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by Maria Lloyd
In the black community, we have a way of excusing those who appear to be overweight. In fact, so many of us are overweight that being unhealthy is almost an expected way of life in our community. We’ve become so comfortable with obesity that we can now laugh at it.
Rapper Rick Ross — who probably weighs 350 lbs or more — always takes off his shirt during concerts. One of his bre*sts is about the size of a person’s head, yet the crowd continues to cheer him on and women continue to line up backstage to go to the hotel with him. Why is that? Comedian Tracy Morgan poked fun at his own weight during Spike TV’s tribute to comedian Eddie Murphy last night. But is his weight gain really a laughing matter?
The truth of the matter is, the health problems that come from obesity are not funny. We, as a community, have got to take control of our health by educating ourselves about things that cause weight gain so that we can practice healthier lifestyles.
Below are five surprising things that cause weight gain acquired from WebMd.com.
1. Lack of Sleep
The body functions best when well rested. “When you don’t get enough sleep, your body experiences physiological stress and, biochemically, you store fat more efficiently,” say Michelle May, MD, author of Am I Hungry? What to Do When Diets Don’t Work.2. Stress
Many people reach for food to help ease the stress. But, of course, this doesn’t work in the long run. Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, says stress eaters tend to prefer high-carbohydrate foods because these foods trigger an increase in the brain chemical serotonin, which has a calming effect. “It is almost like self-medicating,” she says. “Many people binge on starchy foods to make themselves feel better.”
Some prescription drugs used to treat depression, mood disorders, seizures, migraines, b***d pressure, and diabetes can cause weight gain, from a modest amount to as much as 10 pounds per month. Some steroids, hormone replacement therapy, and even oral contraceptives may also cause gradual weight creep. Your medicine cabinet might be the cause of your weight gain if you’ve gained 5 or more pounds in a month without a change in your lifestyle.
4. Medical Conditions
The most common medical condition that causes weight gain is hypothyroidism. A deficiency of thyroid hormone can decrease metabolism, causing appetite loss and weight gain.
Women reach menopause at a range of ages, but most are in midlife and are often less physically active than when they were younger. Along with aging comes a natural slowing of metabolism. At the same time, hormonal changes can trigger hunger, depression, and poor sleep.
Let’s get serious about health and fitness in our community. We need to hold each other accountable and motivate each other to eat healthier and exercise. Also, I must add that slim people are not to be confused with being healthy or fit. They must also practice living a healthier lifestyle.