Obesity is rapidly rising in the U.S., what can we do?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published findings (reported in a recent reuters article) on the status of obesity among its 34 developed member countries. It reports that obesity has risen 4-5% in the U.S. over the last 10 years. Obesity signifies a decline in health, which foretells a rise in healthcare costs. This is especially true in the U.S. as we already spend the most on healthcare and have one of the highest obesity rates (30%+)!

in more than half of the 34 OECD countries, at least one in two people is now overweight or obese, and rates are projected to rise further. In some countries, two out of three people will be obese within 10 years, the report said.

“(These people) will die early, and send healthcare costs ever higher,”

Experts say severely obese people die on average eight to 10 years sooner than people at normal weight, with every 15 extra kg increasing risk of early death by around 30 percent.

We also have the lowest life expectancy rate among developed nations. I believe the government should play a more active role in curbing obesity by giving higher regard to people’s welfare over businesses when it comes to health issues. Child obesity rates have remained stable as a result of government involvement. Continued and increased involvement will slow down our obesity rate.

On an individual level, a lifestyle change is vital to success in weight loss, and improvement in health. We should all focus on increasing our daily physical activity, reducing salt consumption,  avoiding processed foods, etc. – all bad habits and components of the growing obesity culture.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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