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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
4:01 PM Tue, Sept. 18th

The skinny on weight loss: Tackle obesity and overcome stressors

With the beautiful weather we have been experiencing lately, most Prescott area residents are hitting the outdoors to hike, walk, bike or jog. This is a good time for us to also think about reaching out to friends who might struggle with their weight. Additionally, it might be time for us to reach out to one of our more isolative acquaintances and extend a request for them to join us outside. Why?

• Adults currently or previously diagnosed with depression are 60 percent more likely to be obese than their non-depressed counterparts.

• There is a direct relationship between stress and excess body fat.

• There is a strong relationship between anxiety disorders (especially Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and obesity.

Obesity and mental health can have a connection. But being aware of it is the first step to improvement. If you are someone who is challenged by obesity, don't avoid your medical providers - use their skill and their motivation to your advantage. Have those weight discussions with your doctors/nurses. Be prepared with your own set of questions when you visit your medical providers, such as:

• Do I need to lose weight?

• How much should I weigh?

• Are any of my health conditions related to my weight?

• Can any of my conditions be improved with weight loss?

• Am I at risk of developing other conditions because of my weight?

• Do any of the medications I currently take contribute to weight gain?

Tell your medical providers/doctors about your eating habits, diet, physical activity and any other relevant information. You shouldn't be offended or worried, as sharing this information will help your medical providers/doctors assess your nutritional history and needs.

If you have limited physical ability, don't let that stop you from getting active. Find an activity that does not make you feel uncomfortable but gets you moving, such as: take a hike or walk; go dancing; play with your kids; take the stairs; or clean your house. For more information on this health topic and more, go to www.azdhs.gov/bhs/qhi.