We last visited this topic two years ago, since then some things have changed, but we are still battling an Obesity Epidemic. This is turning out to be one hell of a battle… so we cannot quit!
Although some, make that most of us will need to change our eating and exercise programs to win, I am sure, I will have too also.
Since we last visited, I have ballooned to 215lb. I need to be at 185lb. Most importantly, watch this short video ( 8 min.)
First of all, Obesity rates in the United States have nearly tripled since the 1960s. In 1962, about 13% of adult Americans were obese, and by 2002, obesity rates reached 33% of the adult population.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHNE) collected between the 1970s and 2004. The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased steadily among all groups of Americans.
The numbers, similarly, continue to rise; as of 2007, 33% of men and 36% of women were obese. By 2015–2016, 39.6% of the total adult population (37.9% of men and 41.1% of women) had obesity.
Obesity rates vary between diverse social groups, with some racial groups and low-income individuals more likely to be obese.
Other minorities show lower rates. As of 2014 the rates were as low as 12% for non-Hispanic Asian women and as high as 57% among African American women.
More Obesity Numbers
The incidence of obesity also varies with geography. The American South has been referred to as the “Stroke belt”, “Obesity belt”, or “Diabetes belt”. Due to the fact that residents of the region have high rates of these three conditions, compared to people of the same race/ethnicity elsewhere in the country.
Based on a study in 2008, estimates of obesity that rely on self-reported data arrive at a rate of 22% among non-Hispanic white females, whereas studies that involve direct measurement show that the rate was closer to 34% at that time. Wonder why?
The prevalence of class III (morbid) obesity (BMI ≥40) has increased the most dramatically, from 1.3% in the late 1970s, to 2.9% in 1988-94, to 4.7% in 2000, to 5.7% in 2008, and to 7.7% in 2014.
Among African American women, its prevalence is estimated to be as high as 17%.
Most importantly, the rate of increase in the incidence of obesity began to slow in the 2000s. After that, as of 2014, obesity, severe obesity, and obesity in children continued to rise. I believe that is the worst, children.
Prevalence of obesity between 1960 and 2004 in the USA.
Obesity is one of the leading health issues in the United States. Resulting in about 300,000 excess deaths per year.
However, in 2005 using different methods, research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) produced a nationwide estimate of 129,000 excess deaths per year relative to individuals with a BMI of 21 to 25.
Obesity is a complex health issue to address. Obesity results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including individual factors such as behavior and genetics.
Behaviors can include dietary patterns, physical activity, inactivity, medication use, and other exposures.
Contributing factors in our society include the food and physical activity environment, education and skills, and food marketing and promotion.
Obesity is a serious concern
because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes, likewise reduced quality of life.
Increased chances for the leading causes of death in the U.S. and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
Healthy behaviors include a healthy diet pattern and regular physical activity. Furthermore an Energy balance of the number of calories consumed from foods and beverages.
And the number of calories the body uses for activity plays a role in preventing excess weight gain.
A healthy diet pattern follows, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Which, emphasizes eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat and fat-free dairy products and drinking water.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Recommends adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity, or a combination of both. Also with 2 days of strength training per week.
This may seem like a lot to many of you, frankly, I don’t do that much every week.
You must do as much as you can, then a little more. Physical activity is, in my opinion at least a 50/50 partner in your weight loss journey. I understand that some of you will need to lose weight first.
But certainly not all of you, that believe, that to be their case. In most cases there is some way you can do more. Be creative, but serious, this a quality of life project and a keep your life project.
Having a healthy diet pattern and regular physical activity is important, for long term health benefits and prevention of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
People and families may make decisions based on their surroundings or community. For example, a person may choose not to walk or bike to the store or to work because of a lack of sidewalks or safe bike trails.
Community, home, child care, school, health care, and workplace settings can all influence people’s daily behaviors.
Therefore, it is important to create environments in these locations that make it easier to engage in physical activity and eat a healthy diet.
Fortunately we have a very good walking, bike riding trail.
Actually it is in walking distance of my apartment. I am a Walker myself.
I use a Polar a360 activity watch, have had it for almost 3 years. Only take it off to shower and to charge it. Counts my steps, monitors my heart rate. Has 8 different “training modes” in which I receive additional information.
Miles walked, calories burned, time of walk and pace of the walk. My A360, syncs with Polar Flow app and that app syncs with MyFitnessPal app. Then MFP will add the calories burned to my daily calories.
MyFitnessPal is a calorie counting plus app that sets a calorie limit for me every day. MyFitnessPal It is FREE
I would recommend these to anyone.
Learn about strategies for a Healthy Food Environment and to improve the environment to make it easier to be physically active.
Plans to create a healthy situation, are listed on the Strategies to Prevent Obesity page. Furthermore, strategies to create a healthy school environment are listed on the CDC Adolescent and School Health website.
Do Genes Have a Role in Obesity?
Genetic changes in human populations occur too slowly to be responsible for the obesity epidemic. Nevertheless, the differences, in how people respond to the system that seems to reward physical inactivity and intake of high-calorie foods. Suggesting, that genes may play a role in the development of obesity.
How Would Genes Cause Obesity?
Genes give the body instructions for responding to changes in its environment. Studies have identified variants in several genes that may contribute to obesity by increasing hunger and food intake.
Rarely, a clear pattern of inherited obesity within a family is caused by a specific variant of a single gene.
What about Family History?
Health care practitioners routinely collect family health history. To help identify people at high risk of obesity-related diseases such as diabetes, Heart diseases, and some forms of cancer.
Family health history reflects, the effects of shared genetics and environment among close relatives.
Families can’t change their genes but they can change the family environment.
Encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity. Those changes can improve the health of family members, therefore, improving the family health history of the next generation.
More Factors: Diseases and Drugs
Some illnesses may lead to obesity or weight gain. These may include Cushing’s disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
Drugs such as steroids and some antidepressants may also cause weight gain.
The science continues to emerge on the role of other factors in energy balance and weight gain, such as chemical exposures and the role of the microbes.
A health care provider can help you learn more about your health habits and history. Most importantly, to tell you whether behaviors, illnesses, medications, and/or psychological factors are contributing to weight gain or making weight loss hard.
Thrive Market is the best place for healthy and alternative diets. Many different products, you may have trouble finding elsewhere. Click here and see what they have to offer.
Consequences of Obesity
People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at an increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions. Including the following:
- All-causes of death (mortality)
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems
- Some cancers
- (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
- Low quality of life
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning.
Economic and Societal Consequences
Obesity and its associated health problems have a significant economic impact on the U.S. health care system.
Medical costs brought on with overweight and obesity may involve direct and indirect costs.
Direct medical costs may include preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to obesity. Indirect costs relate to morbidity and mortality costs including productivity.
Productivity measures include ‘absenteeism’ (costs due to employees being absent from work for obesity-related health reasons). Also (decreased productivity of employees while at work) as well as premature mortality and disability.
National Estimated Costs of Obesity
The medical care costs of obesity in the United States are high. In 2008 dollars, these costs were estimated to be $147 billion.
The annual nationwide productive costs of obesity, obesity-related absenteeism range between $3.38 billion ($79 per obese individual) and $6.38 billion ($132 per obese individual).
In addition to these costs, data shows implications of obesity on recruitment by the armed forces.
An assessment was performed of the percentage of the US military-age population, that exceeds the US Army’s current active duty enlistment standards. Measuring weight-for-height and percent body fat, using data from the National Health and Nutrition Surveys.
In 2007-2008, 5.7 million men and 16.5 million women who were eligible for military service, exceeded the Army’s enlistment standards for weight and body fat.
According to data from the NHNE Survey 2013–2014
- More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight.
- And more than 2 in 3 adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity.
- Also More than 1 in 3 adults were considered to have obesity.
- About 1 in 13 adults were considered to have extreme obesity.
- About 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 were considered to have obesity.
I am at a loss for words. Feeling like I’ll never understand why and how people became this way. Why people, parents subject their children to this. We visited this 2 years ago and not much at all has changed. But maybe 2 years is not enough to see a positive change.
Although, I do see signs that people are trying, see more overweight/obese people on the walking trails. Maybe a trend, let us hope so.
You have questions or comments, please leave them below.
Sources for this post:Wikipedia
Also: The CDC