The CDC estimates that 60 million Americans over the age of 20 are obese. For adolescents ages 6 to 19, 9 million are overweight. This means there’s a good likelihood that you, your spouse, or your children have a weight problem. Parents who are overweight are more likely to have children who are overweight. Obesity contributes to physical health problems as well as economic and social problems. If you and/or your partner are overweight, make becoming healthy a high priority. Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death among adults.
If your partner is overweight, do not criticize him. Making jokes or teasing him about his weight problem will not lead to motivation to become healthy. Instead, it is likely to just make him feel worse about the situation. Instead, talk about your concerns and talk about how the two of you can work as a team to get healthy. Discuss strategies such as joining a gym, going for walks together, meeting with a nutritionist, or joining a weight loss support group such as Weight Watchers. Help each other plan healthy meals, assist with shopping and preparing food, and work together to make healthier choices.
If your spouse is not motivated to make any changes, don’t despair. And don’t nag. Nagging rarely yields results. Instead, make positive changes yourself. Almost everyone can benefit from making some more healthy diet changes and start to get exercise. Invite your spouse to go for a walk and try to encourage them to be more active. Discuss your concerns about his health. Facts about obesity are fairly grim. Share your anxiety about his health and the potential for disease and early death. If you don’t get an annual physical, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Encourage your spouse to do the same.
If you have children that are overweight, it is particularly important to take action now. Overweight children are at risk for many of the same health complications as adults and they can experience life-long complications. Talk with your child’s doctor and seek a referral for a nutritionist. Many cities have special programs aimed at helping children lose weight. Work as a team to help make the entire family become more healthy.