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             09 December, 2023

Category:  Articles » Health & Fitness » Obesity


Fighting the Obesity Epidemic

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2008-06-15 03:29:30     
Article by Joan Martin

Obesity has risen to epidemic levels in the U.S. It leads to devastating and costly health problems, reduces life expectancy, and is associated with stigma and discrimination.

Obesity is a strong risk factor for such serious diseases as type 2 diabetes and heart disease; it is also a risk factor for certain cancers and is associated with depression and other medical conditions. More than 65 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, with nearly 31 percent of adults meeting criteria for being overweight..

Furthermore, while being obese and overweight have risen in the population in general, the greatest increases observed over approximately the past two decades have been in the prevalence of morbid obesity; those who are severely obese are most at risk for serious health problems.

Levels of overweight children have nearly tripled in the past few decades. The levels of pediatric overweight have ominous implications for the development of serious diseases, both during youth and later in adulthood. Overweight and obesity also disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority populations, and those of lower socioeconomic status.

Left unabated, the escalating rates of obesity in the U.S. population will place a severe burden on the Nation's health and its healthcare system. The increase in obesity has been fueled by a complex interplay of environmental, social, economic, and behavioral factors, acting on a background of genetic susceptibility.

On the surface, it may seem that the solution to the obesity epidemic is obvious: Get people to eat less and exercise more. The reality is that if it were that simple, it wouldn't be an epidemic in the first place!

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