Obesity in America

We’ve all heard that America is an obese nation, but do you really know how bad it is or what obesity can really lead to and how much it’s costing America??  The trend is shocking and the implications are very frightening.  This has been a huge motivation for me to be a coach, because I want to help end the obesity trend in the US!

Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or greater.  BMI is calculated based on your height and weight.  It’s not a perfect predictor because some people can be very muscular with low body fat but  still be considered obese, but that doesn’t describe the majority of America, so it’s a fairly good indicator.  Obesity also indicates a propensity to cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.  This is a big deal!!!  So here’s the trend, the latest results for America I have are from 2009.  The first map shows obesity rates in America in 1996, just 15 years ago.  You can see that there was NO state with obesity rates greater than 15-19%

Obesity map. For data, see PowerPoint or PDF linked above.

Those numbers were only 15 years ago.  The latest results on the CDC website, show rates in 2009, just 13 years later there is only ONE state with a less than 20% obesity rate!!!  9 states had a greater than 30% obesity rate!  This should shock you.  Obesity is a growing cause that doesn’t look to be slowing down.  Something needs to be done!

Obesity map. For data, see PowerPoint or PDF linked above.

So as we’ve seen a rise in obesity rates, this has caused an increase in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, hypertension, stroke, sleep apnea, etc.  It causes a whole host of health problems!  Obesity is really no joke.  Not only does this put people at risk to die earlier, it costs America a TON of money!!  One study showed that the direct and indirect costs of obesity in America totaled a staggering $147 BILLION!!! We clearly need some type of reform here, so what can we do about it??

Start with you.  If you fall into the category of overweight or obese, it’s time to take charge of your health by following a nutrition and workout plan.  That’s what I love about Beachbody programs.  Not only do they give you great workouts, they also give you all the nutritional information you need to be successful.  If you need to lose weight, make sure you are running a calorie deficit, meaning you eat less calories than you spend in a day.  If you want to figure out how many calories you should eat, see this article.

If you’re already taking charge of your health, get others involved!  Ask someone to be a workout buddy.  Having someone to motivate you and hold you accountable will go a long ways.  You don’t have to call a friend or family member up and tell them they need to lose weight.  Just tell them how excited you are about getting into shape and are looking for someone to do it with.  Challenge each other and reach your goals.  Encourage them to plug in here!  Lets see how many people we can get to take charge of their health and reverse the trend of obesity that is killing America and costing billions!

All my info was researched at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov

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