Obesity -The Silent Killer

Health and Wellness Articles 

You may have heard of Diabetes Mellitus as a common silent killer, but there is another medical condition that is slowly catching up with it. This condition is getting increasingly prevalent amongst Americans and is affecting not only adults but children too. Yes, we are talking about obesity here and it is not surprising that as of today, more than a third of US adults and about one in five children are obese. All thanks to an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle, this number is expected to further increase with time.


Obesity In America

Diet and weight lossAs per America’s Health Rankings, based on current trends, about 43% of the US population will be considered obese by 2018. It currently costs the health care system $80 billion a year and in 2018 alone, this condition will add $344 billion to the annual health care costs. This will be about 21% of the total spending on health care. This means that the average American will not only have to continue working hard to be able to afford food, but that very food, if not chosen wisely, can lead him or her to be paying more tax.

Obesity can be defined as a condition in which the weight of a body is increased because of the high amount of body fat. This condition is not healthy and can lead to various diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer and respiratory disease, etc.
A person becomes obese when his calorie consumption increases from the actual requirement of the body. Many factors can contribute to obesity and they include a person’s genetics, lifestyle, eating too much, age, imbalanced lifestyle, very little physical activity and having a diet rich in calories. Obesity has now become an epidemic in most developing countries and because of the intake of these foods, people are craving high-calorie foods and are becoming ‘conditioned overeaters’.

Obesity decreases life expectancy by an average of three years, or eight to ten years in the case of severe obesity (BMI over 40). In the US, 18% of annual deaths have been attributed to obesity amongst Black and White Americans between the ages of 40 and 85.

The symptoms of obesity include difficulty in sleeping, sleep apnea, back pain or joint pain, snoring, heavy sweating, rashes or infections in folds of skin, panting with even minor exertion, lethargy during the day, fatigue, feeling hot all the time and depression.

Obesity affects almost all organs in the body. These problems include high cholesterol and high blood pressure; kidney problems; infertility; social and psychological problems; fatty liver disease; etc.


How To Avoid Obesity

So what can one do to avoid this silent killer? The answer is a simple one but hard to adopt. One needs to eat healthy but avoiding fast food and foods rich in fats and carbohydrates. The key is to adopt any diet that lowers your calorie intake. Then, having an active lifestyle can also help lose weight – this means that one should exercise regularly or be engaged in some physical activity at all times. This can include walking, dancing or even just moving one’s arms while sitting.