Preventing Weight Gain After Spinal Cord Injury
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Weight Gain: Battle of the Bulge
So you gained five pounds in the last year; no big deal. It’s probably not enough for anyone to notice. But think about it: What’s five pounds a year? It’s twenty pounds in four years. Fifty pounds in ten years. One hundred pounds in twenty years! Imagine carrying 400 Quarter-Pounders around on your back every minute of your life. Yikes!
How big a problem?
Don’t get the wrong idea. Every SCI survivor will not become obese. But, if you are not careful, some individuals can gain as much as 20, 25, 30, or even 40 pounds in just three years. For those who do gain a lot of weight, the results can be very serious.
What happens when disabled people gain weight? All the same things that happen to non-disabled people: They face a much greater risk for heart attacks, strokes and other complications from clogged arteries, respiratory or breathing problems, diabetes, kidney and gall-bladder diseases, arthritis and some kinds of cancer. Obese people become less active and they may lose self-esteem. [...]