The Statistics Don’t Lie!
In the United States, 166 million people are either overweight or obese and 1 in 5 adult deaths can be attributed to this epidemic. Over 300,000 people will die this year in the U.S. from being obese and that number increases significantly when you add in those individuals that died from medical causes resulting from being overweight.
With 71% of America being overweight, we are clearly missing or ignoring a significant precursor to death and illness. After all, we have the best doctors, best medicine, most financial resources along with the most gyms, fitness centers, health food stores and supplement shops in the world. Just as many people die from being obese and overweight as people who die from smoking cigarettes! You often see commercials about the dangers of smoking, but you never see commercials about the dangers of being overweight. A big part of the problem is the lack of awareness and not enough people are talking about this serious issue. Do we not bring this issue to the forefront because we don’t want to offend overweight people or have we just excepted this as the “norm” even though so many are suffering from this epidemic?
If the 71% of the overweight and obese people were aware of the potential health issues and risks associated with carrying too much weight, I think they would be more inclined to act. Being overweight is a precursor for most the top 10 deadly health issues that our country struggles with and it’s clearly a precursor to early death. In 2015, 8 of the top 10 health issues inflicting Americans were a direct result of poor health and fitness due to being overweight. This number has increased, as well as a reduction in life expectancy. Media coverage about this topic is minimal compared to the extensive reporting we see about crime, murder, political issues and current events around the world. These health issues are increasing at an alarming rate. We spend all kinds of federal money on cancer research and solicit donations all the time. For example, over the past year, being overweight or obese accounted for 20% of the 600,000 cancer deaths and even overtook smoking as the #1 preventable cause of cancer. This problem is affecting everyone, including children. An astonishing 33% of all children from the age of 10 to 17 are overweight or obese!
This Epidemic of Being Overweight and Obese is Preventable
How can a country with staggering wealth, the best medicine and the best doctors, rank 31st in life expectancy? Why should the average person in Japan live 4-5 years longer than the average person in America? The older person who is overweight or obese in the U.S. will have a life approximately 5.8 years less than their counterparts. There clearly is not enough discussion in regards to this problem and its solutions.
Awareness About The Problem
This article isn’t about scaring people, but more to heighten the awareness to a very controllable health issue. The problem will not improve until people become more aware of the health implications associated with this precursor to most illnesses. Our government, schools and the media need to unite to make America healthy again. We are talking about decades of neglect and bad habits along with poor role modeling passed down from generation to generation. The sad thing about the skyrocketing issues with an unhealthy and overweight America is that it is very addressable and preventable through proper diet, health and fitness. Your medical doctor should be able to assist in directing you to these resources.
Are You Ignoring The Signs of Poor Health and Fitness?
Americans are clearly ignoring the warning signs of poor health and fitness. Many like to believe they were born pre-disposed to being overweight or obese and many others either ignore being overweight and disregard the fact that being overweight is a precursor to numerous other serious medical conditions. Some may even rationalize that they are normal because 71% of the population is overweight. The problem only gets worse if the overweight fail to address the problem. The bigger someone gets, the slower the body’s metabolism becomes causing the overweight person to gain more weight, more quickly. Failure to address being overweight could cost them their life, and deprive their family of a loved one, which can also cause financial ruin.
Some of the Health Issues Associated with The Overweight and Obese:
- 42% are more likely to get Alzheimer’s Disease.
- 60% are more likely to die of a heart attack versus someone who is not overweight.
- 90% are more likely to get type-2 diabetes.
- 14-20% are more likely to get cancer.
- 24% are a higher risk of having a stroke.
- Overweight people have a 32% chance of getting high blood pressure, where someone who is obese is 81% more likely to get high blood pressure.
- Hip and knee replacements are skyrocketing for the overweight and obese.
Financial Impact of This Serious Problem:
- The annual health care costs associated with the overweight was 315 billion dollars in 2010. I’m sure the actual costs through 2015 is probably double this due to the increase in overweight people and the rising health care costs.
- The overweight person incurs, on the average, an additional $1,850 in medical expenses per year and the obese person averages an additional $5,500 in medical expenses per year. For those incurring catastrophic health issues, the cost is much greater.
Primary Causes of Poor Health and Fitness:
- A poor diet.
- Lack of physical activity.
The good news is that the solution to the problem is easy. I will provide some basic solutions to address weight and overall health and fitness. It’s a 3 step process and starts with paying a visit to your medical doctor to have your blood tested for possible hormonal causes to your weight problem and to ensure that you are healthy enough to start a fitness program. Next, you must put together a diet that you can follow and focus on eating nutrient dense whole foods that are healthy. Don’t worry, you don’t need to starve yourself and eat like a rabbit. Lastly, you will need to start a fitness program where you develop a plan to meet your weight loss and fitness goals. You need to hold yourself accountable and execute your diet and workout plan. If you can do those things, then the results will follow.
Motivating Factors of Achieving Good Health:
- You will have more energy.
- You will feel better.
- You will look better.
- Your self-confidence will increase.
- You will be less likely to experience medical issues associated with being overweight.
- Save money! It will be much cheaper to be healthy versus being unhealthy. A catastrophic health issue could ruin you and your family financially, when it comes to health care costs.
- Your quality of life will increase.
- You will have better sleep.
- You will be able to be around longer for your family.
Let’s Talk About Fitness
A recent survey showed that 80% of adults do not get enough exercise and 43% of adults do not exercise at all. Individuals that lift weights twice a week are 46% less likely to die for any reason. Only 10% of all adults lift weights and strength train. Another survey showed that only 25% of all children get enough exercise.
How To Get Results with Your Fitness Plan:
- Define your goals. Do you want to lose a certain amount of weight or improve muscle tone?
- Stay motivated and hold yourself accountable by weighing yourself weekly along with taking pictures and measurements to keep track of your progress.
- Your fitness plan should be balanced and include cardio, core training and weightlifting.
- Hire a certified personal trainer to help you design a workout plan to reach your goals, along with training you how to perform each exercise. This will help you get better results, much faster.
- Workout 4-5 times per week for about 60-90 minutes per workout.
- Make sure to stick to your diet and focus on eating clean, nutrient dense foods.
- Adjust your fitness plan as you improve your physical condition in order to stay challenged.
Will Weightlifting Improve Your Lifespan?
Yes! If you lift weights, you are 46% less likely to die early. Lifting weights helps you build lean muscle and burn body fat. Muscle not only looks better, but it speeds up your metabolism allowing you to burn an additional 500 calories for every 10 pounds of new muscle you build. It’s a no-brainer! Build attractive, healthy muscle and lose unattractive, unhealthy fat!
Benefits of Weightlifting:
- Live longer.
- Reduce illnesses.
- Improve mobility and quality of life.
- Prevent the body from aging.
- Maintain lean muscle mass.
- Increase metabolism and lose weight.
- Your clothes will fit better since a pound of muscle is more dense than a pound of fat, so it takes up less space on your body.
- Increase your testosterone which promotes fat burning, muscle development and improves your sex life.
The Illnesses Weightlifting Can Help Prevent:
- Heart disease.
- Being overweight.
- Alzheimer’s Disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Joint replacement.
Diet Tips for Beginners To Lose Weight and Become Healthier:
- Cut down on fast food consumption.
- Most breakfast cereals are not good for you. Old-fashioned oatmeal is a much healthier choice.
- Cut way back on refined sugar and carbs.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Substitute brown rice and quinoa instead of pasta, pizza and bread.
- Go sugarless for your deserts.
- Use smaller portion sizes and eat more frequently.
- Cut down on red meat and eat more chicken, fish and turkey (6-8 ounces per meal).
- Eliminate alcohol since it slows down your metabolism and reduces your testosterone.
Why 33% of Children Between The Age of 10-17 are Overweight or Obese:
- With numbers this high, clearly children are impacted by poor role modeling from their own parents. This number is driven by a lack of exercise and poor nutrition. Children fall prey to what they see from their parents. The emergence of fast food has played a major role in creating this problem because it’s easy, cheap and fast. Unfortunately, there’s not much nutritional value in fast food. As a society, we’ve taken the approach that food is food, and it’s clear that children are consuming way too much bad food and not enough healthy food. Mothers are inadvertently poisoning their own kids with juice boxes, fruit drinks, sodas, cereals with sugar, cookies, candy, ice cream and fast food. Over the last 10 years, type-1 and type-2 diabetes have increased by 30%. Children are simply given way too much sugar from their parents. The bottom line is that most of these children are not eating properly and eating way too much junk food.
- Most schools do not have health classes for children. A lot of children have switched from enjoying active play time outside, to staying inside and playing video games. Children need to be involved in more physical activities. Lastly, most parents are not up to speed with proper nutrition and they simply don’t correlate their own lack of physical fitness and overall health to their own children’s weight issues.
How To Deal with This Epidemic and Make America Healthy and Fit Again:
- Improve visibility to the health issues associated with being overweight and obese.
- Improve general education about how to stay healthy and fit and how to lose weight.
- Parents need to improve and be role models for their children and have their kids be involved in physical activities or involved in team sports.
- Involvement in physical activity 4-5 times a week.
- Ask more questions with your medical doctor. If you don’t ask, your doctor won’t be able to help you.
- Eat a nutrient dense whole food diet.
- Provide hope, inspiration and motivation to friends who are overweight.