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Obesity

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Obesity is a rising health concern in the United States. The percentage of obesity sufferers has risen significantly in the past twenty years. Obesity can lead to health and social problems as well as self esteem problems. A person is considered obese when their body mass index is higher than 30. A person who is more than 100 pounds overweight is considered morbidly obese. Nearly two thirds of the population of the Untied States is considered obese.

Obesity in children is becoming a greater problem in the United States. Children who are obese are in danger of being adults who are obese. They have a 75% greater chance of obesity than their slender class mates. Childhood obesity is considered a health crisis.

OBESITY CAUSES

There are only a few basic causes of obesity. Over eating, eating foods that are difficult to burn off, and a lack of exercise is the leading cause of obesity. Excess alcohol consumption can contribute, and in some cases lead to obesity. A sedentary lifestyle is known to contribute to obesity. Thyroid disorders can contribute to obesity, as well as a few other physical conditions. However, the vast majority of obesity cases are caused by consuming more calories than are used in a twenty four hour period for a long period of time.

Obesity tends to run in families. Sometimes this is contributed to genes that make a person more susceptible to weight gain and sometimes it is because parents who do not set a positive and healthy lifestyle example are not likely to have children that are positive and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Obesity can be taught.

Obesity can cause serious health problems. Obesity can lead to joint problems, foot deformities, mobility problems, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high cholesterol, kidney disease, gall bladder disease, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea. Obese children tend to live 5 to 15 years less than people of average weight or mild weight problems. These health problems can be life threatening or significantly shorten the life span of an obese person. Health problems from obesity can lead to other problems such as a lack of mobility, depression, ostracization, fatigue, shortness of breath, and a lack of motivation. These factors can make it difficult for an obese person to lose the weight necessary to maintain a higher level of health.

OBESITY TREATMENT

There are few treatments for obesity other than changes in diet and exercise. Eating lower calorie foods and doing daily exercise will encourage the body to naturally lose weight, which is by far the healthiest. However, there are other treatment options available for those who are not able to lose weight the healthy and natural way. There are medications which can help along with counseling, weight management programs that a physician can recommend, and surgical procedures to make the stomach smaller and less able to handle large amounts of food. Gastric bypass surgery is reserved for people who are significantly overweight and are unable to lose weight without help. Other options should be attempted prior to considering surgical intervention. Surgery does not mean that the patient will not have to alter their behavior, but it makes it easier for them to alter their behavior.

Any patient that wishes to lose weight needs to be motivated to do so. This may mean having a support group, or checking in regularly with a counselor. It may also mean frequent doctor visits. Obesity can often mean social problems. Obese people typically make $2000 less per year for doing the same job as their thin counter parts. Obese people tend to feel isolated, lonely, and depressed.


Losing weight takes a commitment, and some time. Patients are urged to stick with a daily routine in order to promote good habits. Results may be slow, but with physician guidance and support, proper weight loss can occur. Studies show that obese people who have ample support lose weight faster and keep it off more than those without support.

OBESITY RISK FACTOR

People who are overweight should consider themselves at risk for obesity and should begin a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine before they reach obesity. Studies indicate that people with less than 30 pounds to lose are more successful at attaining a healthy body weight than those with more than 50 pounds.
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