The largest national health crisis that Americans will be facing in the near future is the rising number of obese and morbidly obese people that live in America. The current metric to measure obesity is the Body Mass Index or BMI. A person can determine their BMI looking at a BMI chart with their height and weight. The BMI numbers range in four categories: Underweight =<18.5, Normal weight = 18.5-24.9, Overweight = 25-29.9, and Obesity = 30 or greater.

63% of Americans are overweight with a BMI score over 25. 31% of Americans are obese with a BMI over 30. 3.8 million Americans are over 300 pounds, a large majority of those being male. The average female in the United States weighs 163 pounds, and the average height of a female in the US is 5’3″. These numbers means that the average American female is overweight with a BMI of 28.9. Another disturbing trend in the US is the number of obese children. Childhood obesity has tripled in the past two decades. Medical research has established that being obese increases the chance of Americans contracting cancer, diabetes, having heart attacks and strokes, and many other deadly disorders.

Americans need to lose weight. Yet, the mention of weight loss turns off many people. Why? There are too many people screaming at the average American on television and radio about the new get thin quick miracle that will change their life. Too many times Americans have spent their hard earned money on products and drugs that haven’t lead to weight loss, but many times just increased their depression due to failure and led to increases in their weight. Quick fixes don’t exist when it comes to managing weight. Instead of thinking about a new system or a new weight loss strategy, Americans need to start thinking about a complete change in lifestyles.

The new lifestyles need to include a change in diet, a change in entertainment, a change in preventative health measures, and a change in daily fitness activities. Through these changes the average American will be able to feel better about themselves and will change their attitude toward weight loss. No longer will Americans look at weight management with dread but will actually pick activities that are entertaining as well as healthy.

Adding a sport as a hobby is a quick way of increasing personal fitness. Basketball is a great example of an active sport that will increase cardiovascular exercise. There is an abundance of locations with basketball hoops in the US. Buying a basketball is inexpensive and is the only equipment needed to participate in a game. There is an abundance of different levels of play available to people looking for a good workout from shooting hoops by oneself to competitive tournament based games.

Research has found that many people are more successful at achieving healthy fitness changes when participating in sports over just normal cardiovascular exercise, such as working out on a treadmill. This is due to the development of a skill that can be practiced, and participated with other people. It is hard to participate with other people on a treadmill, but it is very rewarding to demonstrate ones basketball abilities in a pick-up game with friends.

Once a person makes a change in a fitness pattern by adding a sport such as basketball, it is just a simple matter to also make small but effective changes in nutritional patterns. An easy way to increase the effectiveness of a cardiovascular workout that one gains by playing basketball is increasing the protein in ones diet. An increase in protein allows your body to use stored fat cells for fuel, thus increasing the amount of weight one losses when exercising. Your body almost never turns protein into fat, so increasing ones protein intake has many health advantages.

An easy way to increase the protein in your diet is to include a whey protein supplement. Whey protein is the most cost effective supplement with over 90% of the supplement being pure protein. It is also created from dairy so it is very easily digested in a humans system. Isolated whey protein is very low in fats, making whey protein healthier to eat over getting ones protein from eggs and meat. Taking a whey protein supplement after a workout allows your body to build more lean muscle and burn more calories.

Facing the current weight crisis in America is very important. Yet, through a change in lifestyles Americans can lose weight while increasing their happiness. A very simple way to increase ones activity level is to play some basketball. Small changes will produce the best results over time for anyone looking to lose weight.

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