Have you ever been told by your doctor that you were obese? Has anyone ever called you “Fat?”
I remember in 1995 when my pain management doctor diagnosed me with obesity. I knew I was over weight, but I really never heard of the words, “obese” or “obesity.”
After my doctor’s visit, I began researching obesity and the causes and statistics of obesity. I also wanted to find out how I could lose this excess weight and I found some interesting facts about it. Before researching obesity, I didn’t realize how bad it was across our nation.
There are many health risks with obesity.
Facts About Obesity
Not only has obesity become a national epidemic, but it has also become a world epidemic. Obesity has become a serious health problem in the United States. Nearly 35% of Americans are diagnosed with obesity (more than 1 in 3 Americans are obese). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now considers it to be a national epidemic. In addition, the American Medical Association and the Obesity Society now considers it a chronic disease.
But despite growing recognition of the problem, the obesity epidemic still continues in the U.S. The rates of obesity are increasing around the world. The latest estimates are that approximately 34% of adults and 15–20% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese. Obesity affects every segment of the U.S. population.
Obesity has almost tripled since 1975. Even with the attention of the health profession, the media, and the public, and mass educational campaigns about the benefits of healthier diets and increased physical activity, obesity in the United States has more than doubled over the past four decades.
In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that more than 1.9 billion adults (39 percent) were overweight, while more than 650 million (more than 1 in 10 humans) were obese. WHO wrote, “Most of the world’s population live in countries where being overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.”
What Is Obesity?
Many people often get offended when their doctors call them ‘obese’. I know I did when I went for my appointment to see my pain management doctor in 1995, and he diagnosed me as being obese. It really hit me to the core and all I could think about was that I am a “Fat-Slob.” It caused me to loose my self-esteem and confidence in myself. It took me years to face it because although I could cut down on what I ate, I couldn’t exercise. And that made my depression worse.
Not matter how doctor’s sugar coat obesity, they say that they want to let their patients know that obesity is just a medical term used to describe your physical weight.
Obesity means having excess fat, so being obese means a person with too much fat in his/her body. Generally, this is based on BMI (Body Mass Index), which can be calculated by using a BMI calculator. In this type of calculation, your weight and height are taken into account to find the results.
How Your Health Is Affected By Obesity
After my military injuries and my 17 surgeries, I had very little physical activity. Because of these unfortunate circumstances, my depression and PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder) got worse and this made me feel sorry for myself. With this depression, it brought on anxiety, and I began to eat more unhealthy foods. Soon, I was packing on the pounds and I couldn’t properly exercise to get the excess weight off. With all this excess weight, I developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am very fortunate that my condition didn’t get any worse.
Obesity and being over weight not only can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but it can cause a lot of other problems. It can take a toll on a person’s body and cause long-term problems. If a person doesn’t take the proper steps to reduce his/her food intake and ensure he/she gets proper exercise, he/she may experience:
- High BP (blood pressure)
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease and stroke
- Type 2 diabetes
- Osteoarthritis (Joint problems due to excess weight)
- Sleep apnea
- Breathing problems
The Cost of Obesity on America
Obesity and its obvious dangers to health are incredibly costly in a financial sense. In 2008, it was estimated that the annual medical cost in America was around $147 billion. And people who were obese had average medical costs of $1,429 more than those people who were at a normal weight. The medical costs for obesity continues to rise because the rates of obesity will rise more each year.
America Goes On A Diet
According to research from Boston Medical Center, an estimated 45 million Americans go on diets each year. Americans spend more than $33 billion each year on weight loss diet plans and weight loss products.
Yet, nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. At any given time, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men are on some sort of diet. These dieters are in structured eating programs, or watching what they eat (some are for diet purposes, some are for health purposes such as allergies or diabetes). Experts say as few as 5 percent of dieters manage to keep the weight off long-term.