How Obesity Is Changing the Shape of our Nation

Obesity is about much more than simply being overweight. Obesity means that there is a lot of excess body fat, and that this starts to damage the health of the individual. Unfortunately, more and more people fall into this category, which means that inches and pounds are added all over their body, and their chance of becoming ill is greatly increased.

The body mass index is one of the most commonly used methods to determine whether someone is obese or not. Calculations are relatively simple and, while there is some controversy over how accurate they actually are, most agree that they are a good indicator in terms of determining whether or not someone is at risk of developing illnesses.

Causes of Obesity

There are many causes of obesity, including:

·         -Metabolism problems

·         -Genes

·         -Poor lifestyle choices

Unfortunately, obesity is becoming an increasingly big problem, affecting not just adults but children and adolescents as well. The main reason for this, unfortunately, is poor lifestyle choices. There is an abundance of fast food and processed food and, because we no longer have time to do anything but work, we turn to these meals, which are slowly killing us.

The cost of obesity is tremendous. Some $3 billion dollar is spent each year because of problems relating to obesity. Yet, the government, which works very closely together with the food industry, does not take any real steps. This is understandable because, if the problem was truly targeted, the food industry would lose a lot of money and their contribution to the overall economy of a country by far exceeds $3 billion per year. This does mean, unfortunately, that people simply aren’t getting the help they need. At the same time, the pharmaceutical industry is also earning – and contributing – billions because of the obesity epidemic, which means there is even less chances of people making a change.

While it would be easy to blame the entire problem on the government, food industry and pharmaceutical industry, it is equally important that people do take at least a degree of responsibility for their own actions. We do choose to eat too much. Our portion size has increased vastly and we seem to have developed an addiction to sugar. We have shifted our likes to the top of the food pyramid, instead of the bottom, and that is a conscious choice.

That being said, help is out there. Most insurance companies now cover the cost of bariatric surgery, and new techniques are being developed to make these procedures safer and more effective. You should be able to find balloon surgery near you without any great difficulty. At the same time, it is important to understand that surgery should not be considered an easy way to lose weight. While the results are tremendous, you must be ready to commit to changing your lifestyle if you do intend to notice permanent differences. Gastric surgery of any kind should be seen as a last resort and as a support for changes that you actually want to make.