As every new week breaks we hear fresh stories and reports about the rapid rise of obesity and levels of overweight people with our society. But now more than ever those reports are concerning our children and young adults. But what does all this mean to us? What possible impact could being overweight or being obese have on our lives and do we understand the consequences of being overweight or obese. Do we even care? Before I go further into why I do not believe that we are solely at fault for this rapid increase in obesity, I shall present to you the facts. These are the very facts that should give us all incite into what is happening within our world and how if left unchecked could ruin thousands of lives – if not end them.
Much of this information comes directly from reports produced by the US Surgeon General and House of Commons Health Committee.
Current epidemiology studies have shown an increase in deaths associated with being overweight and obesity. Those people that are obese (BMI ≥ 30) are said to have 50% to 100% increased risk of premature death from all causes when compared to individuals with an average weight and body mass index. It has since been estimated that 300,000 deaths per year could be attributed directly to obesity in the US.
Surely it cannot only be me by myself that finds 300,000 deaths per year truly shocking, if obesity were a foreign land that we were at war with then our casualties would be huge. In the streets there would be thousands of protestors chanting, carrying banners and linking arms and across our land organised marches would be televised for us all to see and learn from the memory of such a disastrous waste of life. 300,000 dead people are more than those who lost there lives at Hiroshima or Nagasaki or even more than all the U.S servicemen that died during World War Two. But this war is being waged; right here, right now and we are doing our utmost to turn a blind eye to it.
We would all agree if asked that we associate poverty, smoking and alcoholism as being major factors in reducing a persons life expectancy, but it is now believed that being overweight or obese offers just as serious a risk to the reduction in ones life expectancy. Being overweight or obese can be seen to be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, and many types of cancer including endometrial, colon, postmenopausal breast, as well as musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis.