According to the American Heart Association (PCA), one third of children and adolescents and 66 percent of the adult population is overweight or obese. If the trend continues, there will be a reduction in life expectancy of our children, making it the first generation to live less than their parents.
Obesity in simple form is an excess of body fat. The body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference measures are most commonly used. The BMI is the ratio of weight in kilograms to height in meters measure. The normal BMI is between 18 and 24.9 kg/m2. Overweight is any measure between 25-29.9 kg/m2, and obesity a BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2. The waist circumference should be <40cm in men and <35cm in women. Obesity is associated with the development of hypertension, stroke, blockage of the coronary arteries, diabetes, failure and heart rhythm disturbances. In young people, obesity is associated with the development of adult conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cholesterol.
It is difficult to associate obesity a factor, as it develops a complex relationship that involves lifestyle, the environment and genetics. However, there is a causal relationship between poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyles. The sedentary lifestyle, produced by busy lifestyles, overexposure to television, computers and video games, along with the excessive consumption of calories, breaks the balance needed to maintain a healthy weight.
Education is extremely important, particularly since early age, to establish good eating habits and healthy lifestyles.
To bring the message and awareness generation of young people about the importance of prevention, the American Heart Association created the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in conjunction with the foundation of former President William Bill Clinton.
On the Island, the association established partnership with the Government of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Form.This government initiative and whose guidelines are based on those of the Heart Association, offers a real alternative for the prevention of obesity through education and offering physical activity programs, among other things.
Obesity, together with other factors such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipedemias and smoking is a risk factor crucial to the development of cardiovascular diseases. However, contrary to other factors, obesity (next to smoking), is the most changeable of all.
By developing or modifying good nutritional habits and increasing physical activity can have a healthier life