Friday, 8 June 2012


If we eat more than we need, the surplus food is converted into, and stored as, fat. For reasons that are not understood, but may have genetic basis, some people gain weight more readily than others. In fact, researchers have discovered a gene that appears to promote obesity. Hormones may also play a role.
    Invariably, eating too much food and exercising too little are the key factors. One theory holds that each person has a biological set point for his or her "ideal" weight, and that the body adjusts its metabolism to maintain this set point whenever the person eats more or less than is expended. This set point theory may be valid ; nevertheless, research shows that we can reset our set point through gradual weight loss and increased physical activity.
    Set a good example. While obesity often seems to run in families, the truth may be that parents who overeat encourage overeating in their children. It is true that fat cells are laid down in childhood and remain for a lifetime. They may grow larger or smaller to accommodate fat stores, but the number remains the same. That's why a person who was obese as a child may always store fat more readily than a person who started life thin.
    Because metabolism slows with age, some put on weight as they approach middle age. Older people also may be less active; in either case, calorie needs decline with age, and a persons food intake should be scaled back accordingly.


Women who gain 45 lb (20 kg) or more after the age of 18 are twice as likely to develop breast cancer after
menopause than those who remain the same weight.

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