We will spend $550 billion more because of this rise above what we would spend if obesity levels remained constant over the next two decades. This money will be spent on healthcare instead of a manned mission to Mars, ending poverty and making sure every child has a better education. Great plan.
I had RNY gastric bypass ten years ago and it has proven to be a great tool to help me fight my food addiction. I would do it again, with a rusty knife even. It gave me my life back abd without it I would not have been able to have my kids. As a support group moderator of ten years, I have seen thousands walk away from prescriptions and their ci-morbid conditions. Obesity is a quickly spreading disease with longterm ill effects.
Blaming "obesity" is like blaming a tornado for wrecking Kansas. It's not a cause of an issue, it's the result of other issues that happens to have trickle-down effects. Just like that tornado, which started off as a counter-rotating wind current in the upper atmosphere, obesity is something millions struggle with for a variety of factors, not all of which revolve around food. You, yourself, may or may not be obese - but I am, and, at least for me, it's part lifestyle, and part genetics. Other members of my household eat the same diet I do, and get about the same level of activity, and yet they aren't obese - there's more to it than food & exercise.
Nice post - I appreciate the way you organized and presented the information. The cost of care and durable medical equipment associated with these diseases is another layer of "staggering" - but the worst part is the opportunity cost. Being healthy and enjoying life is too much to give up!
Blaming types of food, or saying "just go exercise" isn't the answer. Many of us afflicted with this condition, especially those of us that wish to escape the situation eat healthier than most 'skinny' people. We hate the amount of hoops we have to figuratively jump through to lose even modest amounts of weight, let alone the huge amounts it would take for us to get back to "normal" BMI's.
Eat what you like, live as you like, don't let anyone shame you into being less free. "We" woudn't be spending any extra money for the choices of others if we get the government out of healthcare. Obamanation-care just means there'll be more IRS agents, that's right, IRS agents to enforce you making choices "we", ahem, "they" want you to make. <end rant> :-)
It's true that genetics plays a part in it, but that would be an easier explanation to accept in a country smaller than the US - or an island, for example the UK. But the US is incredibly genetically diverse, so more than that is at play.
It's looking a lot like the food industry is to blame. Other countries have foods with more fat and sugar and salt etc., and their populations aren't obese on anywhere near such a scale as the US. I admit I don't know much of anything about Canada, Mexico or South America, but going at it eastward and looking at Europe, England seems to have a mild problem with obesity, but that seems to avoid Ireland, France isn't doing badly and I don't think Germany is either; working out is very popular in Scandinavia, as well as healthy living in general, so they're well off, and obesity is only a problem in eastern and southern Europe in older people (50+) due to health problems rather than negligence. These are generalisations of course - not even scientific, but anecdotal; but just walking down the street in cities in England, France, Germany, Greece, as well as Romania where I live, this is the situation I've seen (and the Greeks in particular have devilishly good food, too).
It's very likely that some, few people are obese due to genetics, and most are obese because of food preparation. Eating well and exercising more than any other nation on the planet wouldn't help if the food itself is, in essence, toxic - the substances plants are treated with, for instance, can have a huge effect on health.
The company I work for does a health risk assessment every year. They calculate our BMI as one of the tests. I am 6'2" 215 lbs. I am in the overweight category nearing obese. I am supposed to be 165 lbs. I dont know if you have ever seen a 6'2" 165lb male but it is gross. Like Marilyn Manson gross...
Being an athletic person and an active martial artist I take offense to all the people that tell me I need to eat more and put on weight. It happens to me all the time. It's either that or the "just wait one of these days you'll put on weight". It's that mentality that has caused a culture of obesity.
Yea, I do my part now too.... try to do at least an hour a day at the gym. At 40 years old I am happier with my body than when I was 18. Muscle is easier to put on, but fat is as reluctant as always to go anywhere.
I have been heavy most of my life, our society is what is causing obesity. I was 6 foot 350 lbs at one time. I have made some very big changes, but in the grand schem of things nothing to major. I watch what i eat more than i ever did. I am now sitting at 220lbs having lost 116 lbs. The thing that helped me was really looking at what i eat, and seeing if what i am eating was good or bad, and how many calories the food would contain. The messed up part of our system though is the fact that i am considered obese my self even though I am now fitting into size 38 pants and xl shirts. Oh and i am running my first road race in my life in the next couple of weeks.
The problem is many faceted, and therefore doesn't have an easy solution. Healthy food is more expensive. Healthy, whole food takes more time to prepare, and as Americans put in longer and longer hours at their jobs, their "free" time becomes more and more dear. It's understandable that not everyone wants to come home from 8, 9, 10, or more hours on the job and spend an hour in the kitchen making dinner. Many families have two spouses who both work outside the home, where just a generation or two ago, the wife often stayed home and was the homemaker.
Many Americans also have a very strong "Don't tell me what to do" attitude. While independence is all very well and good, this strong spirit of independence, when coupled with ignorance, can be very detrimental.
We also have a false sense of value when it comes to food. Sure, that thing is cheaper on the shelf, but how much does heart surgery cost?
Katey i agree with you. My biggest issue was around the time that i was a kid it was drilled into our heads, that it is all genetics and that we are all doomed if we are over weight, and that there was nothing i could do to get the weight off and keep it off. I belived that line of bs for most of my life.
I have since broken the cycle of being a victim, and now take my own choices into account, knowing full well how bad foods are and what to eat and not eat. The bad part is most people out there are stuck in the trap i was for most of my life being a victim. Until we can break the vitctim cycle our waist lines will grow and grow and grow.
For a few there are issues with genetics being the cause. But for the majority (most likely you!) would need to change their lifestyle, eating, and exercising habits. I know I'm over weight - but it is because I stuff ho-hos in my face while playing video games... not because of genetics.
The military has strict height/weight standards. Every one who falls afoul of it will cry 'genetics!' Nine years in the Army, I never saw someone test positive for glandular malfunction causing obesity.
Agreed and this is such a problem that our country will be greatly effected in terms of productivity and serious disease. Even companies are taking initiatives to help their staff, google changed out chewy high calorie high fat candy for hard candy in one of its offices. Thanks to companies for also supporting this intiative. Our previous company, Meridian Systems, had walking groups and a team of staff ran the 100 mile team run in the California area (therefore training was at an all time high prior to the event.)
+Katey Springle Lempka I can't say I agree with you on the 'cost' and 'speed' of healthy food. One can order a large pizza in most areas for ~$10 and it will take 30-45min. Or one could buy chicken breast and fresh/frozen veggies for roughly the same price and cook the chicken in 15min. I will say is it takes planning and thinking ahead which is harder at times esp with a family.
+Mike Elgan this is one of the many reasons health costs keep rising.. once these costs start hitting those who believe that the current obesity rate and health care costs are nothing to be worried about, they will realize it's already too late.
Media continually fail to report the reasons for obesity as it is inherently an American concern. The lack of dialogue related to lifestyles; and ideology, which reflect our(implanted by socialized habits,) poorly trained value systems related to nutrition. Suggestions that this topic relates solely to simple balancing of suggested foods is by no means enough. The socialized order of habitual consumptions here is deeply rooted in convenience, this has and will destroy us on a number of fronts, people are just to stupid to see it for what it is. Sorry for the wake up call but that's exactly what it always has been about.
+Casey Ferrier , you're assuming a higher price point than I am. White bread is cheaper than whole wheat bread. Wal-Mart brand hot dogs are cheaper than chicken breast. Macaroni and cheese is cheaper than quinoa (though it's probably not cheaper than brown rice, it does take less time to cook, and it's already seasoned). Fresh fruits and veggies are more expensive than frozen, which are more expensive than canned. Not surprisingly, the reverse order is true for healthiness. It takes not just planning ahead so that you know what to buy for the week, but also the time to cook it, and the time to clean up afterwards. Although an ordered pizza might take 30 minutes to get to you, you can be sitting on your butt watching your TV for those 30 minutes rather than standing up in your kitchen chopping veggies/herbs/etc., and standing over your stove.
OMG good food is too expensive and takes too long to cook? No one asked you to buy holistic food most of the time it's a rip off. I buy the regular meats and vegetables, they are just fine. Buy things while they're on sale it helps. Don't have a lot of time to cook? You'd be surprised how easy it is to make meals with "real food" that don't take up all your time! Crockpots may be old style but they are wonderful. You throw your food in and when you get home you have a nutritious meal ready to eat. I think people eat too much fast food and even make excuses to eat bad food because they're lazy. To make a burger at home is easy and doesn't take much time at all. The burger will be juicy and wonderful unlike a dried out burger from Mackers. Americans are fat and getting fatter because they're lazy it's as simple as that. I see so many obese people and they are always eatting something be it candy or fast food. Just educate yourself, get some kind of exercise, buy a cookbook for beginners, and learn how to be healthy so you live a long life. Beauty is more than skin deep and it's worth the work. When you are over 50 and on all kinds of medications you'll be really sorry if you didn't do something about it earlier in life.
Ok, need to stir the proverbial pot on this. When you have state provided health care, the state cares about the health of it's citizens. And strangely, countries with public health care already know citizens with healthy BMIs live longer, are more productive and have lower health care costs. So when the fast food farming companies come lobbying they send them the same way the tobacco farmers went. As +Corina Iane pointed out, travel Europe and what do you see.. healthy people. What do all those countries have in common.. Public health care. In the USA some of the most powerful lobbyists come from the food and pharmaceutical industries, the two industries who make the most money off obesity. Looking in from the outside, I find it bizarre that anyone would honestly believe it is not in their interests to have a government committed to them living longer, been healthy and happy. But standing up against having public health care, that is exactly what you are saying. 42% of the population been obese only confirms this.
Twould prefer to not support idiocy with my tax dollars. War, politicians, food subsidies and bridges to the 'nowhere golf club' only point out that corporations already possess the ability to distort the free enterprise system. Along with all those cliches, I would add a preference for medical patients that are not obese, don't smoke and get regular exercise.
+Ronald Stepp I couldn't agree more. By happy coincidence, caring about the budget in this case results in better preventative health care which essentially equals a healthier population. Yah, Win, win!
Uneduacated people (95% of Americans) will never give nutrition a second thought because advertising dominates choice, there is no base culture in America that shows any examples of diets which promote anything even close to healthy.
then if we throw the good old "mutt" gene pool into the mix, healthcare actually becomes a liability. Hahaha its actually funny if you think about an entire culture of people addicted to foods that substantially kill them prematurely.
We eat our own vegetables from our own little veggie patch eat plenty of fruit with our meals and cheap meat chicken mutton chops all healthy food,I think people in USA are living in city's not like 50 years ago when people had space and grew a lot of their own food instead of going to McDonald's,Kentucky,burger king,we have them I went once was like eating cardboard.
I used to plant my own garden and eat healthy but now I live in an area of cement so I can't do it. I sure miss it! Still, it's easy to watch what I eat and count my calories. I must do this to lose weight because after we turn 50 it gets really hard to keep the weight off! Exercise, even walking helps me to lose weight so I do what I can. I also take pictures which helps me enjoy it.