It's a shocking title to a blog. Unfortunately it's also true. When you carry significant amounts of extra weight, you are basically setting yourself of for a cascade of internal chemical changes in your body that will more than likely result in acute disease, chronic disease and ultimately an earlier death.
Current US statistics suggest that one-third of American adults are obese, while over two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. These statistics cross gender and racial/ethnic groups. When it comes to kids and teens, 12.4% of children ages 2-5 and 17% of children ages 6-11 are overweight. About 17.6 % of teens were overweight by 2003-2006 statistics. Experts believe that obesity statistics rose even higher in the last three years, though some suggest that the numbers are now high but stable.
What diseases are directly associated with being overweight or obese?
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- High LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
- Certain cancers - breast, colorectal, endometrial, kidney
- Complications of pregnancy (including gestational diabetes)
- Menstrual irregularities
For many people these "conditions" are just words, they don't really mean a whole lot.....unless you've been complacently overweight and suddenly you are diagnosed with one or more of these conditions. Even then, if you are put on medication, you can easily rationalize the situation and simply convince yourself that you are just doing fine. Even patients who experience sudden acute illness, say a heart attack, have momentary fear and then, when they survive and hear how lucky they are, they usually commit to habit changes. Inevitably though, time passes, the scare passes and for most, old habits creep back. That means that even if you know better and even if you've had a serious health scare associate with being overweight or obese, chances are you will continue behaviors that raise your risk of developing more diseases, a more serious level of current disease or even your risk of death.
This reality confounds a lot of health practitioners. It just doesn't make sense that if a person knows that the extra weight they carry is quite possibly causing them ill health or hastening their demise, they would make no effort to change. And in fact, the burgeoning diet industry shows quite the contrary - lots of overweight people are trying to lose weight. They're just not successful. Why not? How is that possible if they know they may die prematurely they wouldn't beat obesity?
Researchers offer some key explanations-
(b) Old habits are very hard to change and maintain
(c) Emotional eating is a huge and powerful component for most overweight people
(d) Obesity is multi-factoral - it's not just about food