January is Healthy Weight Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

5 January, 2011

LAS VEGAS – One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is “I will lose weight and exercise more.” It is also one that goes by the wayside by February. The annual resolution should be revised to “I want to reach a healthy weight.” The Southern Nevada Health District’s office of chronic disease prevention and health promotion has online programs, diabetes self management classes and other tips to help anyone reach his goals. Information is available by visiting www.GetHealthyClarkCounty.org.

The most important step is to identify what a healthy weight is and what it is not. A healthy weight is one that optimizes health and the weight your body settles on when you are eating healthfully and you are physically active. It is not just a number on the scale. A body feels its best and works at its most efficient when it is at a healthy weight.

In 2009, 25.8 percent of Nevada’s adults were considered obese. The figure was 13.3 percent in 1995. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that by 2050, if current trends continue, one in three Americans will have diabetes and obesity is a leading culprit in the expected increase. Currently, one in 10 Americans has diabetes today. In addition, a rapidly increasing number of children are overweight or considered obese and 70 percent of overweight or obese children will become overweight adults.

The first step to achieving a healthy weight is to make a commitment to change your lifestyle and to make an assessment of your weight or your child’s weight by determining body-mass-index (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/) and waist circumference (http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing), evaluating your eating habits and physical activity as well as stress and sleep habits. Contact your physician or health care provider if you have questions about losing weight safely.

Remember to set realistic goals and monitor your progress. A realistic goal is to lose five to 10 percent of your body weight by losing one to two pounds each week. This is considered a healthy weight loss plan. It is important to remember that the best diet is the one that works for you and your family. Avoid quick-loss programs, fasts or diets that claim a specific food is off limits. A nutrient-rich diet encourages low calorie foods like fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy. Portion control is equally important to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Even small weight loss can be beneficial and reduce some of the risks associated with being overweight or obese. In addition to diabetes, obesity can also lead to arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Other consequences of obesity include difficulty sleeping, snoring or sleep apnea, joint pain, excessive sweating, depression, shortness of breath, rashes and more.

“There is so much information and misinformation out there that many people get mixed messages about what they should and should not do when it comes to diet and weight loss,” said Deborah Williams, manager of the Southern Nevada Health District’s office of chronic disease prevention and health promotion.

The health district’s Get Healthy Clark County website includes information about healthy weight loss, diabetes, chronic disease prevention and nutrition. All online programs are free.

Ongoing programs include the 10 in 10 Challenge, which kicks off in February 2011, the Nutrition Challenge, which encourages participants to eat more fruits and vegetables, and the Get Healthy Meal Planner which allows participants to incorporate their favorite foods in a healthy meal plan. There is also a program where a health educator/registered dietitian can provide group tours around a local grocery store to help shoppers make smarter choices while they’re food shopping. In addition, there are physical activity programs, like Walk Around Nevada, a program that helps participants track their progress as they trek around the state.

Updated information about the Southern Nevada Health District can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, on YouTube www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict or Twitter www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo.

Visit the Media Contacts webpage for media related inquiries.

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Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo, and Instagram: www.instagram.com/southernnevadahealthdistrict/. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD.  Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.