The Obesity Epidemic in America

I am amazed daily when I am working at the hospital at the correlation between heavy weight or obesity and chronic illness.  Home medication rec sheets reach pages and pages with blood pressure medications, statins for high cholesterol, diuretics, and the list goes on. (Even sadder is the hospital cafeteria, but I have yet to dine in a hospital cafeteria and find healthy food which is odd to me)

Today, I was in Costco where I observed a couple of obese customers in electronic wheelchairs buying their food...  IN BULK.  We then went to Sonic (I know) and instead of ordering a Route 44 which can hold the contents of a person's daily urine output with normal renal function (seriously) I ordered a medium.

Guess what?  The medium was what x-large was years ago.

The stats:

  • More than one-third of Americans are obese (> 30 BMI).  Another third are overweight.  Combined this means that almost 70% of the US are either obese are overweight.
  • 16% of children and teens are obese
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death
  • Medical costs associated with obesity were $147 billion in 2008
  • There was a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States from 1990 through 2010
  • The average size of a bagel doubled in size from 1983 to today.  Three-inch diameter with 140 calories to 6-inch diameter at 350 calories.  Super-size me please.
  • One in three children born today will be diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetimes

So why lose the weight this 2013 and make this the year of change?

  • Obese workers are less likely to be promoted
  • Obesity related healthcare costs will take more money out of your pocket
  • Obesity mortality rates are surpassing smoking-related deaths

 

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