Eating Right and Keeping Fit Keeping a healthy weight is good for your physical and mental well-being. Proper eating habits and moderate exercise are crucial to keeping your weight healthy and your body fit. Being overweight is a problem for many people in the United States. People who are overweight eat more calories than they use. They are more likely to have medical conditions and some cancers. Extreme weight loss and being very underweight also can be bad for your health. This pamphlet will tell you about: • What is a healthy weight for you • The dangers of excess weight • Tips to control your weight What Is a Healthy Weight? To stay healthy, you should keep your weight at the level best for your height. Different tables have been used to show ideal weights. You may have seen tables that suggest different weights for men and women based on age, height or body frame sizes. Today many doctors use the body mass index (BMI) chart shown here to check if your weight is healthy. The BMI compares a persons height to their weight to see if they are overweight. Having a BMI of 20 to 24 is normal, and 25 to 29.9 is overweight. A woman with a score of 30 or higher is obese. The shape of your body is also a factor in keeping a healthy weight. Excess fat in the abdomen (an apple shape) is believed to be a greater health risk than fat in the hips and thighs (a pear shape). To check your body shape: • Measure around your waist near your navel while you stand relaxed. Do not pull in your stomach. • Measure around your hips, over the buttocks, where they are largest. Research in adults suggests that you may be at greater risk for a number of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, if your waist is the same size or larger than your hips. About Fat Everyone must have some body fat. Fat provides a form of energy. Energy not used is stored in the fat cells. If you are overweight, you likely have too much fat stored. Fat normally makes up about 20 percent to 25 percent of a womans body weight. In most cases, men have less body fat - about 15 percent to 20 percent of their body weight. To calculate your body mass index, find your height in inches in the left column. Then look across the line to find your weight in pounds. The number at the top of that column is your BMI. (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1998 June: 139) A certain amount of body fat helps women to maintain their estrogen levels. Estrogen is a female hormone that controls a womans menstrual cycle. The shape of a womans body is partly the result of estrogen. Having too little body fat may cause estrogen levels to drop. If these levels are too low, a womans menstrual periods might become irregular or even stop. Factors That Affect Weight People who are overweight often eat too much and exercise too little. Every function of the body - from building cells to moving muscles - requires energy. Energy is measured in calories. Calories measure how much fuel is in a certain food. When this fuel is burned, calories are used. The body uses only as much of its daily intake of food as it needs for energy. The energy that remains is stored as fat in the body. An average woman needs about 2,200 calories a day. If you eat 3,500 calories more than you burn off, you will gain one pound. A number of factors effect weight gain: • People tend to weigh more as they age. It is normal for people to be a little heavier as they grow older. Doctors think this does not pose a risk to a persons health. • A woman might not lose all of the weight she gained during pregnancy. If this happens with each pregnancy, the weight can add up. • A woman may have a hard time losing weight because of her metabolism - how your body uses the energy found in the foods you eat. People burn food at different rates. Even if you do not o [Ödev Ýndir]