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Health Myth: I'm A Little Overweight, But Healthy

The more body weight you carry around, the shorter time you'll likely have to carry it. Obesity is more than a cosmetic problem - it poses many health risks and can shorten life span significantly.

Not only is obesity a risk factor for cancer, but it's also a factor for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, depression and other chronic diseases. On average, it can take more than ten years off a person’s life, according to two national studies.

A staggering 61% of American adults currently meet the scientific definition of obesity. An estimated 1,200 people per day die from weight-related diseases. This adds up to over 400,000 people per year - more than the number killed annually by pneumonia, motor vehicle accidents and airline crashes combined. The health care cost of all this extra weight is estimated at $117 billion annually. Here are some additional facts about obesity:
  • Diabetes is four times more common in obese than in lean adults
  • Mortality increases with weight gain
  • The frequency of arthritis increases with an increase in weight
  • Infant mortality rates are far higher for babies born to obese mothers
  • Obese teenagers have a life expectancy that is 15 years shorter than normal.
This is probably the most sedentary generation of people in the history of the world. Normalizing your weight can add years to your life. Of course, this is something that most people already know. However, it is usually not the adding of years to your life that motivates people to change. Most people want to normalize their weight because of a desire to feel and look better right now.

You are part of the solution. By reading this information and choosing to change your lifestyle, you'll reap the rewards of good health as well as a longer life expectancy.