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I had the pleasure of taking a cruise with my 89 year old mother this past month. Even though I am exposed to it every day walking the streets of Nevada, the incidence of overweight, obese, and grossly obese adults was alarming. Certainly the 24/7 buffet and gourmet food on cruise ships is attractive to “bigger” people and perhaps a 300 pound man in a Speedo dramatized the issue. On average, cruisers put on 10 pounds for a 7 day cruise and 15 for a 10 day cruise. Is this not alarming in itself? So when I came back (and by the way, I weighed the same as when I went on the ship!), I did some research on obesity. This is what I found…which is even more alarming than my trip experience.

As a percentage of our population, there are twice as many people who are obese now, than there were in 1980. Today, almost one third of adults are obese! So, it is likely that you know someone who is afflicted with obesity or that you personally suffer from obesity. For the first time in two centuries, experts say our life expectancy will fall – all due to obesity.

This means that today’s younger generation needs to worry about getting sick and dying sooner if this trend towards obesity continues. In addition to that, these extra health problems create a quality of life and a financial burden that society has to pay.

Obesity was not always of such great concern in the US. Between 1960 and 1980, only 15% of the population was obese, however, the number surged in the 80s and 90s. Since then the numbers of obese Americans have skyrocketed at alarming rates.

So what is obesity? A person is called obese if he or she is in a state of being seriously overweight, to the extent that it affects the individual’s health. The World Health Organization defines overweight or obese from an individual’s Body Mass Index or BMI, which measures weight relative to height. If a person has a BMI greater or equal to 25, then the person is termed as overweight. However, if a person’s BMI is greater or equal to 30, the person is termed as obese. If the BMI is greater or equal to 40, they are extremely or grossly obese.

People generally give little thought to obesity and do not think that it applies to them. Sure, you might have put on a few extra pounds over the years, but you are certainly not obese – or are you? After reading the following obesity facts, you may be surprised at just who is considered obese and how much it affects our entire society.

Crude estimates for 2007-2008 are 34.4% overweight, 33.9% obese, and 5.7% extremely obese. In other words, 74% of adults over 20 are overweight or obese in this country!!!!!

In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Nevadans are 25.8% obese on the average, with three rural counties surpassing 30%. These figures have doubled since 1992.

Why? The major causes identified with obesity are the increased number of fast foods which is an integral component of American food. Additionally, the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed is relatively low. More importance is given to dairy, and meat products, which, though good for health, can prove to be harmful if consumed in excess. Another reason is the amount of processed food that is consumed. Processed foods have layers of preservatives that contribute to the deterioration of one’s health, over a prolonged period of time. Also, a contributing factor is the amount of time spent indoors, watching television, emailing, texting, or performing sedentary jobs. This leaves the person with no time for physical exercise, and in turn leads to obesity.

Did you know?

  • Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States: 300,000 people die due to obesity related disease in the United States every year – thus making obesity the second most serious preventable causes of death in the country after tobacco.
  • 60 million Americans, 20 years and older are obese.
  • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including: Breast cancer, Coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, Sleep apnea, Gallbladder disease, Osteoarthritis, Colon cancer, Hypertension and Stroke.
  • Health experts are of the opinion that consuming more than 2000 calories a day is harmful for your health. If you consume a McDonald’s meal – consisting of a hamburger, french fries, and soda, how far do you have to walk/run to burn those calories off? A marathon or 26.2 miles!
  • 78% of American’s do not meet basic activity level recommendations and 25% are completely sedentary.
  • One of the most gruesome disorders associated with obesity is osteoarthritis. Studies reveal that the chances of a person developing osteoarthritis increase by a whopping 13 percent for every 2 pounds of weight gain.
  • Obesity related disease costs overwhelm our healthcare system.

According to new research studies, nearly 17% of U.S. medical costs are attributed to obesity. This data was collected from 2000 – 2005 and revealed that medical expenses related to obesity were $168 billion (Cawley and Meyerhoefer, 2011). Approximately half of these costs were paid by Medicaid and Medicare. One of the researcher’s was quoted as saying “It’s hard to find conditions that aren’t worsened or made more expensive by obesity.”

I was alarmed by the facts and figures that I found about obesity. Aren’t you? My father was a 300 lbs. ticking time bomb until his heart gave him a warning and he turned his life around…and lived another 20 years. Certainly we all need to stand up, literary, and be accountable for our own behaviors. It is not too late and it is not easy to be healthy, but certainly you will feel better and not only add years to your life, but “adding life to years”!

Obesity: A Huge Epidemic in the U.S.

I had the pleasure of taking a cruise with my 89 year old mother this past month. Even though I am exposed to it every day walking the streets of Nevada, the incidence of overweight, obese, and grossly obese adults was alarming. Certainly the 24/7 buffet and gourmet food on cruise ships is attractive to “bigger” people and perhaps a 300 lb man in a Speedo dramatized the issue. On average, cruisers put on 10 pounds for a 7 day cruise and 15 for a 10 day cruise. Is this not alarming in itself? So when I came back (and by the way, I weighed the same as when I went on the ship!), I did some research on obesity. This is what I found…which is even more alarming than my trip experience.

As a percentage of our population, there are twice as many people who are obese now, than there were in 1980. Today, almost one third of adults are obese! So, it is likely that you know someone who is afflicted with obesity or that you personally suffer from obesity. For the first time in two centuries, experts say our life expectancy will fall – all due to obesity.

This means that today’s younger generation needs to worry about getting sick and dying sooner if this trend towards obesity continues. In addition to that, these extra health problems create a quality of life and a financial burden that society has to pay.

Obesity was not always of such great concern in the US. Between 1960 and 1980, only 15% of the population was obese, however, the number surged in the 80s and 90s. Since then the numbers of obese Americans have skyrocketed at alarming rates.

So what is obesity? A person is called obese if he or she is in a state of being seriously overweight, to the extent that it affects the individual’s health. The World Health Organization defines overweight or obese from an individual’s Body Mass Index or BMI, which measures weight relative to height. If a person has a BMI greater or equal to 25, then the person is termed as overweight. However, if a person’s BMI is greater or equal to 30, the person is termed as obese. If the BMI is greater or equal to 40, they are extremely or grossly obese.

People generally give little thought to obesity and do not think that it applies to them. Sure, you might have put on a few extra pounds over the years, but you are certainly not obese – or are you? After reading the following obesity facts, you may be surprised at just who is considered obese and how much it affects our entire society.

Crude estimates for 2007-2008 are 34.4% overweight, 33.9% obese, and 5.7% extremely obese. In other words, 74% of adults over 20 are overweight or obese in this country!!!!!

In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Nevadans are 25.8% obese on the average, with three rural counties surpassing 30%. These figures have doubled since 1992.

Why? The major causes identified with obesity are the increased number of fast foods which is an integral component of American food. Additionally, the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed is relatively low. More importance is given to dairy, and meat products, which, though good for health, can prove to be harmful if consumed in excess. Another reason is the amount of processed food that is consumed. Processed foods have layers of preservatives that contribute to the deterioration of one’s health, over a prolonged period of time. Also, a contributing factor is the amount of time spent indoors, watching television, emailing, texting, or performing sedentary jobs. This leaves the person with no time for physical exercise, and in turn leads to obesity.

Did you know?

  • Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States: 300,000 people die due to obesity related disease in the United States every year – thus making obesity the second most serious preventable causes of death in the country after tobacco.
  • 60 million Americans, 20 years and older are obese.
  • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including: Breast cancer, Coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, Sleep apnea, Gallbladder disease, Osteoarthritis, Colon cancer, Hypertension and Stroke.
  • Health experts are of the opinion that consuming more than 2000 calories a day is harmful for your health. If you consume a McDonald’s meal – consisting of a hamburger, french fries, and soda, how far do you have to walk/run to burn those calories off? A marathon or 26.2 miles!
  • 78% of American’s do not meet basic activity level recommendations and 25% are completely sedentary.
  • One of the most gruesome disorders associated with obesity is osteoarthritis. Studies reveal that the chances of a person developing osteoarthritis increase by a whopping 13 percent for every 2 pounds of weight gain.
  • Obesity related disease costs overwhelm our healthcare system.

According to new research studies, nearly 17% of U.S. medical costs are attributed to obesity. This data was collected from 2000 – 2005 and revealed that medical expenses related to obesity were $168 billion (Cawley and Meyerhoefer, 2011). Approximately half of these costs were paid by Medicaid and Medicare. One of the researcher’s was quoted as saying “It’s hard to find conditions that aren’t worsened or made more expensive by obesity.”

I was alarmed by the facts and figures that I found about obesity. Aren’t you? My father was a 300 lbs. ticking time bomb until his heart gave him a warning and he turned his life around…and lived another 20 years. Certainly we all need to stand up, literary, and be accountable for our own behaviors. It is not too late and it is not easy to be healthy, but certainly you will feel better and not only add years to your life, but “adding life to years!”

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