Category Archives: Obesity

Obesity: Men and women who struggle with obesity often turn to popular commercial diets for help. We have great discounts for diets like Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and Medifast.

social media fat depressed

3 Reasons Why Social Media Makes You Fat & Depressed

Social media is bad for your health: OK, I know you’ve already heard about the dangers of social media, but it’s important to keep the conversation going. I mean, it took a long time for people to understand how bad smoking cigarettes was for their health and do something about it. That’s because corporations spent billions of dollars convincing people that smoking was cool, and even healthy. (The addictive chemicals helped too)

When there are billions of dollars of profit at stake, we have a history of doing what’s profitable instead of what’s right.

Well, you could argue that social media is just as addictive and bad for your health as smoking. However, unlike cigarettes, there’s no warning label on cell phones telling you about the potential dangers.

Before we discuss why social media is unhealthy, here’s a summary of social medias proven side-effects:

Ok, got it? Now, here’s how social media makes you fat and unhappy:


1.) Social Media Causes Cravings

Scrolling through ads, photos, and posts on social media encourages cravings, and that can lead to unhealthy consumption.

Did you know that advertisers spend more than $40 billion per year advertising on social media? Most of these ads are designed to cause cravings by making you feel incomplete and unsatisfied. (*Like this one: Weight Watchers Online: 50% Off! ha, ha) 

But, social media is all about sharing, and sharing is good, right? Well, it’s all this “sharing” that’s making us unhappy, and ultimately unhealthy.

Some examples of “sharing” on social media:

  • A skinny friend posts photos of her euphoric and attractive family on vacation (I wish my family looked like that!) 
  • A friend posts pictures of their amazing dinner at a fancy restaurant (I want to eat that!) 
  • Scrolling through Facebook & Instagram photos envying other people’s lives (I want that!)
  • Following celebrities, who look so beautiful and happy (I wish I was famous!)

Hmmm… What would someone wise, like Buddha, say about all this? Glad you asked!

“The basic cause of suffering is attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)”Buddha

I find it ironic that social media’s central value (craving) is what Buddha concluded was the cause of all suffering. Oops! 

Or, for all the Christians out there, consider the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. That sounds like an average day on Snapchat to me!


2.) Social Media = Depression = Weight Gain

social media and suicide rates teens
CDC Chart of teen suicide overlaid with chart of iPhone sales by year

Depression is closely related to both suicide and weight gain. I thought it would be interesting to overlay a chart of annual teen suicides with a chart of iPhone sales to show how the two are related. (above) As you can see, the rate of female teen suicide has doubled since the release of the iPhone.

*This alarming increase in suicide also contradicts the expected trend which is that suicide rates historically decrease in an improving economy. During the 11 years since the release of the iPhone, the stock market has more than doubled in value, while suicide rates have increased dramatically. 

So, how does social media make you depressed? People tend to enviously compare their lives to those of others, who seem happier. These “social comparisons” make us feel depressed, as we start to wish our lives were different and better.

We can also become depressed if something hurtful happens on social media, such as being laughed at, bullied, or feeling left out of “real world” social events that we weren’t invited to.

A 2010 study from Archives of General Psychiatry concluded that depression leads to an increased risk of obesity, largely because of the lack of motivation and energy that results from being depressed, as well as “emotional eating.”

Weight gain is a common side-effect of both depression itself and of the antidepressants used to treat it. That means depression can be a double-whammy for your weight and physical health.

Another way that you become depressed is that the hours spent on social media make you distracted and have a negative impact on the rest of your life. Social media addiction can cause you to define yourself in a negative and unhealthy way, largely based on “likes” and the unfiltered opinions of your “friends.” News and discussions of topics like politics can quickly lead to frustration, anger, and depression as well.

*Related: In the Noom App worth it?


3.  Social Media Affects Exercise & Sleep

This may seem like an obvious one, but consider that the average internet user now spends over 2 hours per day on social media like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. That doesn’t even include all the other time we spend online, including texting, which adds up to over 5 hours each day!

It doesn’t take a mathematician to realize that those hours on social media and devices are being stolen from the rest of the day, and as a result we get less exercise. You also might find yourself distracted during meals, plus drinking more alcohol more as your level of stress increases (aka “nervous eating”) because of the negative effects of social media.

Plus, all of that blue light from screens is bad for your health, and disrupts the natural circaian rhythms of your body which can effect your sleep, encouraging to a host of health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Don’t even get me started on the habit of sleeping with your phone under your pillow, as many teens do!


Warning: Social Media Can Make You Depressed and Overweight!

So, why is that? Social media encourages cravings, which result in consumption as we chase illusive happiness. The more time we spend on social media, the more personal information we volunteer. This allows their software to better understand us so that this information can be used to feed us more of what we want.

This is bad for our mental and physical health, but good for profits.

If you ask me, social media is just empty calories, which leads to depression and obesity!


What Should You Do?

Social media isn’t always bad. We just have a bad habit of following friends and celebrities who aren’t a positive influence.

So, one way to make your social media “feed” (ironic name!) healthier is to follow one or more social influencers who promote healthy living. There’s lots of people to follow who share healthy recipes, motivational quotes, tips, and workouts that can inspire you to be healthier, and spend less time scrolling through junk. Here some suggestions:

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mighty diets scholarship

Mighty Diets Writing Scholarship: $1000 In Prizes!

“I‚Äôm ‚Äėa get a scholarship to King‚Äôs College,
I prob‚Äôly shouldn‚Äôt brag, but dag, I amaze and astonish!” – My Shot, Hamilton

Are you a health-conscious (undergraduate or graduate) student with a flair for writing? Why not get rewarded for your talent while inspiring others?

MightyDiets.com offers an annual merit-based scholarship award for the best writing on a specific topic related to health and diet. Not only can you win a cash prize to put towards educational expenses, but your winning article will be posted on our site!

  • 1st Place: $650
  • 2nd Place: $250
  • 3rd Place: $100

*All winners will also have their article published on mightydiets.com!

Here are this year’s two topic choices: (2019)

“I Conquer Food Cravings By…”¬†

OR

“The One Healthy Routine That Changed My Life Is…”

woman thinking

Obesity is an epidemic in America, and for the first time ever over 1/3 of adults in our country are obese. This isn’t just a sickness of our bodies, but our minds as well. In fact, Buddha once said, “craving and desire are the cause of all unhappiness.”

So, forget about magical weight loss pills, commercial diet plans, or drinks, let’s talk about cravings. Cravings are often the result of a bigger underlying issue, and can result from the misguided belief that physical objects or food will make us happy. Cravings are a sickness in our culture, and result in much more than just a “weight” problem.

So, how do you subdue your cravings and find balance in your life? 

Do you have a healthy lifestyle tip that our readers can incorporate into their daily routine?

Let us know, and you might just inspire others to live a happier, healthier life! (and lose a few pounds in the process?) 

Requirements:

Do kids still use pencils these days?

  • You must be an undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited college or university with a school email address
  • Essay must be 750+ words and previously unpublished
  • U.S. residents (English) only, please!
  • Please submit your article to¬†scholarships@mightydiets.com as a PDF or Google Doc (share)¬†
  • Deadline for submissions: 9/01/19, Winners announced 9/15/19

Congrats to our 2018 1st place winner!

leahLeah T. is currently a Junior at the University of Florida at Gainsville.

Her essay detailing “one healthy routine that changed my life” won first prize, and will be published on our site.

So, Leah, what are you going to do with the $650?

“Well, I’d like to say that I’m going to take an inspiring educational trip somewhere, but to tell you the truth, I’m going to use it to pay for food and textbooks! It’s expensive being a student, so I really appreciate the prize. Thank you so much, and go Gators!” – Leah


*We will never ask you for personal information other than your name and school email address. If you are a winner, we encourage you to include a small bio with photo to include in the published article. Winning payments made by PayPal, unless processed through another preferred payment method by your school.

Please email us at scholarships@mightydiets.com with any questions!

Related: iGrad Quality Scholarships


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abundant food obesity dna

Gorging Gene: How Our “Hunter Gatherer” DNA Is Making Us Fat Now

How is our pre-historic DNA making us obese? For most of human history, we lived as foragers. This means that for tens of thousands of years we travelled in search of food instead of settling in one place.

Our ancestors’¬†nomadic lifestyle was dictated largely¬†by the¬†seasonal¬†migration of animals and the growth cycles of plants.¬†(and they were generally in great shape!)

Then, sometime around 10,000 years ago, we collectively decided to settle down. We stopped chasing our food and decided to domesticate animals and plant crops instead.

This relatively swift transition of our species from “hunter gatherers” to farmers and herders is known as the “Agricultural Revolution.”¬†

History and science books applaud this evolution of our species as “progress,” but in some ways we’re still struggling¬†to make the transition.

Although it’s been a long time since we stalked¬†migrating bison, or dug¬†for edible roots in the woods, our DNA still hasn’t forgotten when food was scarce. Enter the, “gorging gene theory.”

hunter gatherer diet wall

“You guys up for Happy hour at The Cheescake Factory?”

The Curse of Abundant Food

Our lifestyle has changed dramatically over the millennia, but our DNA has been struggling to catch up.

In fact, many of us are consuming nearly double the recommended amount of calories each day.

As food becomes more abundant, more accessible, (and lower quality!) we find ourselves plagued by a worsening obesity epidemic, which is now even spreading to poorer, developing nations.

Obesity costs us hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and puts crushing weight on our already groaning health care system.

Even historically poor rural China is now grappling with an obesity explosion, as 17% of boys under age 19 are obese. (Up from only 1% on 1985)

We don’t want to be fat, so why to we have such a problem eating in moderation?¬†

Part of the answer to this question may be found in our DNA, and the eating habits we formed during the tens of thousands of years when we were foragers.

The “Gorging Gene” Theory

During most of human history, food was generally in short supply. We didn’t have the means to preserve or store much of it, so we were always on the move to find our next meal.

Imagine the excitement of our “hunter gatherer” ancestors¬†when presented with a¬†greasy slab¬†of¬†freshly cooked¬†bison meat, or upon discovering¬†a tree full of ripe fruit.

Such a¬†bounty¬†of food was rare, and our survival instincts told us to gorge while we could.¬†After all, there was no telling when we’d be presented with such a feast¬†again, and we’d be wise¬†to store extra calories, especially because our ancestors lived such active lifestyles.

Over thousands of years, these eating patterns became imprinted in our DNA. They seem to be contributing to our weight problems today, as (low-quality) food is cheap and abundant in most places.

obesity dna

Our DNA Still Thinks That Food Is Scarce

If you think of human history as a 24-hour day, it’s really only been in the last few “minutes” that food has been so easily accessible and abundant.

You might say that opening an over-stuffed refrigerator today is like our foraging ancestors discovering a bush full of ripe berries in the woods.

Even in a time of abundance, our survival instincts still tell us that food is scarce, and implore us to feast while we can.

The gorging gene is still in our DNA, telling us that food is scarce. (and we listen) 

You could say that by trying to eat in moderation (in a time of abundance) we are literally fighting tens of thousands of years of evolution!

  • Idea: Don’t drive.¬†Take a long walk or bike to a restaurant or supermarket instead. The extra effort¬†will awaken¬†out your “inner-forager,” and the food will definitely taste better!¬†

*New: Nutrisystem DNA Blueprint Review | Weight Watchers Specials | Nutrisystem.com promotional codesFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

9 Health Consequences of Obesity: You Might Choke on This Food for Thought

obesity disease risks

obese people diabetesObesity is no joke – Looking for motivation to get started on that diet? Thanks to healtheo360 for putting together this graphic which communicates just how deadly obesity really is. You can only imagine the economic cost of obesity based on these startling statistics.

People who are obese are:

  • 25% more likely to be suffer from depression
  • 200% more likely to get multiple sclerosis
  • 200% more likely to have ADHD as a child
  • 33% more likely to develop asthma
  • 104% more likely to have heart failure

and, also consider that:

  • 30% of people suffering from dementia are obese
  • Over 50% of people with diabetes are obese
  • Approximately 10% of cancer is caused by obesity
  • Over 35% of Americans are obese!

If you need further incentive to start a diet or lose weight, check out our coupons for Medifast and Weight Watchers OnlineFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

What Does Obesity Really Cost in America? It’s Over $500 Billion Per Year

economic cost of obesity america

obese manAbout two thirds of Americans are overweight, and about half of those are considered to be obese. (a body mass index of 30 or more) There have been a number of studies that attempt to show how obesity is taking a bite out of the U.S. economy, but it’s a hard number to really quantify.

Unlike more straight-forward costs, like what might be spent on medicines to treat a specific disease, the actual cost of obesity in America has far-reaching implications that we might not think of right away. So, having said that, let’s try to wrap our heads around some of these expenses.

  • Obesity adds $190 billion in medical costs and healthcare resulting from obesity-related problems like heart disease, asthma, and Type 2 diabetes. That’s over 20% of the total annual health care costs in America, eclipsing even smoking-related costs.
  • Obesity costs Medicare and Medicaid an estimated $62 billion dollars each year
  • Consider that the average uninsured obese person costs a lot more to the American taxpayer. They cost the health care system about $3270 per year, compared to about $512 per year for the non-obese
  • Obesity costs American companies over $170 billion each year in lost productivity, and sick days (absenteeism) taken due to obesity. A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation showed that this cost of lost productivity could spiral to $580 billion per year by 2030
  • Obese employees are about 25% more likely to go on disability, which directly raises insurance costs. A recent study by the Shell oil company showed that obese employees were twice as likely to use paid days off than employees who were not.
  • Obesity costs us $4.5 billion at the gas pump! Think about this, if the average American weighed what they did in 1960, there would be a lot less weight to carry around in cars and airplanes. Each year we burn an extra 1.3 billion gallons of gas to transport overweight passengers
  • Childhood obesity costs Americans about $14.3 billion dollars a year. Also consider that these children will likely be obese as adults as well

obesity healthcare cost

Obesity health-care costs – WSJ

These are just some of the obvious costs of obesity in America. It’s easy to imagine an almost endless number of less obvious costs as well. Obese people are more likely to suffer from depression, cancer, and childhood ADHD just to name a few. Many hospitals and businesses have undertaken significant expenses to accommodate the obese, such as replacing wall-mounted toilets, and widening hallways. The resulting increased cost of employee-sponsored health insurance lowers profits and weighs on employees salaries.

So how much does obesity cost our economy? Although there are numbers out there starting at $500 billion per year, how could you possibly calculate the total cost of this far-reaching epidemic? How can you quantify the cost of the 300,000 annual obesity-related deaths, and the ripple effect that this has on America?

The projections of the worsening obesity epidemic are truly frightening, and pose a profound risk to our economy.

Is there a solution? Well, there are a number of heated debates going on nationwide on how to address this issue, and it only complicates the matter that a number of large corporations fear that there own growth will suffer if Americans lose weight. You can imagine the implications to shareholders of Coca Cola or McDonalds if proposals like a soda tax were successful. That’s why soft drink makers, fast food chains, and supermarkets are spending millions of dollars to lobby congress to make sure Americans stay fat and (sick?) happy. Pharmaceutical companies have certainly fattened their profits on the back of this epidemic, and meaningful legislation that addresses obesity seems nearly impossible. Ugh!

obesity by state

Estimated cost of obesity by state

Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Although the implications our our obesity epidemic are staggering, we can all certainly start addressing this on a personal level. If you need help, consider support from weight loss plans like Weight Watchers and Medifast.

Worth reading:

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