Thursday, July 19, 2007

75 percent of Americans overweight by 2015

Two-thirds considered heavy or obese now; rate still increasing, study finds.
(story courtesy of Reuters wire)
(my comments courtesy of me)

If people keep gaining weight at the current rate, fat will be the norm by 2015, with 75 percent of U.S. adults overweight and 41 percent obese, U.S. researchers predicted on Wednesday.

A team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore examined 20 studies published in journals and looked at national surveys of weight and behavior for their analysis, published in the journal Epidemiologic Reviews.

“Obesity is a public health crisis. If the rate of obesity and overweight continues at this pace, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese,” Dr. Youfa Wang, who led the study, said in a statement.

They defined adult overweight and obesity using a standard medical definition called body mass index. People with a BMI of 25 or above are considered overweight, while those with BMIs of 30 or above are obese and at serious risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Studies show that 66 percent of U.S. adults were overweight or obese in 2003 and 2004. An alarming 80 percent of black women aged 40 or over are overweight and 50 percent are obese.

Sixteen percent of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight and 34 percent are at risk of becoming overweight, according to federal government figures.

Every group is steadily getting heavier, Wang said.

“Our analysis showed patterns of obesity or overweight for various groups of Americans,” said May Beydoun, who worked on the study.

“Obesity is likely to continue to increase, and if nothing is done, it will soon become the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”

This is a very depressing story but a very true vision of where we are heading as a nation health wise. Until Americans start taking care of themselves and their families I can't in good conscience even consider a "universal health care" plan that covers diseases brought on by pure neglect of your vessel. I'm all for Universal Emergency care, that covers accidents and imminent surgeries that save lives.
But, for most diseases that are brought on by an over-indulgent, neglectful lifestyle I cannot support that. These statistics about Fat Americans do not bode well, and if we did have a universal health care plan, we would go bankrupt, or we would all go poor paying more than any other country in taxes because we are the FATTEST nation on earth.
A basic plan of coverage should be there for everyone and for accidents, but to manage fat related diseases is not where I want my tax dollars going towards.
With nearly 62 million Americans having some form of cardiovascular disease (that is for the most part brought on by awful lifestyle choices) and the other top killers of Americans also related to bad habits of eating and over eating, the trend towards a disastrous rise in fat diseases is increasingly obvious. There needs a complete and total overhaul of food, learning and thinking in this country to solve this crisis, and if it doesn't happen sooner rather than later the consequences will be ultimately and literally fatal.

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