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People all around the world, young and old, are dying every day due to one reason or another. Many are suffering from heart diseases, AIDS, diabetes, cancer and other dangerous conditions.
Today I was asked by my close friend’s Son “Do fat people die sooner“. At first I was taken back a bit and just thought he was calling me overweight. But that’s when it occurred to me that he was more concerned about his Father dying as a result of being overweight.
Back in my day I would have been punished for asking this question to a friend of the family. But because it’s a genuine concern for this boy rather than an insult, it really needs to be addressed for him in order to feel at ease.
But the truth of the matter is the answer to his question will not leave him at ease. When you consider many life threatening conditions can be a result of being obese, it’s not a easy question to answer to a 12 year old boy. Being obese or overweight can reduce life expectancy as a result.
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Obesity Rates Are Only Rising
There is much data supporting the fact that obesity rates are on the rise and with it comes associated deaths. This is an alarming factor because many of our Parents or Grand Parents didn’t suffer from so many problems in their youth as the youth of today does.
Doctors and researchers say that the primary cause of such diseases in this generation is obesity. According to a recent study, nearly three million young people (ages 16-24) suffer from obesity, which is approximately a million more than the statistical ratios two decades ago.
For adults the rise in obesity rate is quite scary. In the last 20 years the rate of obesity has climbed almost 5% every 10 years. With West Virginia having the highest obesity rate of 38.1% of the population as of September 2018.
While this is a daunting trend, does being obese mean you are not going to live as long as a average size person?. One also has to wonder when and if the trend of growing obesity in America will ever come to a stand still and possibly decline.
Does Being Overweight Mean You Die Younger?
Obesity is a common problem these days in America and many other countries. Doctors are stressing over the ways to avoid it since more and more young people are at a significant risk of dying as a side effect.
Most people at risk have dangerously larger waists according to studies. A total of 17 percent of young men have a waist of 40-45 inches, while 23 percent of women have a waist measurement of approximately 34.5 inches. At such young ages and plenty more growing to do, it’s not hard to see why obesity is on the rise.
According to Professor and former surgeon Lord Ian McColl, overweight young people may live shorter lives as compared to their parents. For the simple reason that their parents were relatively slimmer in their youth compared to todays generation.
Does Obesity Kill Children Prematurely
Some obese children, aging 5-10, already have diabetes. Obesity is killing children more than any other disease and its cure while it sounds simple is a growing problem yea after year.
People don’t just suddenly become overweight or obese. Many times it begins as a child. While parents should monitor and observe their children’s eating habits and make sure that they eat according to their age, many times its what the parents are eating which influences obesity in a child.
Like most kids, growing up I loved Coca Cola, donuts, Mac Donalds, takeway etc. Sure my parents told me that these foods are bad for me. But as a child, you never really understand why they are bad for you. Plus when you see your parents eating these foods, as a child you naturally follow suit. So the food addiction begins.
To really control the youth obesity problem, us parents need to be better role models. Practice what we preach and follow through with what we say we are going to do. As hard as it is, it’s worth it for a better life for our children.
According to the experts, childhood obesity is spreading because of unhealthy food consumption, sedentary lifestyles and modern diets. So it’s our job as parents to protect our children. Which means cutting back on the bad stuff.
So What Causes People To Be Overweight Or Obese
The main and obvious reason of obesity boils down to consuming too many calories. There are of course conditions and diseases which cause you to be overweight also. But in general overweight and obesity are spreading globally because of some of the following reasons.
- People consume energy-dense foods, such as junk foods, that are very high in fats. I know I do, I love the convenience. However my waistline doesn’t.
- As we become more technically advanced, physical activity in most people’s routines is minimized.
- Many people, including myself avoid visiting a doctor and only consult them when some severe medical issues appear. That’s when the Doctor says you really do need to lose some weight.
How To Stamp Out Bad Habits
Environmental changes and social activities are some of the leading causes of change in a person’s dietary habits and physical activities. The government could focus on introducing supportive policies in the sectors of health, agriculture, environment, education, food processing and its distribution.
As a big man I know how difficult it is to begin the process of loosing weight and for too many years I blamed everyone else for my own undoing. For me it was as simple as using a high weight capacity treadmill. This was not a hard work out and I could still watch TV while getting 30 minutes of exercise in a day. The key is to not push yourself to hard in the beginning.
Health Consequences Of Being Obese
An increased BMI means that something unwanted and dangerous is going on in your body that you should take charge of immediately. Some major risk factors of obesity are:
- Cardiovascular diseases, which includes heart attacks and strokes.
- Diabetes (type II).
- Joint pains and musculoskeletal disorders. Back pain from being obese is also another common condition.
- Numerous types of cancers, including endometrial, ovarian, breast prostate, liver, kidney, gallbladder and colon.
I’m Fat, So How Do I Prevent Dying At An Early Age
Because I’m fat ( I call myself fat to inspire me to do something about it) I know it will shorten my time on Earth. So now it’s up to me to do something about it and stop blaming the world for my problem.
Following are the five helpful ways I plan to avoid obesity any further and turn it around to live a longer, healthier life:
- Add more proteins to my diet. We all love to snack on sugary and carb-heavy foods. Consuming more proteins can help us fill our appetite and hence we can avoid junk food.
- Engage myself in interval training exercises. According to some researchers, interval training is more beneficial in weight loss than moderate-intensity training. It is also more enjoyable and improves health.
- Cut back on beer intake and take up crossfit for obese people.
- Obesity and overweight issues rise mostly for those who work for eight hours at offices because of continuously sitting in one position. If you are one of them, you need to stand up once every hour and try to walk in lunch breaks. A standing desk is also a good option. Not many citizens of America follow the guidelines of physical activity while working. This will lead to an increase in the waistline.
- To help maintain a healthy weight, consider sipping on green tea. It doesn’t burn fat as most of the commercials claim, but it can keep some extra weight off your body.
- Eat raw nuts every day. Consuming an ounce of nuts each day can help in reducing hunger and boost mood.
Children At Risk Of Obesity
Children belonging to countries with low-income ratios are vulnerable to inadequate nutrition. This is why these children consume more foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt, and as a result, they are denser in energy.
Kids eat such foods as they are lower in cost and nutrition at the same time. Such unhealthy dietary patterns can lead to an increase in childhood obesity which in turn grows the national adult obesity rate.
Don’t Die Overweight, Die Happy
People need to have access to a healthy lifestyle to avoid the chances of obesity and overweight. It is crucial that we all have an action plan for eating only the most nutritious food elements and avoid junk food.
You need to understand that your health is your own responsibility and no one can take better care of it other than you. Your body is much the same as a business. Nobody cares about your body as much as you do.
The above factors and reasons behind the short life-span of obese people should be enough to start taking action today. Following these guidelines can surely help you get rid of obesity at a younger age to avoid serious health issues in the future.
What is BMI?
BMI (body mass index) measures a person’s weight in kilograms/pounds. Adults use it to check whether their weight is ideal for their age and size.
A healthy BMI range for most adults is 18.5-24.9. If anyone’s BMI is higher than this range, it means that their weight is more than their height. The following table shows BMI ranges and what they mean:
BMI Weight range
<18.5 The person is underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Healthy weight
25 – 29.9 Overweight
30 – 39.9 Obese, alarming
How to Calculate your BMI?
To calculate your BMI, divide your current weight (in kg) by your total height (in meters). Divide the answer again by your height. The result will be your BMI.
A recent study conducted by Dr. Mike Osborn of the Royal College Pathologists says that obesity can cause serious health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver, cancer and a number of heart diseases. So, it’s better to calculate your BMI every month and consult a doctor in case of any health problems.