The obesity epidemic is problem that has been getting worse and worse every year in the United States. During the past 20 years, obesity among adults and children alike has risen significantly. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older are obese. Remember, "obese" and simply "overweight" are not the same thing. Obesity means that a person is over 30% of their ideal body weight. The rate of childhood obesity is rising even faster than that of adults. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980.
Obesity is very costly for both individuals and society as a whole. It is costly in terms of health and in terms of dollars. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions, including hypertension, cholesterol and blood lipid problems, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, back problems, certain types of cancer, and sleep problems. All of these problems could be dramatically lowered if we could tackle the obesity epidemic.
Obese people as a general rule miss work more often than those at their ideal weight and retire earlier. They also are less capable of performing physically intensive tasks and tend to tire more easily. Obese individuals have a lower quality of life in general. Obesity related complications are one of the highest costs in our health care. This means that insurance is more expensive for everyone.
The obesity epidemic will never be solved by lowered health care costs or changes in the insurance structure: while those things may help, they are not getting to the root of the problem, which is the fact that more and more people are becoming more and more obese every year. Prevention of obesity is the most important focus to turn this ugly situation around. We have been trying to use health care rather than lifestyle change as the primary focus to fix the obesity epidemic, and it obviously isn't working.
Luckily, also there are expensive programs to assist you in learning and applying obesity prevention to yourself and to your family, living more healthfully does NOT have to break the bank. An exercise routine of weight training and cardio performed almost every day, or at least three times a week, coupled with a balanced, nutritious diet that contains more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins than anything else, will take almost any obesity case and turn it around.
On this website you will see plenty of free advice to implement a program such as this for yourself and your family.
Obesity prevention starts with just one person (you) and, if you help friends and family with obesity prevention as well, you will be making a big difference. If everyone did his or her part in helping with obesity prevention, the problem would begin to go away. Luckily, eating well and exercise can be a family affair. If you don't purchase unhealthy foods as a general rule, your family won't be eating it as much. Most health clubs allow children to join or have sports programs or a children's area, so there is no reason your kids can't be active too. I suggest enrolling kids in sports as much as possible, because sports are fun for them and teach them body control and awareness that will last for a lifetime.
Click here to read more articles by Gina Paulhus
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