Chronic Disease: Obesity

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Chronic Diseases have been highlighted by the recent Health Care Reform Bill due to its impact on U.S. health care system. Obesity, though, has been hiding in the lime-light of other chronic diseases and should be addressed. “Obesity has become a major health concern. 1 in every 3 adults is obese and almost 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 6 and 19 is obese (BMI ≥ 95th percentile of the CDC growth chart).” (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four health risk behaviors of chronic disease exist, which coincidently directly links to obesity. Malnutrition, excessive alcohol consumption, use of tobacco, and lack of physical exercise are all factors of the suffering and sickness patients of chronic disease go through as well as the leading causes to becoming obese. Obesity is seen mostly in younger populations, but I wanted to focus on the elderly population in particular. Although it is not one of the leading chronic diseases in their population, it is one of the most limiting. Results from a research constructed using cross-sectional studies showed an estimated increase in prevalence of obesity in people 60 years of age and older from 32.0% in 2000 to 37.4% in 2010; raising the number of obese elders from 14.6 million to 20.9 million. The study came to conclude, “The prevalence of obesity in elderly Americans will likely continue to increase, challenging healthcare delivery and financing systems in the United States.” (Arterburn, Crane and Sullivan) Because this research was constructed in 2004, additional data found from CDC’s Vital Signs program from the 2009/2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System shared the results of the estimated increase of obese elders. “The data showed that no state had met the national goal of reducing the adult obesity rate to less than 15% and that, in 9 states, at least 30% of adults were obese.” Overall, prevalence of obesity is...
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