KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There has been a great deal of talk recently about obesity and all of the contributing factors that we may or may not be aware of.

There are the classic contributors: things like lack of exercise, high fat diet and too many calories are the biggest factors. But there are others. For instance, sleep.

If someone does not get enough sleep it appears to have an impact on weight gain. And, it does not end there. Shift workers – especially those with the evening shift, battle weight issues more than those who have traditional hours.

A growing number of people are sitting behind the computer each day and, you guessed it, that adds to weight gain.

Then there is the entire low fat food industry. Many people think they are doing the best thing by eating low fat cookies, cakes and pies but the bottom line is that they have a tricky way of entering the bloodstream and being converted to fat.

So, what is the answer?

There is nothing sexy. A diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains with a concentration on avoiding trans fats sprinkled in with regular exercise can make a big difference. Not necessarily what you want to hear, but true nonetheless.