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The Power of Your Metabolism - Weight Problems and Obesity

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Chapter: A Huge Problem
WEIGHT PROBLEMS AND OBESITY: EPIDEMICS

Weight problems and obesity have grown to epidemic proportions, or at least that is what the United States Department of Health has publicly accepted.

It is calculated that 65.2% of the population is overweight and that 24.7% (1 in every 4 people) are already obese. The term “obesity” doesn’t mean the same thing as “being overweight”. “Obesity” means that you are at least 20% over the normal weight for your height. All obese people are overweight, but not all people who are overweight are obese.

What is certain is that these statistics about the population are getting worse. For example, look at this graph:

In fact, childhood obesity has been constantly rising for many decades and the same has happened with juvenile diabetes. It has been shown that a direct relationship exists between being overweight and having diabetes. It is calculated that more than 85% of diabetics are overweight. Any diabetic that manages to lose weight experiences a substantial improvement in their diabetic condition.

The American Cancer Society has published studies that show much higher incidence of cancer amongst people who are overweight. To mention some examples, overweight women experience 112% higher incidence of breast cancer. Overweight men experience 352% higher incidence of liver cancer (Source: NAASO, The Obesity Society, Study on Obesity). In other words, being overweight is a true risk to your health.

In conclusion, we can say without a doubt that we are losing the battle against obesity at a national level. Each day there are more obese people. Because obesity is related to high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, and diabetes, statistics also reflect annual increases in these conditions. The sales of medications to treat these conditions are a good indication of the magnitude of the problem. In the last 10 years, pharmaceutical companies have broken their own record of sales of medications associated with these conditions. It’s a shame to say it, but the obese and sick are good business for the pharmaceutical companies.

All of this is happening while our stores are stocking up on foods that are “sugar free”, “fat free” , “low fat” and“low calorie”  An interesting bit of information is that federal government studies,
like the NHANES, show that we currently consume about 19% less fat than 40 years ago; however, we are now 47% more overweight than in that era.

When you understand the way in which the body creates fat you will realize that our population isn’t more overweight than before as a result of us eating more fat than before. There are other reasons why the proportion of fat is increasing in our bodies, which will be discussed in the section of “How fat is created in the body”. This is information that everyone who wants to avoid being overweight or obese should know.   

Lastly, we must see that the future of our youth is increasingly more uncertain due to the epidemic of weight problems and obesity. There are already hundreds of thousands of boys and girls that need to use prescription medications to control high blood pressure and cholesterol. We are creating a new generation of weak, overweight, flaccid bodies that only have enough energy to play with electronic games. We are setting a very bad example of what they should learn about nutrition and the proper caring of their bodies. Even the food served in school cafeterias is appalling, with pizza, hot dogs, and other things that could be called “non-food”.

It is said that obesity has a certain hereditary factor. I agree, to a certain extent. I agree that there is a strong hereditary factor, but this factor has nothing to do with our genes or chromosomes. It does have to do with the fact that children inherit the bad habits of their parents. A family with bad habits raises children with bad habits. All of the hundreds of overweight children which I have worked with lived in homes where unhealthy nutrition and unhealthy lifestyles were the obvious causes of the child’s obesity.

It is evident that none of us has the power to change all of society. Nevertheless, each one of us does have the power to increase our knowledge and the level of responsibility as to what we feed our loved ones. If everyone makes himself or herself responsible for improving his or her own immediate family, and the rest of the world does the same, in no time we will have made all of society better. What is certain is that if we don’t do anything with respect to this problem, not even with our loved ones, we will have been accomplices to the creation of the deficient states of health of our loved ones and our future generations.



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