Sun, Sep 21, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Exercise vital in fight against obesity

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tai-an Hospital yesterday revealed the results of a survey that examined the public's understanding of proper dieting and healthy eating habits.

Reporting that approximately one out of every three Taiwanese is overweight or obese, the hospital's director, Hsieh Ying-hua (謝瀛華), said that weight is not merely an issue of physical appearance.

"Before dieting, understand why you have gained weight. The problem could stem from eating habits, thyroid disorders or even the long-term use of certain types of medication," Hsieh said.

Liao Chun-kai (廖俊凱), a doctor at Tai-an Hospital, said that people should regulate their eating habits, exercise regularly and use medication only if absolutely necessary. He warned that drinking enough water is important, especially when exercising.

He indicated that 25.8 percent of the respondents attributed their weight problem to snacking at night, while 22.5 percent said their ignorance of the caloric content of food is a problem. Another 21.3 percent identified drinking too many sugar-loaded drinks as the root of the problem.

Furthermore, Liao pointed out that 30.8 percent of the respondents exercised twice a week and 28.8 percent exercised once or less per week, while 17.7 percent of the respondents exercised at least three times a week.

The survey also identified watching television and online gaming as two major reasons for avoiding exercise, and 57.8 percent of the respondents agreed.

Hsieh encouraged the public to exercise according to the "333" principle, according to which one should exercise at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes and one's heartbeat should reach 130 beats a minute during exercise.

Tai-an Hospital doctors also highlighted the emotional factors influencing obesity. Hsieh said that being short-tempered can affect the pituitary gland and hormone secretion, which can lead to weight problems.

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