Monday, September 5, 2011
Almost everybody knows modern America is in the midst of an all-you-can eat food fest that ha us literally busting at the seams. We are eating ourselves into sickness and premature death, but we also have a serious health care crisis with upward spiraling medical care costs. This type of thinking is affecting our children and the future of our country. It is weighing down our economy, sending many of our jobs overseas and pulling our nation into an economic downspin that will be almost impossible to recover from.
The economic costs of heart disease and other diet-related chronic diseases are staggering. Health care cost has increased over 70% since 2005 and our nation's medical costs now exceeds 5 trillion, over 6 times the amount spent on national defense. Though my blogs are normally health related and I can't help but mention about the business side of our economy, (in my opinion). These out-of-control costs play an important role in business failures, bankruptcies and loss of jobs. More than 50% of defaults on mortgages and rentals are the result of medical debt. We also have a major epidemic with "the changing faces" of the homeless. Well, that’s enough of my observations on that.
The Obesity Epidemic
Nutritionally-caused disease is now the largest of death throughout the world and for the first time globally the number of overweight individuals rivals the number of those who are underweight. Over the recent years, the growth of processed foods, convenience foods and fast foods has supplied high calorie foods with little nutrients to feed a relatively sedentary society.
In all regions, obesity appears to escalate as many incomes decrease or stay the same. Nowhere has the problem become larger than it is in American where we have the largest waistline in the world. In the United States, being overweight is now considered as the norm and almost all adults eventually get put on medications for their heart, diabetes, cholesterol or blood pressure. The number of obese Americans is higher than those who smoke. We now see less commercials banning smoking, use of illegal drugs or sufferings from other physical ailments. Obesity is a major risk factor associated with highly prevalent and serious diseases, such as heart disease (the #1 killer of women, killing 43% more African American Women than any other race), cancer and diabetes and the diet-style that creates these diseases fuel our out-of-control medical costs.
The average woman in America today weighs 50 pounds more than women did 80 years ago and has a considerably higher rate of heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer to show for it. The rate of sudden cardiac death for the average American male has quadrupled in the past 70 years, and his risk of heart attack is ten time higher. Both sexes, on average, are 30 pounds heavier today than they were in the 1970’s. But it not just about weight, the problems are much bigger.