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NHM Health Focus: Healthy Weight


January 2009

Healthy Weight Resources:
  – Weight-control Information Network (NIDDK)
  – Assessing Your Risk (NHLBI)
  – Controlling Your Weight (NHLBI)
  – BMI Calculator (NHLBI
  – Portion Distortion (quiz) (NHLBI)
  – Menu Planner (NHLBI)
  – National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
  – Food and Nutrition Resources for Teachers (USDA)
  – Health Risks of being Overweight (NHLBI)
  – Exercise and Childhood Obesity (HealthPolitics)
  – Childhood Obesity on the Rise (NIH)
  – Obesity (NLM - MedlinePlus)
  – The Real Story Behind Obesity (HealthPolitics)

Healthy Weight Initiatives
  – Healthy People 2010 (HHS)
  – Obesity Education Initiative
  – Hearts N' Parks (NHLBI) and (NRPA)

Here’s a frightening (and confusing) thought: As the average weight of people in the United States continues to climb (as much as two pounds per year according to some accounts), increasing numbers of anorexia and bulimia cases are being seen in both men and women.

Healthy Weight Week "is an annual, national observance that focuses attention on the importance of staying at a healthy weight. This is especially important now that more Americans than ever are overweight. According to the U.S. Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity ..., approximately 300,000 adult deaths in the United States each year can be attributed to unhealthy dietary habits and physical inactivity or sedentary behavior."

In our quest for information about selecting and maintaining healthy weight, we may find ourselves confronted by methods that may do more harm than good. Tips on how to detect and avoid fraudulent "get healthy" schemes can be found at Quackwatch, Healthy Weight Network, National Council Against Health Fraud, and Diet Reviews among others. Each year the Slim Chance Awards highlight some of the worst offenders.

On the positive side, Weight-control Information Network provides the general public, health professionals, the media, and Congress with up-to-date, science-based information on weight control, obesity, physical activity, and related nutritional issues.

A recently published review of 1,500 weight loss studies and of 10 commercial or self-help programs found little evidence that formal weight loss programs help. Experts do have some suggestions that will help motivated dieters succeed.

U.S. National Institutes of Health and Dietitians - Canada, have posted quizzes and other resources designed to help individuals assess their current levels of exercise, body mass, and perception of appropriate portion sizes, and to move toward a healthier life style in the New Year.

Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum has these resources related to healthy weight:


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