Are you paying attention to the obesity epidemic numbers? You should be

Jodi Davis

| 3 min read

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 9.35.13 AM
I think the time has arrived when we really need to start paying more attention to some very important numbers in this country specifically the obesity epidemic numbers. The numbers are shocking, and sadly startling in my opinion.
NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman shared recent findings concerning our country’s obesity epidemic and quite honestly, what she said made me feel sick to my stomach. According to research in the American Journal of Public Health death rates from obesity are almost three times higher than the previous estimation.
It’s alarming to learn that one in five Americans dies from obesity, three times that of the previous estimate.
Dr. Snyderman shared that about 18 percent of the American population dies from some obesity related disorder, claiming that the American Medical Association defines obesity as an illness. We already know that obesity is related to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers, yet “obesity” is not listed as a cause of death. Shouldn’t it be?
The study broke down the population into groups. The highest obesity-related deaths are African-American women, showing the numbers to be at 27 percent. Next is the group consisting of white women at 21 percent. White men were third on the list at 15 percent and African-American men showed the lowest rate at five percent.
We really need to face facts and realize that what we are feeding our children predisposes them of a lifetime of obesity. Again, we must realize that obesity is related to several health issues. Individuals in this country who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 and over – the very obese – is up 350 percent over the last few years! It’s not pretty, I know that … but the numbers are real and it’s time to pay attention to them!
Two thirds of Americans are now overweight or obese, which is increasingly shaping the mortality levels in this country as we move forward. BMI has increased in every state, especially the Southern and midsections of America and experts worry that life expectancy will continue to decline. Obesity is striking at younger ages and it’s the first time in human history when people are NOT dying of starvation but from an overabundance of food that isn’t necessarily good for us.
Were you aware that in some parts of the South, average life expectancy of 65 rivals some African countries? Again, that is a number we need to pay attention to!
What we eat at age sixteen can make a difference to what we look like at age 60. Let’s say you look at the heart and blood vessels of a person who consumes food that isn’t good for them and doesn’t exercise, how they look on the inside can be 40-50 years higher than their chronological age.
We have the ability to change those numbers and it begins with leading a healthier lifestyle- eating foods that are good for you and exercising daily. It’s never too late to turn things around, which has been proven by countess individuals.
It is time to start paying closer attention to these numbers, your health and quality of life depends on it.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.