Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of obese Americans
continues to rise. In fact, 30 percent of adults over age 20-more than 60 million
people-are obese, which means they are 30 pounds overweight and have a BMI, or
body mass index (a measure of body fat), of more than 30.
Obesity Is On The Rise
One of the goals of the National Institutes of Health is to reduce obesity among
adults by more than half by the year 2025. However, current data suggests that
the situation is getting worse. Due to rising rates of childhood obesity, life
expectancy for the average American could decrease by two to ve years over the
next few decades unless major efforts are made to slow down the rising rates of
What's more, obesity is a risk factor for heart disease and other serious health
complications:Obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high
cholesterol. Having these disorders at the same time is a condition called
metabolic syndrome, which can lead to an increased risk for heart disease
and kidney disease.
High blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease, is twice as common in
obese adults than in those who are at a healthy weight.
Obesity can also lead to arthritis, which is caused by stress on your joints.
A Likely Trigger For Heart Disease
Obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are common grouping of risk
factors for people with heart disease. Managing all these risk factors will help
reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
What You Can Do Today
Overweight and obesity together represent the number-two preventable cause of
death in the U.S. after smoking. There are many things you can do to get your
weight under control and to help manage your risk for heart disease:
Develop a diet and exercise plan that you feel is realistic and that you can
Talk to your doctor about medicines that may help control your risk factors
for heart disease. If you are prescribed medicines, take them exactly as
directed and for as long as your doctor recommends.
Resolve to make this year a healthier one-set a weight-loss goal and stick