According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) in their 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHAMES) "an estimated 64 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight (33 percent) or obese (31 percent)."
"This report is alarming given that obesity has been shown to promote many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer, and gallbladder disease," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC director. A new study by RTI International and the CDC published in Obesity Research, estimates that U.S. obesity-attributable medical expenses reached $75 billion in 2003. Half of this is paid by taxpayers through Medicare and Medicade.
Think about that! Being overweight or obese is extremely serious, and possibly deadly. Let's look at some specifics, with help from the Weight Control Information Network:
Diabetes - Eighty percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. It's thought that obesity puts a strain on cells, making them less able to handle sugar in the bloodstream.
Heart disease - Being overweight puts a strain on the heart and circulatory system, causing them to not work right. This can lead to chest pains, abnormal heart rhythms, stroke, sudden cardiac failure, or death.
High Blood Pressure - Overweight people are more likely to have this, as well as cholesterol problems (high levels of LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, low levels of HDH, the "good" one).
Cancer - Cancer is linked to being overweight. Cancer of the colon, esophagus, kidney, and uterine, and postmenopausal breast cancer have all been linked to excess weight.
Osteoarthritis - Being overweight places excess load on joints, cartilage, and bones, causing them to wear down. Also, there is research suggesting that excess body fat may cause inflammation, raising the risk of osteoarthritis.
In other words, being overweight can have dangerous consequences for your health and therefore should be taken very seriously. The good news is that you can do something about it. Just losing 10 pounds will help.