If you are not living under a rock (if you are, you may not have this global problem), you are aware that about 70% of us here in the United States are either overweight or obese. Statistically, it is likely you are a member of that percentage. I don’t know anyone who has some weight issues who doesn’t want to do something about it, and don’t know anyone in the other 30% who isn’t still constantly working at the challenge.
But, other than looking good in a swimsuit (or a business suit), does being overweight really matter? You probably already know the answer (Yes!), but here are some quick reminders about why.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the leading cause of death in the United States is cardiovascular disease, and death in which diabetes is the cause or contributing factor is in the top 5.
If you add the total number of deaths in these two categories, the number is about 860,000. But here is the most astounding news: According to the CDC, as high as 80% of these deaths could have been prevented through better lifestyle choices—almost all (not all) of which have to do with getting our weight under control. That means we have 690,000 unnecessarily early deaths, every year, due to the choices we make in how we eat, move, and think.
And, heart disease and diabetes aren’t even the only proven side-effects of being overweight. Here is a list from the Center for Disease Control of conditions medically proven to have a correlative or causal relationship to overweight or obesity:
- All-causes of death (mortality)
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems
- Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
- Low quality of life
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning
Is it maddeningly hard to “fix” this? Yes. Worth it? Yes. Let’s band together and get it done.