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Getting a Handle on America’s Obesity Crisis

Updated on May 29, 2018

like the sunrise on a new day, a new beginning, a new chance.

making important changes

Making changes in one’s life, by behavior modification is a powerful tool to help reverse the status of obesity. People come in all shapes and sizes, but by any standard a BMI test score in the obese range is an indicator of prematire death, along with the myriad of other health related problens assosiated with poor physical health. Quite frankly, I am tired of being that way. Research suggests, that making small changes daily can improve many aspects of those health concerns. Additionally, there exists tons of helpful information available to consumers to help educate on ways to make better choices geared toward leading a more positive and rewarding way of life.

According to an article on Beachbody’s website, the ACS has done a study that proved without any doubt that a sedentary lifestyle will increase the chance of death. Basically, sitting still can kill you! “The bad news is that sitting too much can actually kill you, much quicker than if you don't. The American Cancer Society tracked the health of 123,000 Americans for over 10 years. Men who spent 6 hours or more per day sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than the men who sat for 3 hours or less. The death rate for women who sat for more than 6 hours a day was about 40 percent higher. According to research at the Mayo Clinic, entropy takes hold when you spend too much time sedentary. Your body rebels and begins to do bad things to you—specifically, not only do you begin to get fat but your body also begins to store that fat around your middle, which is correlated with heart disease. In addition to giving you a big spare tire, sitting too much is linked to increased risks of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and a host of other bad things, including hemorrhoids.” (Rice) So the first thing is getting active. Beachbody’s top workout programs, Zumba classes, gym memberships ranging in various membership pricing, Couch to 5k training program for beginning runners, or just getting outside and going for a walk are just a few of the vast options to begin a fit and active lifestyle available.

Another important factor in regard to getting out of the obese score is the impact that obesity now has on healthcare costs. Many insurance agencies are charging higher premiums for overweight employees much the same as they have with smokers for many years. A recent article on the Stone Hearth News website, discussed a study of present and former employees of the Mayo Clinic and the findings showed a direct correlation to obesity and higher costs for health care. “Both obesity and smoking were associated with excess costs for health care. Compared to nonsmokers, average health costs were $1,275 higher for smokers. The incremental costs associated with obesity were even higher: $1,850 more than for normal-weight individuals. For those with morbid obesity, the excess costs were up to $5,500 per year. Smoking and obesity place a growing strain on an already stretched healthcare system. Employers are evaluating wellness programs—such as quit-smoking and fitness programs—in an attempt to lower costs by reducing health risk factors.” (Stone) Health goals shoild incorporated as part of the fitness plan as well as physical goals, such as weight loss. Instilling a desire to ontain overall health and wellness in the prevention of disease.

Ultimately, the biggest factor for changing one’s life by modifying obesity is the risk of disease that is directly related to being overweight. Developing am awareness of the risks that these issues can evolve into. In healthcare care, medical practitioners see how serious heart disease, stroke, and diabetes can be. At risk persons have to get control of their health, before it controls then. According to the CDC, the more overweight one is, the higher the risk. “Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as "overweight" and "obesity,"* the risks for the following conditions also increases:1

· 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)

· Stroke

· 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)” (CDC)

There really is no one specific “behavior” to modify. But there are many factors to obesity, the biggest of which is mindset, and one can train and educate and train themselves make better decisions about nutrition. Pushing oneself to work out even on days that you don’t think you want to. By continuing to work toward goals set, one can succeed and become healthy and fit.

Works Cited

CDC. “Health Consequences.” Overweight and Obesity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 3, 2011.

Rice, Andrew. “Don’t Take This News Sitting Down: Your Desk Is Killing You.” Newsletter. March 202.

Stone Hearth News. “Obesity drives healthcare costs more than smoking: new study.” Health, Medical, and Science Updates. April 4, 2012.

A brief look at the obesity epidemic


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