A Growing Problem–Literally

Apparently, we need another wake up call.

A recent headline on the front page of the USA Today revealed one of the newest projections from the CDC about our growing weight problem.

Currently, 36% of Americans are obese.

By 2030, that figure could rise as high as 50%.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

50%.

1 in 2.

Can you wrap your brain around those numbers? Because I’m really having a hard time doing so.

Who Will Be Affected By Our Ever-Increasing Girth?

In a word, everyone.

Think about it. If half of the people in our country are obese in the next 20 years, every family will be forced to deal with the issues that obesity may bring about.

Like what?

Well, for starters, the cost.

As a country, we currently spend between $147 and $210 billion dollars on treatments for obesity related illness and disease.

That’s billion. With a B.

And those costs will continue to rise. If the number of obese Americans rises in accordance with these estimates. The estimated costs will increase by $48-66 billion annually.

If we are concerned about the cost of health insurance now, just wait until half of the population is considered to be obese.

What Should We Do Now?

Take action.

We can’t afford to wait any longer, literally or figuratively.

Everyone needs to take an active role in improving the health of our nation’s citizens.

For those that are struggling with their weight, a level of action is certainly required. Whether it is increasing the amount of physical activity you are regularly doing, watching what you are eating a little more closely, a combination of the two, or turning to a personal trainer or other health professional for guidance, you must take action.

Because the problem won’t solve itself.

But at the same time, non-obese individuals need to be supportive. Too many people who don’t struggle with their weight think that those that do are obese for one reason only–they can’t stop putting unhealthy food in their mouths.

Rarely, if ever, is this the case.

There are many reasons and causes that people end up being obese. Some are physical, some are psychological, and many are a complex combination of the two.

Since the reason for the excess weight is rarely simple, the solution for losing it rarely is either. Therefore, a little encouragement and acceptance would go a long way towards helping people make the changes that are needed in order to live healthier lives.

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Image by Son of Groucho via Flickr

No one is suggesting that solving the obesity crises is going to be easy. It won’t be. But it’s a process that has to be started immediately. The longer we wait, the longer it will take.

And the more difficult it will be.

With the proper effort and support, from every possible angle, we can change the trajectory we are on. It will be difficult for many, and painful for some, but the payoff will be worth it.

Both financially and in terms of quality of life.

Let’s get started today.
What do you think about the new projections from the CDC? Were you as shocked as I was? Any thoughts on what would be the best way to help combat our obesity epidemic? I would love to hear your views!

 

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “A Growing Problem–Literally

  1. I think we have ignored for too long the implications of a sedentary lifestyle and junk food, and just now we are realizing the consequences they reflect on our health, it is so important to read posts like this to remind us that we need to take care of our health and change our habits.

  2. Great article, I can see that obesity will be the #1 disease before we know it!
    Its so scary, yet it seems to be accepted!

    • Exactly. There’s a disconnect between accepting people of all shapes and sizes as they are while still encouraging those who are overweight to take the necessary steps towards living a healthier lifestyle. It’s a delicate conversation to have, but it is one that medical people and concerned family and friends must be willing to have.

      • Great point DK, this is a delicate area as when I carried weight, I would have been mortified if someone started telling me what to do.
        Education is the way to go though, from dealing with emotional eating, to motivating yourself, that’s the important information too

      • Education is key, no doubt about it. But I’m not convinced that education is enough.

        Kids are educated about the negative effects smoking cigarettes has on their health, yet millions of teens light up everyday.

        Same thing when it comes to health. People know that fast food isn’t healthy, yet there is almost always a line at every fast food restaurant I drive by. Why?

        I think a little dose of reality, delivered in a caring and delicate manner, can go a long way to help people use the knowledge they have gathered to take the steps to improve their health.

        At least I hope it can.

  3. Pingback: Live For Food » Blog Archive » Is there really an obesity crisis?

  4. Is it to late to try and educate those that are already obese and who don’t seem to take any exercise? If it is, then lets at least educate the young and change how they feel about food and exercise. Eat Less, Move More.

  5. Those stats are brutal. And what may make it worse is that the more time we have to get used to an overweight population, the more used we get to seeing obese as normal.

    Back in 1962, only 13% of Americans were obese. If you were fat, you stood out in the crowd. Nowadays, you have to be morbidly obese to appear out of place.

    😦

    • Great point Doug. The more obese we get, the more numb we get to the reality and the scope of the epidemic.

      It’s so sad that as a country, or continent for you guys up north, struggle with seeing how spending the time and money to improve our health now will pay off exponentially in the years and decades to come.

  6. Though it’s true that we are getting “bigger” by the minute in this country, I also think that the approach we continue to take is not the best. We usually tell people to exercise and eat well and we don’t take into account the emotional, psychological side of it. I believe we need to start with that. 50% of the people that start to workout quits after 6 months. Why? Most people don’t pass the contemplation state (where they agree that they have to do something and still do nothing) These are the things we need to pay attention to.
    EA

    • Couldn’t agree more! In fact, I’d say the number of people that stop their workouts is over 50% and in less than 6 months.

      But too often the mental/psychological side is overlooked, and as a member of the fitness community that is a component that I need to keep in mind when working with my clients.

      Thanks!

  7. I am always looking for inspiration when working with my weight loss clients. I am really enjoying reading your blog.

    • Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I’m glad to be able to help inspire you!

      Keep encouraging your clients to do what it takes to improve their health, it’ll be tough but well worth it.

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