Stop eating before you become obese

We all know that obesity is a huge and growing (no puns intended) problem in the U.S. and most other developed countries.

The proven harmful consequences of obesity to the individual and the public health, as well as to the national treasuries, are devastating. The solutions are both simple and complex.

For most adults who are of normal weight (BMI under 25), simply maintain your normal weight. If you are overweight (BMI 25 to 30), consider this a wake-up call and act now, before you become obese. Stop eating.

I did not say fast; I did not say starve. I said stop eating too much; stop eating high calorie snacks between meals, stop eating everything on your plate; stop eating such large portions; stop eating desserts; stop routinely eating bread and butter; stop eating three full meals a day when two are enough; stop eating fats and refined carbohydrates when you can eat fresh fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates.

And while you are at it, stop drinking alcohol and sugary drinks.

And for those of you who are already obese (BMI over 30); too bad, but not too late — to avoid becoming morbidly obese. Stop eating even more often and for longer periods than your merely overweight brothers and sisters.

Obviously, regular significant exercise is also important; and for some, a surgical gastric intervention can help.

When I did an editorial like this called “How to stop the obese from becoming ‘obeser,'” in Medscape on Dec. 17, 2004, it did not solve the problem; the problem just got worse.

And, a lot of obese people got really angry at me for hurting their feelings. But I don’t really care that much, as long as we did get some people to adjust their eating and drinking behavior.

Stop eating and drinking excessively and stay healthy.

George Lundberg is a MedPage Today Editor-at-Large and former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Originally published in MedPage Today. Visit for more obesity news.

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