According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 2030 42% of Americans will be obese. Further it stated that by that time the number of Americans severely obese, one hundred pounds or more overweight, will have increased twofold to approximately 11%. This equates to over ½ trillion dollars in healthcare costs. Of these numbers, about half of obese adults were obese in childhood. The numbers of obese American children hover around 17%.
But that’s the obese you say? What about people that are “merely” overweight?And what”s the difference between being overweight and being obese? Well let’s look at some numbers. Both terms “overweight” and “obese” refer to a condition of being over the weight considered healthy for a given height and age. The cold hard numbers are based on a persons BMI, or, “body mass index”. The BMI is a number that is determined by a persons’ body weight to height ratio.
Generally a person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight, while persons with a BMI greater than 30 are considered to be obese. These numbers are not a direct measure of body fat, but rather a correlation of body fat to body mass/height. If you are concerned about your weight, or merely curious, you can check your BMI with our body mass index calculator.
Beyond merely assessing you body fat ration, a BMI check may also determine certain health risks. The CDC lists several conditions that persons being overweight or obese are at greater risk of developing;
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
- Liver and Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
- Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
Don’t want to suffer such a fate? All hope is not lost. It’s never too late for proper diet and exercise. Eating right, a diet low in saturated fats, sugars and eating less of other tasty foods we all love but eat too much of is a start. Eat more vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. Drink more water and less colas and other sweet drinks, and exercise. You don”t have to run a marathon to get healthy, although after you get healthy you may want to.
If you happen to be calorically challenged and wish to shed some pounds, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor about what would be best for you. But if you just want to get out there and do it and feel that you can, you can always start with the simple things. Take a walk, that’s it, just take a walk. Even a leisurely stroll can help get the circulation going and work your muscles and burn calories.
The key to weight loss is to burn more calories than you take in, so if you really want to get serious, then learn what you are putting into your body and learn how much of it you can eat compared to your daily activities. A sedentary lifestyle requires less caloric intake than someone that is constantly on the move. Proper diet and exercise is the key to good health.