“It’s a huge problem, and it’s not unfortunately getting any better in Pennsylvania,” said Still.
“We all have to take responsibility that this is a disease, not a lifestyle,” said Still. Metabolic syndromes exist for obesity as well as physiological ones, he said. In the last six months, two medications for obesity have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These weight loss medications, known as Qsymia and Belviq, are the first approved in 13 years, said Still.
In addition, people can also decrease the fat content of their diet, which should not include more than 40 grams of fat per day, and cut out sources of empty calories such as sodas and fruit beverages. Thirty minutes of physical activity a day, even if it’s divided up into small increments, is also recommended, said Still.
Combating obesity needs to happen early in life. “It has to start in the younger children, which we at Geisinger have tried to do,” said Still. Geisinger has been sending information on nutrition home with school children for them to share with their parents. The idea is to get them to start talking to their parents about trying to eat more healthy foods.
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