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Gene pool: How to beat obesity

 
My family has a long history of being obese. They usually start gaining weight during high school. I try to stay as active as possible so this won’t happen—is there a way for me to not turn out like them?

 

Dear Obesity Issue,

I applaud you for being aware of how important it is to develop healthy eating and fitness habits at a young age. It’s also realistic to acknowledge that the genes you were born with do have some effect on the jeans you wear. But there are many obese parents whose daughters do not wind up with weight problems.

 

Learning to say no to sugary soda and junk food can mean saying yes to your health, and beware of huge portions. Sharing is a solution, too. At the movies, share a popcorn rather than getting your own. At restaurants, order one “death by chocolate” with lots of forks to split with friends rather than ordering multiple desserts. Eating mindfully and in moderation makes a difference and, of course, getting exercise is important, too. After school or on the weekends, take advantage of great fall weather and bike, hike or swim with friends. Get in the habit of saying, “Want to go for a walk?” rather than “Want to get a pizza?”

 

A little awareness can go a long way, and it’s wise of you to be thinking about how you do—and do not—want to be like your family.
 


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BY CAROL WESTON ON 8/31/2012 12:00:00 AM

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