How an Obesity Screening Can Save Your Life

February 4, 2013

Woman Eating Salad in Kitchen
Look in the mirror. What do you see: Skinny? Healthy? Obese? Maybe just a tad overweight? Regardless of your fitness level, heart health, or body mass index, your answer is based on your personal perception.??Here???s the problem: As Americans become increasingly overweight and obese, our perception shifts. Overweight is the new normal, obese is the new overweight, and so on.

The bottom line is your physical appearance does not accurately measure your health; a trained physician can. I???m not implying that everyone who perceives themselves as healthy is obese, but I am urging everyone to be screened. The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, which recommend obesity screening for all adults and behavioral counseling for adults with a BMI of 30 or higher.

You know the risks associated with obesity, and you made a promise to yourself on Jan. 1 to change. Don???t let that motivation slip away now. According to the American Journal of Medicine, with the help of one of CMWL???s doctors and behavioral counseling, you have the potential to lose, on average, 11.1 percent of your excess weight in 12 weeks.

Getting screened for obesity, which includes a detailed report of your body fat percentage, BMI, and water weight, can save your life. And if after your screening you find out you???re perfectly healthy, no harm is done. In the meantime, here are small changes you can make today to be on the road to better health:

Be Mindful: Think before you eat. Food is fuel, and sometimes we lose sight of this. Many social settings revolve around food. It???s almost as if it has become a form of entertainment. Yes, you should enjoy what you eat, but starting today, make a point to think about what it???s doing for your body???that Greek yogurt is providing your body with probiotics that aid digestion, a handful of almonds is giving you energy to keep you feeling full throughout the day, etc.

Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep: It???s not always about cutting calories. Those zzzs influence your weight too. Some studies link sleep to increased appetite, specifically cravings for fattening, sugary foods. Even with a time-crunched schedule, make sleep a priority. What could you possibly be doing at 2 a.m. that can???t wait until the next day? Your waistline will thank you for those extra hours of rest.

Move: If you???re like many Americans, you???re glued to a chair for most hours of the day. Make a point to get up and move. Take a walk outside or stand while you work for a few hours. Not only will you burn calories, but a mental break with some fresh air will clear your mind, allowing you to be more productive.

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