Obesity in America has risen dramatically over the past few years and continues to increase. According to the latest figures available, 33.8% of American adults, aged 20 and older, are obese. Studies confirm that obesity is a disease. It is not a disorder of willpower. These are powerful words, especially for the millions of people who are blamed and ridiculed for their weight problem.
Like many other chronic diseases, some people are more susceptible to obesity than others. The disease often runs in families and in some cases, obesity is harder to control than in other cases. Obesity is impacted by lifestyle, however it can be overcome.
Related Health Conditions
As weight increases, the risk of multiple chronic conditions increases. Health problems commonly associated iwth increased weight inlcude:
- High Blood Pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Gallbladder Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Respiratory Problems
- Irregular menstruation
- Stress Incontinence
Social and Psychological Effects
One of the most painful aspects of obesity may be the emotional suffering it causes. If you are more than 100 pounds overweight, you have probably experienced loneliness, shame, rejection, depression and poor health. Lack of respect for the severely obese is an issue of concern. This intense prejudice cuts across age, sex, religion, race and socioeconomic status. Obese people often face prejudice or discrimination at school, on the job and in family and social situations. You many struggle with:
- Limited choice of clothing size
- Limited physical activities
- Open ridicule in public
- Low self-esteem
- Loneliness and depression
- Despair and frustration
- Employment discrimination, despite many federal and state laws
Obesity can be overcome. You don't have to live with it. In fact, you have a responsibility to control it. You owe it to yourself and to all of the people who love you. If proper nutrition and regular exercise don't control your obesity, bariatric surgery may be an option.