Obesity : Prevention

Obesity experts suggest that a key to preventing excess weight gain is monitoring fat consumption rather than counting calories.

The National Cholesterol Education Program maintains that only 30% of calories should be derived from fat. Only one-third of those calories should be contained in saturated fats (the kind of fat found in high concentrations in meat, poultry, and dairy products).

Eating three balanced, moderate-portion meals a day—with the main meal at mid-day—is a more effective way to prevent obesity than fasting or crash diets. Exercise increases the metabolic rate by creating muscle, which burns more calories than fat. When regular exercise is combined with regular, healthful meals, calories continue to burn at an accelerated rate for several hours.

Finally, encouraging healthful habits in children is a key to preventing childhood obesity and the health problems that follow in adulthood.

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