Part I: Consequences
Part I of The Weight of the Nation discussed the effects of the obesity epidemic in America. It immediately grabbed my attention when they stated that more than 18% of American children are obese. Two-thirds of America (or 68.8%) is overweight or obese. There is a strong connection between a high BMI and diabetes mellitus and hypertension, especially when accompanied by a high percentage of abdominal fat. I found it interesting, and important, that the first woman who shared her story pointed out the psychosocial effects of her obesity. She expressed that her self-esteem is affected by how her husband expresses his view of her weight. She later stated, “You get tired of that feeling of failure," regarding her failed efforts at losing weight. Part one also focused on The Bogalusa Heart Study. This includes a biannual physical exam of school children. These children, about 16,000 currently, have been followed by the study into adulthood. Results of this study indicate that heart disease begins in childhood. It was shocking to hear that “20% of autopsied children, who died a non-cardiac death, had plaques in their coronary arteries." Other shocking facts in this section were that 77% of obese children were obese as adults. Meanwhile, only 7% of healthy weight children became obese in adulthood. We often hear, “I don’t have money to eat healthy” but research also indicates that poverty no longer has a linear relationship with obesity, and that obesity now affects people of economic statuses. Obesity is the driving force for insulin resistance. It can also lead to a fatty liver, which in turn increases cardiovascular risk factors. This can further lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This disease is expected to be the number one reason for liver transplants in the next ten years. An increase in weight can substantially increase diabetes risk, even if you are not overweight. However, it is not all bad news... a 10% weight loss can...
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