Obesity: Health Risks
Two out of every five adult Americans are obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two out of every five adult Americans are obese.
Obesity is defined by the CDC as having a BMI greater than 30. To put this in context, a 5’9″ male weighing 203 pounds or a 5’6″ female weighing 186 pounds has a BMI greater than 30. This figure is exceeded by 40% of the population.
The figures are mind-boggling. Unfortunately, this is a health crisis that is underappreciated. Obesity raises blood pressure and contributes to atherosclerosis, which leads to heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which can lead to kidney disease, amputations, and blindness. Obesity also increases the risk of developing cancer. Obesity has been linked to 13 different cancers, including breast, pancreas, thyroid, and liver cancers.
But there are things that can be done now to attack this problem.
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Furthermore, obesity is a multifactorial disease, and more research is needed to better understand the underlying causes of this disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget for 2022 includes $1.23 billion for obesity research.
This is not a problem that will go away soon. Within the next decade, it is likely that half of all Americans will be obese, and 20% will be diabetic. Cancer and any new virus that spreads around the world will affect an increasing number of people. We must address this issue immediately and with urgency.
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