Obesity: A Weapon of Mass Destruction

We are often asked, “How did the two of you get to 400lbs and almost 300lbs?” Our response…Easy! One bite at a time!

It was true. We became two obese individuals because we were not being responsible or holding ourselves accountable for the foods we were eating, the bad habits we had adopted, and the attitude of not accepting/acknowledging our behavior or having the desire to change it. What’s surprising is, you don’t see obesity coming. It’s not like you go to sleep and the next morning, you wake up 400lbs. You don’t go to dinner and by the time you get home and your food has digested, you are 300lbs. Obesity lacks immediate shock value. This is why it is such a powerful weapon of mass destruction. It’s silent. It’s subtle. It’s deadly.

Have you ever been SLAPPED IN THE FACE? Anyone ever jump out the closet and scared the SHIT out of you??? That’s SHOCK VALUE! It’s immediate! Unfortunately, becoming overweight or obese is simply not that immediate or that dramatic. It’s not until we go to the doctor and find out our blood pressure is through the roof; or when we can’t breath from walking a simple flight of stairs, do we experience the SHOCK of the truth. The shock comes when the doctor tells you your heart can’t function properly, your cholesterol levels are too high, they can’t measure your weight on the scale or if they dare tell you, YOU ARE OBESE!

According to the CDC, between 60 million adults, or 30% of the adult population are now obese. Rates have doubled among children and tripled amount adolescents. Type 2 Diabetes is being diagnosed among young people and 61% of overweight 5-10 year old children already have one risk factor for heart disease and 26% have two or more risk factors. In 2008, obesity health costs have been estimated at $147 billion dollars.

These are real statistics. We were a part of these statistics. The difference for us was learning how to change it. It is true – people can only do what they KNOW how to do. If they are not educated about their health & unhealthy habits and understand the process, it becomes a difficult process for one to change their lives, let alone change their eating habits or mindset about activity or lack of activity.

Now, think about this, these and the statistics listed below have been subtle and consistent over the last 4 decades; proof, that this is not a problem that JUST happened! Now, can we do something about it? Yes. Do we want to do something about it? Only you can determine that for yourself. What we can tell you is, you did not reach this point overnight and you won’t lose it overnight. But if you remain consistent in your efforts of making better food choices, getting active, and committing to changing your lifestyle, you will lose weight, gain better health, and change your life. Remember…little things make a BIG difference.

 

THE STATISTICS:
This information below was taken directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Please visit these sites for more information.

 

Adult Obesity Facts-

  • More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese.
  • No state has met the nation’s Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%.
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of death.
  • In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion dollars.More than 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight.
  • People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, and LDL cholesterol — all risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
  • The South has the highest prevalence of obesity (29.4%) followed by the Midwest (28.7%), Northeast (24.9%) and the West (24.1%)
  • Among non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American men, those with higher incomes are more likely to be obese than those with low income.

 

Childhood Obesity Facts-

  • Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.
  • Since 1980, obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
  • 1 of 7 low-income, preschool-aged children is obese.
  • In some communities almost half of the pediatric diabetes cases are type 2, when in the past the total was close to zero. Although childhood-onset Type 2 diabetes is still a rare condition, overweight children with this disease are at risk of suffering the serious complications of diabetes as adults, such as kidney disease, blindness, and amputations.
  • Sixty-one percent of overweight 5- to10-year-olds already have at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 26% have two or more risk factors.

 

Minority Obesity Facts-

  • African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. About four out of five African American women are overweight or obese.
  • In 2010, African Americans were 1.4 times as likely to be obese as Non- Hispanic Whites.
  • In 2010, African American women were 70% more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic White women.
  • In 2007-2010, African American girls were 80% more likely to be overweight than Non-Hispanic White girls.
  • In 2010, African Americans were 70% less likely to engage in active physical activity as Non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Deaths from heart disease and stroke are almost twice the rate for African Americans as compared to Whites.
  • The data used from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) found that in 40 states, obesity prevalence among blacks was 30 percent or more. In five of those states, Alabama, Maine, Mississippi, Ohio, and Oregon, obesity prevalence among blacks was 40 percent or greater.
  • Among Hispanics in 50 states and DC, the prevalence of obesity ranged from 21 percent to 36.7 percent, with 11 states having an obesity prevalence of 30 percent or higher.

 

Primary Behavior Facts Causing Obesity Epidemic:

  • The primary behaviors causing the obesity epidemic are well known and preventable: physical inactivity and unhealthy diet. Despite this knowledge:
  • Only about 25% of U.S. adults eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Less than 25% of adolescents eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • More than 50% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity to provide health benefits.
  • More than a third of young people in grades 9–12 do not regularly engage in vigorous physical activity.

 

QUICK TIP: “We know that racial and ethnic differences in obesity prevalence are likely due to both individual behaviors, as well as differences in the physical and social environment,” said Liping Pan, M.D., M.P.H., lead author and epidemiologist. “We need a combination of policy and environmental changes that can create opportunities for healthier living.” –www.cdc.gov

As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.

Thanks!
-Eric & Maleka Beal

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