Obesity Now A Bigger Threat Than Smoking

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A well-referenced educational article published on the popular website of renowned health educator, Dr. Mercola, has proclaimed obesity to now be a greater health threat than smoking. Behavioral change expert Lou Ryan, founder of SelfHelpWorks, explains the driving force behind the epidemic and how it can be reversed.

Lou Ryan, SelfHelpWorks Founder & CEO

Lou Ryan, SelfHelpWorks Founder & CEO

Generationally, obesity is passed down like an heirloom that nobody wants

A well-referenced educational article published on the popular website of renowned health educator, Dr. Mercola, has proclaimed obesity to now be a greater health threat than smoking. Lou Ryan, behavior expert and founder of online behavioral change company SelfHelpWorks, agrees with the statement and offers a solution.

The obesity epidemic is occurring on a global scale, and while it has been acknowledged as a serious problem, it continues to worsen. According to Mercola’s article, 1 in 5 deaths in America is associated with obesity, and as of 2014, 38% of Americans were obese. But the most ominous statistic is the trend of the youth: Childhood obesity has tripled since 1980, and it is well-known that the earlier obesity is reached in life, the more health problems it will cause.

Ryan explains the rise in childhood obesity rates: “Obesity within families is a pattern, a contagion, and this is because children learn their habits from their parents, especially their eating habits. Generationally, obesity is passed down like an heirloom that nobody wants.”

Ryan has decades of experience developing behavioral change programs (including LivingLean, an online course targeting weight loss and the elimination of unhealthy eating habits), and he has challenged traditional weight loss methodology throughout his career. “As a global community we’ve known about the obesity epidemic and its consequences for a long time, but the strategies to combat it have been largely unsuccessful,” says Ryan. “This is because most weight loss programs see obesity solely as a physical problem and they wind up trying to treat the symptom, not the cause. Most eating problems are really thinking problems. If we teach parents to change the way their brain responds to thoughts about food and eating - to essentially retrain the brain - they will naturally transmit their healthy mentality about food to their children. This would stop the obesity epidemic in its tracks.”

For more from Lou Ryan about successful weight loss, watch this short 3-minute video on youtube.

ABOUT SELFHELPWORKS, INC.
SelfHelpWorks is the leading provider of online video-based lifestyle and disease management interventions for reducing population health risk. The interventions produce sustained behavior change using an evidence-based cognitive behavioral training approach derived from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). They target important issues such as obesity and unhealthy eating, tobacco addiction, diabetes, chronic stress, alcohol abuse and inactivity. The interventions are primarily offered by corporations interested in improving employee health and productivity, and by top tier value-based health and wellness providers. Users can access them privately and conveniently 24/7 via computer, tablet or smartphone.

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Bryan Noar
SelfHelpWorks
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