking, skating, etc.
“National Park and Recreation Month is a time to promote the benefits of healthy, vibrant communities.” – http://www.nrpa.org/
National Park & Recreation Month encourages people to go outdoors, connect with local parks/reservations/recreations, and enjoy their time outside. It promotes people to reconnect with nature and to become more aware and supportive of our environment. “Today, the average American spends 93% of their life indoors – 87% in buildings and 6% in vehicles” (NRPA). Fun fact: Americans have celebrated National Park and Recreation Month during July since 1985 (NRPA).
Here are some ways in which you can participant in this month’s event:
Go outside to your local parks!
Visit/volunteer a reservation site!
Go walking/biking at your local trails!
Share the message on your social media and with people around you!
Remember to ask other people to join you outdoors!
(NaturalNews) As we grow older, we tend to worry more and more about our memory. Lapses in memory that we didn’t give much importance to when we were younger now seem to have a new meaning. It is common to do such things such as misplace things like car keys, eyeglasses and cell phones, to draw a blank on a friend’s name, to walk into a room and forget why we went there in the first place. However, although we all have had these experiences, as we age, we tend to worry about what these lapses could mean. It is important to realize that, contrary to popular belief, memory loss is not a natural process of aging. Our brains are capable of making new brain cells at any given age.
Memory loss becomes serious when it interferes with our daily activities
Examples of this are:
Not being able to perform daily tasks, such as paying bills, dressing properly, tending to daily hygiene, etc.
Getting lost in familiar places, such as an immediate neighborhood
Repeating the same phrases and questions in the same conversation
Being unable to recall recent events
Repeatedly misusing or garbling words
Difficulty in making choices
Exhibiting socially inappropriate behavior.
In these cases, a diagnosis is needed to determine the root of the cause.
Often though, there is a physical reason for these memory lapses. For example, there may be a nutritional deficiency or it could be due to a faulty thyroid. In older adults, dehydration could be the cause. Excessive alcohol consumption creates brain toxicity and increases the risk of such conditions as Alzheimer’s and dementia. By the same note, smoking can cause vascular disorders that can limit oxygen to the brain.
Keeping cognitive functions in a healthy state entails leading a healthy lifestyle
Making sure that the body gets the nutrition it needs includes:
Regular physical exercise which decreases the risk of memory loss and encourages the production of new brain cells.
Exercising the brain is also important. Activities such as reading, working crossword puzzles, and playing strategic games such as chess or scrabble will lower the risk of mental decline.
Proper nutrition that focuses on lots of fruits, vegetables, and foods containing Omega 3 fatty acids. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables serve to help keep the brain healthy and Omega 3’s help to retain memory.
Giving the body the rest it needs. Sleep is necessary for all aspects involving cognitive function. Sleep deprivation leads to poor memory, concentration and decision-making.
Avoding stress. Stress is a very common cause of memory loss. Stress dramatically increases the ability of toxins to pass through the blood-brain barrier. Also, prolonged stress results in high cortisol levels in the body which results in impaired memory. Efforts should be made to alleviate stress. One effective way is by laughing. As opposed to emotions that affect only specific areas of the brain, laughter affects wider areas. After all, they say that laughter is the best medicine.
Supplements that prevent and help to reverse memory loss
Ginkgo Biloba has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years to treat memory loss.
Colloidal Gold improves memory, concentration, and mental focus.
Acetyl-I Carnatine also improves mental focus, as do amino acids such as L-Tryptophan, 5HTP, and Tyrosine.
B-Complex Vitamins help to prevent memory loss.
Inositol helps the brain to process information.
Choline helps in overall brain function.
Fortify your brain with antioxidants which include carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine).Sources:
Exercising can be a difficult thing to do. Not everyone particularly enjoy it or can develop a habit of working out. It is hard because there may be not enough time, motivation, and everyone’s body is different, etc. But if you’re struggling to decide who you can be active, here are a few tips what to do.
Yoga has been long known to be great for the body and mind. It can help relax the body in ways that releases stress, increases flexibility, and usage of different body muscles. The best part is that anyone from beginner to expert can learn, even together. Yoga ranges from different types such as hot to spiritual to healing and more.
2. Eating clean(er)
If you can’t work out first, then start being healthier by eating cleaner. Eating habits are challenging because we are so used to eating what we want. Not only this can help with self discipline, but improve your overall health. Recommended foods that should be cut or consume less is processed and fast food. Those are often filled with unhealthy fat, sugar, and oil. Try to eat fresh (better if also organic) produces or simply cook your own dishes. This way you can control how much you eat and know what you are putting in your body.
3. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a type of Chinese martial art that has been practiced by many different kinds of people for a long period of time. In today’s world, it is still practice for its healthy benefits. It can help the body (and mind) meditate, condition, flexibility, and strength. Many believe that by practicing Tai Chi can help lengthen the life of people. This form of exercise is great for beginners to start out with something simple and easy to learn.
4. Become part of a group!
If you dislike being active alone, join a group/club that requires you to be active. Dance groups, outdoor cleaning programs, garden clubs, sport teams, and even participation in social events will allow you to be active with other people. You can become more encouraged and motivated to be active by being socially engaged. Just make sure to find the right one for you.
According to www.cdc.gov, obesity and/or overweight are labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height.
So what exactly can contribute to obesity within people? Here is the quick guide about what factors that may be lead to obesity.
The way we live affects our body’s health and it can sometimes show through our weight, skin, eyes, hair, and more. If we tend to have little physical activities it will or may become a habit. Or it could be the choices of foods or our eating habit. It could cause a problem with our body because there is an unbalance between intake of calories and output of energy. So balance is the very key to keeping our body healthy so that our body doesn’t take in more calories than needed for our daily activities.
Genetics can be a reason why some people have more difficult time maintaining their weight or was born and struggled with being over-weighted. Having a family history in obesity can be concern and often times, it could lead to other health related problems; therefore, one should consult with their doctor for any weight concerns and questions.
Sometimes, there are things that we take in or do that may affect our body. For example, a taking a type of drug or medicine could increase or decrease your weight. If you are on a form of birth control or using a drug for something, it is required to consult with your doctor because no one knows entirely how it may affect your body.
Depending on where we live, our surrounding environment is one of the main factors that affects our physical activities. For example, one person may live in a neighborhood that does not have proper walking conditions and no walking or bicycling trails nearby. It could be a possibly reason why they would avoid going outside or not being as motivated to be more active in their environment. So our environment does an impact on how we chose to be more active and interact with out surroundings.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census the eight largest Asian American populations in Minnesota are the Hmong, Asian Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino, Laotian, and Cambodian community. Specifically, 27 percent of the total population identify themselves as Hmong, 15.5 percent are Asian Indian, 11.7 percent are Chinese, 11.1 percent are Vietnamese, 4.9 percent are Laotians, and 3.9 percent are Cambodians (See Figure 2).
Minnesota is home to over 40 different Asian Pacific Minnesotan immigrant and refugee communities. Each community has its own strengths and challenges that may be unique to that ethnic community. The following is an overview of how the Laotian community is faring in Minnesota.
Following a similar path as other AAPI refugees displaced by the Vietnam War, the Laotian community arrived in Minnesota in the late 1970s and 1980s to rebuild their lives.[i] Approximately 12,000 Laotians live in mostly urban counties in the Twin Cities and earn a median income of $40,000, which is the lowest income range among all eight AAPI ethnic communities. Laotian Americans have high unemployment rates at 12.7 percent. Over 40 percent of the Laotian population earned less than a high school diploma.i APA ComMNet REACH CORE project staff and volunteers met with Laotian American community members and leaders throughout the Twin Cities to understand the community’s strengths, challenges and other social and environmental factors affecting its overall health and wellbeing.
Laotian American Community Strengths
Laotian Americans who participated in this project stated that their strong family and community connections are important in improving the health and wellbeing of their community. Family members rely on each other for support and often visit with one another to talk about issues affecting their family or community. Sunny Chanthanouvong, Executive Director of the Lao Assistance Center, stated in his key informant interview that health information is usually spread using family and community network. Knowledge about diseases and preventive health practices are often communicated through storytelling and discussions during small get-togethers or at large community events. “We talk about sickness and health, we talk about the need for people to get exercise and eat healthy,” said Sunny Chanthanouvong who added that good as well as bad experiences of community members when dealing with health issues are often shared with one another.
Laotian American Community Challenges
Laotian Americans indicated that many in their community live in distressed neighborhoods and physical exercise as well as healthy eating habits may sometimes be difficult for members of the community. Due to their relatively recent introduction to the American health care system, some Laotian Americans may not be familiar with preventive practices to deter diseases or how certain disease can spread through different channels. Sunny Chanthanouvong explained how his organization attempts to educate Laotian Americans on flu prevention.
“It’s very important to help the community to truly understand the concept – where it’s coming from. People say that you have to save money for retirement, but what does that really mean? When there’s flu going around, they tell us, wash your hands to keep flu away but they still shake hands with someone who is sick. There is something behind just washing the hands, you have to tell the purpose for it, it’s not going to help much…we need deeper education.”
– Sunny Chanthanouvong, Executive Director of the Lao Assistance Center on educating the Lao American community about infectious diseases
In addition, APA ComMNet Health survey results show that the Laotian American community exhibited high tobacco use with nearly 30 percent of Laotian Americans stating that they frequently smoked cigarettes (Figure 3). Anecdotally, Laotian Americans also indicated that alcohol use was prevalent in the community especially during family and community celebrations despite the lack of evidence from this study affirming this notion. Laotian Americans added that smoking and drinking are common practices in Laos and young Laotian Americans who were raised in the U.S. often see their parents drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes leading many Laotian American youth to believe that such behaviors are normal and adopt their parents’ addictive habits as their own.
[i] Minnesota Historical Society, 2013. “Becoming Minnesotan: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees.” St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved January 8, 2013 (http://education.mnhs.org/immigration/)