Obesity epidemic effects 72 million Americans
More than 72 million Americans are obese.
This is the finding of a new report from Centers for Disease Control. Obesity was rising, was not a secret ; but what is alarming is the size of the epidemic now. 72 million in a population of 300 million (approx.) gives us a 1 in 4 ratio. Any epidemic that has effected such a large swath of population, is unlikely to go away easily.
This will take more than 1 post to cover. So lets first start with what the CDC report has stated. The data, the impact, etc.
- More than 72 million U.S. adults are obese.
- $ Persons who are obese have medical costs that are $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
- Obesity is common, serious, and costly. In 2009, about 2.4 million more adults were obese than in 2007. This epidemic has affected every part
of the United States. In every state, more than 15% of adults are obese, and in nine states, over 30% of adults are obese.
- The medical care costs of obesity in the United States are staggering.
Recent estimates of the annual medical costs are as high as $147 billion
Who is classified as obese ?
Obesity is defined by body mass index, or BMI, which is calculated from your height and weight. BMI greater than or equal to 30 means you ?
Who is more effected ?
Non-Hispanic black women and Hispanics have the highest rates of obesity (41.9% and 30.7%).
What other disorders are caused by obesity ?
Obesity is a contributing cause of many other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some types of cancer. These are some of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Obesity can cause sleep apnea and breathing problems and make activity more difficult. Obesity can also cause problems
during pregnancy or make it more difficult for a woman to become pregnant.
What impact do those effected by obesity have on the health care system ?
Obese persons require more costly medical care.
What is causing this epidemic ?
Diet and Lifestyle
What has changed about American diets ?
Weight gain occurs when people eat too much food and get too little physical activity. Societal and community changes have accompanied the rise in obesity. People may be eating differently due to the following reasons:-
- Some Americans have less access to stores and markets that provide
healthy, affordable food such as fruits and vegetables, especially in rural,minority and lower-income neighborhoods.
- Restaurants, snack shops, and vending machines provide food that is often higher in calories and fat than food made at home.
- There is too much sugar in our diet. Six out of 10 adults drink at least 1 sugary drink per day.
- It is often easier and cheaper to get less healthy foods and beverages.
- Foods high in sugar, fat, and salt are frequently advertised and marketed.
What are the lifestyle changes that are causing this epidemic ?
- Many communities are built in ways that make it difficult or unsafe to be physically active
- Access to parks and recreation centers may be difficult or lacking and public
- transportation may not available.
- Safe routes for walking or biking to school, work, or play may not exist.
- Too few students get quality, daily physical education in school.
What are some of the other medical complications of obesity ?
The following disorders have been attributed to obesity by the CDC report.
- Sleep apnea
- Lung diseaseS – Asthma, Pulmonary blood clots
- Liver disease – Fatty liver, Cirrhosis
- Womens Arthritis
- Inflamed veins,often with blood clots
- Heart disease – Abnormal lipid profile, High blood pressure
- Cancer – Breast, Uterus, Colon, Esophagus, Pancreas, Kidney,Prostate
- Women – Abnormal periods, Infertility
Within the United States, what is the state wise breakdown of diseases
The number of people who are obese varies from state to state. For example, 18.6% of Colorado residents are obese, compared with 34.4% of Mississippi residents. In 2009, 9 states had obesity rates of 30% or more compared with no states in 2000.
What are the changes that can be made to have a meanigful impact on obesity ?
CDC’s report clearly identifies the need for different stakeholders to play relevant roles.
The United States government can – Promote change.
First Lady Michelle Obama recently launched the Let’s Move! program which seeks to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation. The campaign’s main points of action are:
Empowering parents and caregivers.
Providing healthy food in schools.
Improving access to healthy, affordable foods.
Increasing physical activity.
- Provide supermarkets and farmers’ markets with incentives to establish their businesses inlow-income areas and to offer healthy foods.
- Expand programs that bring local fruits and vegetables to schools, businesses, and communities.
- Support hospital programs that encourage breastfeeding.
- Adopt policies that promote bicycling and public transportation.
- Create and maintain safe neighborhoods for physical activity and improve access to parks and playgrounds.
- Advocate for quality physical education in schools and childcare facilities.
- Encourage breastfeeding through peer-to- peer support programs.
- Support programs that bring local fruits and vegetables to schools, businesses, and communities.
All people can
- Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer foods high in fat and sugar.
- See http://www.mypyramid.gov/
- Drink more water instead of sugary drinks.
- Limit TV watching in kids to less than 2 hours a day and don’t put one in their room at all.
- Support breastfeeding.
- Promote policies and programs at school, at work, and in the community that make the healthy choice the easy choice.
- Try going for a 10-minute brisk walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
A great report from CDC indeed. Some clear stat points, further threats identified, and solutions provided too !
In the coming posts, Ayurveda Group will talk about the role Ayurveda can play in the fight against obesity.
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Obesity epidemic effects 72 million Americans
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