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NIH Offers Tips To Scale Down

Americans need to watch their waistlines.

The National Institutes of Health says more than half of all Americans are overweight or obese. And it's offering tips on how to fight the bulge.

CBS Medical Correspondent Dr. Emily Senay reports that the NIH is recommending basic principles of diet and exercise for weight loss..

"There's no magic pill that can help people lose weight," she says. "It's really about whether or not you work out or whether or not you eat a sensible diet."

Among the NIH tips, a suggestion to skip the butter and stay away from creamy sauces. For another, count those calories. The NIH says foods marked low-fat can sometimes have more calories than their full-fat counterparts.

Senay reports that there are drugs and surgeries too for people who are e severely overweight, but they are not for everyone. NIH guidelines also help to narrow down the list of who is appropriate for these therapies, she says

Senay says the NIH is trying to raise awareness and have people think of obesity
as an illness or a disease, like high blood pressure or heart disease.

An institute spokeswoman says there are lots of reasons why Americans weigh more today - too much eating out, bigger portions and lack of exercise.

The report is available on the NI- web site. It includes tip sheets and a chart to figure out if you're overweight.

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