Obesity Not Only Damages Your Health - It Kills!

Obesity and overweight are determined by calculating a person's body mass index (BMI). BMI is used because it correlates with the percentage of fat in a person's body. The two factors of BMI are height and weight: (weight in pounds)/(height in inches) sq. A person's BMI can be calculated both using the English system or the metric system. Web sites are available online, providing information on BMI as well as a free BMI calculator.

What Is a Healthy Body Weight?

A healthy body weight equals a BMI less than 24.9. If a person's BMI is between 25 and 29.9 they are overweight. On the other hand if a person's BMI is 30 or greater they are considered obese. In America obesity is a growing epidemic. In 2007-2008, obesity affected more than 1/3 of adults, and 17% of children and teens in the United States. The good news is that within the last two years the obesity epidemic growth rate is slightly decreasing.

Obesity is associated with so many medical conditions. People who are obese are at risk for developing arthritis, certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and stroke. Heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers are primarily responsible for the deaths associated with obesity. Obesity is linked to breast, colon, gallbladder, throat, kidney, and stomach cancer.

Obesity is more prevalent among some races than others. As of 2007, African-American women have the highest obesity rate, affecting them 1.4 times more than Non-Hispanic Whites.

Fighting obesity in the US

Fighting back to stop obesity is an ongoing challenge. Choosing the right foods to eat may be easier said than done because of the way society is set up. We live in a rapid moving environment, consisting of work, parenting, and making ends meet. Who has time to exercise when parenting and family comes first, right? It's not as convenient to eat a balanced meal as it is to grab foods on the run. Some households can't afford to eat a balanced meal three times a day.

Then we have various ethnic groups who desire certain foods that are not prepared in healthy ways. So just what exactly can we do when culture and biology collide? I don't know exactly how we are going to win this battle of obesity. But I do know we've got to win! Low fat foods are essential for healthy weights, ensuring good health.

Just because it is in someone gene's to become obese doesn't mean that it has to happen. People can keep their culture alive without sacrificing all of their desired foods. There are low-fat cookbooks available that focus on how to prepare healthy foods, addressing various cultures. If you don't have time to exercise at a gym or sports club, exercising at home is an alternative. Walk to your neighborhood store instead of driving.

Children and teens suffer with obesity more now than ever because of technology (the internet, computers, video games, etc.). This advancement in technology increases a sedentary lifestyle. Keep your children as active as possible, limit TV watching, and the playing of video/computer games. Encourage your children and teens to participate in outdoor sports and enroll them in school athletics as much as possible.

We have the power to make this obesity epidemic disappear, but we can't afford to waste any more time. Obesity kills more people yearly than HIV. We've got to get busy and fight back even harder! A little change makes a big difference!