What is Obesity?
Obesity affects over 1/3 of American adults—approximately 72 million people.
3 Things to Know About Obesity:
- Obesity is a chronic disease
- It is not the patient’s fault
- Quick fix diets will never fix a chronic disease
While obesity is often misinterpreted as laziness and lack of will power, it is actually a complex medical condition influenced by genetics, metabolic disorders, hormonal imbalances, and social and physiological influences. Obesity actually changes people’s body chemistry, and obese patients often have associated conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. For some reason, the unconscious control mechanisms that monitor the body's energy supply decides that the body “needs” more than 100 pounds of fat stored or else “starvation” will set in. Because of this, medical intervention is often the only way to successfully control body chemistry so the obese patient can lose weight.
Not only does the metabolic imbalance create increased rates of many medical problems, but it also leads to many functional problems including fatigue, joint pain, shortness of breath, worry about seating and parking arrangements, and hygiene problems.
Studies have shown that social stigma towards obese people can result in discrimination in employment opportunities, college acceptance, college financial aid, job earnings, rental availability and opportunities for marriage. And each year, obesity causes at least 112,000 deaths in the United States.
In order for obesity to be controlled, it must be treated for life. And that means finding a solution that is both attainable and sustainable.
Statistics that hit close to home.
- 27.7% of Bexar County adults were obese in 2007. 28.4% were obese in 2010. There are predictions that the percentage will rise to 30.2% in 2011, 33% in 2020, 37.7% in 2030 and 42.7% in 2040.
- In 2001, San Antonio reached the number one spot in the US for obese adults. While not currently in the number one spot, it is still in the top 10.
- A recent study showed 30% of children in San Antonio age 8 to 10 are obese
- Children of obese parents have the highest risk of being overweight
- Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults, which keeps them at high risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
- In a recent study done by the Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers found that 64% of children with overweight parents became overweight, compared with 16% of those with normal-weight parents.
- San Antonio has some of the highest rates of disability and chronic disease due to unhealthy living and obesity, according to Forbes Magazine.