Los Angeles resident Kathleen Mulcahy has been fighting with her weight for 55 years.My parents had a baby, a son and he died at birth and so that was sort of I was 7 and I think that was the time I started gaining weight.My mother died when I was 12 very suddenly and then my weight just escalated, she is not alone.A growing number of people are overweight or obese particularly in urban areas worldwide including developing countries.
Fast foods, transnational corporations, soft drink companies going into these developing countries,are having a very huge influence on the overweight and obesity epidemic because they’re adding calories and processed foods, salt and sugar into the diet that these people have not normally been eating.People’s lifestyles are also changing in developing countries.As people urbanize and make more money and have more sedentary lives, they are also putting on weight and following the pattern of the United States.
Psychotherapist Dena Solomon says there is also another reason why people are gaining weight globally.You know people are moving away from their family of origin.They don’t have a support system that’s going to help them also manage and have relationships as options for dealing with stress so people are turning to food.
While fad diet may help with quick weight loss, keeping off the weight is more of a challenge.At sustaining at weight loss, the studies overwhelmingly show that plant-based diets are good long-term, you are motivated.Instead of focusing on what you eat, Solomon helps people maintain weight loss by working with the mind to change a person’s eating behaviour.She helps her clients like Mulkahy be more self-aware by having them write down everything they eat before they eat.That awareness, that sense of conscientiousness becomes more powerful than the immediate gratification of food but you have to learn it, it has to become a habit.
It’s worked from Mulkahy who has sustained her current weight for almost three years.You get such a sense of accomplishment and a sense of power and efficacy that you can apply it to everywhere.Maintaining a healthy weight not only helps with a positive self-image but it will also fend off health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
Elizabeth Lee, VOA News, Los Angeles.