Posts Tagged ‘obesity’


// August 21st, 2012 // No Comments » // Obesity

Obesity is a serious problem of our time. It causes serious diseases and serious damage to the health of people. During recent time obesity is mostly caused by the human factors, such as production of junk food, increase of sedentary jobs, usage of different kinds of transport and invention of numerous labour-saving mechanisms and devices. The nursing theory is aimed to identify obesity problem in the context of people’s habits, style of life, family surrounding and beliefs. Obesity is not a removed phenomenon, in many countries it became a serious threat to the health of the nation. According to the statistic data collected during the research performed in 2005 about 1.6 billion people on the planet are overweight and among these people 400 million are obese. These statistics are frightening but the predictions for 2015 are even more terrifying: according to the World Health Organization there will be 2.3 billion of overweight people and about 700 million of people will suffer from obesity. The United States of America is a country with one of the highest rates of overweight and obesity (cited in Mann, 2007).

The level of obesity is identified with the help of so called BMI (The body mass index). “BMI is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters (kg/m2)” (Caraher, 2005, p. 112). Increasing rates of obesity will definitely result in the increase of health problems rates. Such health problems as high blood pressure, gallbladder disease and gallstones, osteoarthritis and gout are also often caused by obesity.

It is a common knowledge that women are more likely to be obese but nowadays the rates of childhood obesity also grow. Cases of obesity are more common among women: approximately 75% of women are obese at the age of 20-60, while among men this index is less and makes only 50% (Caraher, 2005). The latest research shows than about 20 million children are suffering from overweight or obesity. Children’s obesity is alarming and frightening because, firstly, it is much more difficult to overcome and, secondly, its consequences are much more serious than adults’ obesity.  Cases of obesity among children increase every year. (more…)

Obesity: A problem in the United States

// April 2nd, 2012 // No Comments » // Obesity

Obesity as an excessive weight of a body is considered to be quite an essential problem in the United States affecting different aspects of people’s life. The problem of an obese people is relevant and timely in the US as American nation is said to be “infected” with obesity while living in one of the most prosperous, developed country in the world. Economical strength, technological progress, unfortunately, do not rule out the contemporary condition of the obese nation as the most uninformed and ignorant in the way of nourishment.

Obesity is truly considered to be one of the fastest growing health problems in the United States today. Interviewed by me the weight loss doctor Dr. Juan Remos admits, that the complication of obesity is really essential health problem as he works with the patients who seeks to solve this difficulty and great trouble for them. Doctor is confirmed that there are several reasons for cases of occurrence of the obesity. First of all, will force that affects a persons daily life, secondly, it is genetics and that it is just so hard for these patients to fight it. It has appeared to be a point of issue nowadays “affecting not only the patients but also every aspect of these people’s lives; even the others that are living with these people of have any sort of contact with them” (Dr. Juan Remos, 2010). Moreover, as stated by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), obesity among grown-up population grew on 60 percent during the last twenty years and cases of obese children has grown in tree times more in the past thirty years.

A perplexing number of 33 percent among American people of mature age are corpulent obesity-related deaths have grown to more than 300,000 a year, exceeding only tobacco-related deaths (Obesity in America, 2010).

Obesity problem affects health care costs nowadays in a greater degree collating to the past.  Quite often healthcare companies won’t take a person suffering from obesity as they consider this person as a preexisting condition, it is generally believed, that obese people have more health problems than others. “With obesity come more health complications that are hidden and that can come up at any moment,” assures the doctor Remos (Dr. Juan Remos, 2010). Additionally, according to the new research organized by RTI International, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the yearly health care costs connected with obesity in the United States increased twice more comparing to the past ten years and nearly equal to the 147 billion dollars a year. In this research it was established that medical costst of obesity have grown up from 78 billion dollars in 1998 to 147 billion in 2008. Comparing to the medical care costs of people with normal weight, the difference is in 42 percent, that is financial expenses of those with obesity almost 50 percent higher (Catharine Paddock, 2009).

Besides the health care costs, obesity bears another meaningful effect – it influences the quality of life of American obese people, to a great degree deteriorating it. All the spheres of well-being of an obese people deteriorate, including education, recreation, leisure time, social belonging. Speaking about education, sometimes people with obesity would not chose remote universities that require travelling, or would subconsciously avoid success on their job never trying to improve their qualification (in some cases of serious degrees of obesity), their recreation and leisure time would be quite limited, monotonous and, probably, to some extent dull.

The reason of an effect on the quality of life may be outlined as the following: a corpulent person feels psychological pressure from the society and its members. This pressure results in inner inferiority complexes and full unwillingness and reluctance to live healthy, entirely enjoyable life. The result may be that these people are limited to the things they can and even want to do, moreover, ”there are many things that obese people can’t even do because of their size” (Dr. Juan Remos, 2010). People feel embarrassed and they don’t feel that they can be accepted by society because of the way they look. (more…)

Ireland Is Facing Obesity Epidemic in Just 25 Years

// November 16th, 2010 // No Comments » // Obesity

IRELAND faces an obesity epidemic with half of the population likely tobe overweight in just 25 years’ time, a leading Irish health charity haswarned.

The Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) made its bleak prediction after UK figuresshowed the extent of the obesity problem there.

A landmark British study warned that as well as half of all Britons becomingobese by 2032, 86 per cent of men stand to become overweight in the next 15years, while 70 per cent of women will suffer a similar a fate within 20 years.

The IHF issued a stark warning yesterday, saying the worrying obesity trends inthe UK are mirrored in Ireland. It called on Irish politicians to makeprevention of heart disease a number one priority.

Chief executive Michael O’Shea said: ‘Ireland and indeed, Europe, is in thethroes of an obesity epidemicanditisthreateningto reverse the downward trend in mortality from heart disease which hasoccurred over the last 20 years.’ The British health secretary Alan Johnsonsaid that ‘obesity is a potential crisis on the scale of climate change’. Thesenew statistics show that Ireland is heading in the same direction.

The latest figures show that more than 300,000 children in Ireland areoverweight or obese and this is a figure that is growing every year by astaggering 10,000.

One in five adults is now obese andtwo out of five adults are overweight.

International Obesity Taskforce’s 2002 figures show that Ireland’s men are thefourth heaviest in the EU, while women come in at No. 7 in the league table.

MrO’Sheaadded:’Therisk factors for obesity such as heart disease, high blood pressure and highblood cholesterol, are largely preventable and at the foundation we workcontinuously with schools, workplaces and communities to encourage healthierliving.

‘But our efforts can only go so far inanenvironmentwhereitis increasingly difficult to make the healthy choice in what has been describedasthe”obesogenic” environment.’ MrO’Sheaalsocriticisedthe mass-marketing of ‘energy-dense foods to our children’, and said that alack of ‘adequate exercise facilities in our schools and the provision of safewalking and cycling paths’ made obesity even more difficult to control.

The British study, compiled by 250 leading scientists, said the obesity crisisthere is so bad it will take 30 years to reverse.

Modern lifestyles – with the easy availability of cheap unhealthy food andpeople relying too much on their cars – means it is almost impossibleformanypeopleto avoid putting on weight. And the effect on health – both in the UK andIreland – will be stark.

The report expects rates of type 2 diabetes to rise by 70 per cent, strokes togo up by 30 per cent and a 20 per cent rise in coronary heart disease. Therates of certain types of cancer will also go up.

Recently,thedirectorofthe WeightManagementClinicat Dublin’s Loughlinstown Hospital reported that eight out of ten type 2diabetes cases, and four out of ten cancer cases, were because of obesity. Twomore weight clinics, in Cork and Galway, will open within six months.

The British government’s chief scientific advisor, Professor David King,said:’Wemustfightthe notion that the current obesity epidemic arises from individualoverindulgence or laziness alone.

‘We live in a consumer society which encourages us to eat. We have a sedentarylifestyle. It’s an environment which means that if we just behave normally wewill become obese.

‘Wemayonlyputonabitof weight a day but there are 365 days in the year.’ Dr Susan Jebb of the HumanNutrition Research Unit said action against obesity needed to be asstrongas the action taken against infectious diseases in the nineteenth century.

She said people were eating more unhealthily and taking less exercise becausethat was becoming normal behaviour and ‘we act as a herd’.

Is Childhood Obesity Epidemic a Myth?

// November 16th, 2010 // No Comments » // Obesity

THE childhood obesity epidemic sweeping the country is a myth, controversial research has claimed.

child obesity

child obesity

A study by the Democracy Institute, which was published yesterday, argues that there is a dearth of evidence to support claims the UK faces an epidemic of obese and overweight children.

And the researchers said there was little evidence to suggest obesity is caused by children eating too much or the wrong sorts of foods.

Academics Dr Patrick Basham and Dr John Luik also said there was no evidence of a link between obesity and food advertising.

The comments contradict official government and Assembly government policies designed to improve children’s health and reduce the number of obese and overweight children.

And they counter comments from Welsh dieticians who told the Western Mail they are treating obese two-year-olds fed a diet of their favourite foods.

Dr Luik, a senior fellow at the Democracy Institute, said: “There are substantial and well-evidenced doubts as to whether childhood obesity is a significant problem, whether in terms of numbers, risk to health either in childhood or adulthood, or in terms of reduced life expectancy.

“It’s tremendous irony that the Government’s claims about childhood obesity are not supported by the facts produced by the very same government.”

The pair’s research – Fat Kids? The Obesity Epidemic Myth – also pours doubts on links between obesity and diabetes, claiming that type 2 diabetes, which is generally accepted asadisease which affects overweight people, is genetic in origin.

Dr Basham, director of the Democracy Institute, said: “There simply is not a body of clinical evidence that shows that overweight and obese children have notably poorer health outcomes than other children.”

Official figures reveal that Wales has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world with 22% of 13-year-old boys and 16% of girls classed as either overweight or obese.

And there is evidence children are already suffering the long-term health consequences. At least 30 children in Wales have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, a condition normally associated with the overweight over-40s.

Dr Tony Jewell, Wales’ chief medical officer, said: “There is a general consensus from health professionals and academics across the world, that having a healthy lifestyle and diet have a positive impact on people’s health and well-being. Clearly, it is best to encourage people from a young age to develop good lifestyle habits that they can take into adulthood.

“Eating a healthy, balanced diet is only one factor in staying fit and healthy. It is also important to ensure children have more opportunities to undertake regular physical activity. That is why we have invested in, among other things, free swimming during school holidays. It is about making it easier for people to make healthy choices.”

Andy Misell, policy and public affairs manager for Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “This report highlights some important issues, but some of the conclusions are wide of the mark.

“It is very important that we discuss what sort of interventions are really likely to bring about long-term lifestyle changes and improved health, but simply denying the existence of the problem is not an option.

“Where work has been done in Wales to measure children’s body mass index, the clear indication is that levels of overweight and obesity are rising sharply.

“The researchers have also confused thing by focusing on the detrimental effects of dieting.

“Most people in the field of diabetes are agreed that short-term weight loss diets are less effective than real changes in eating and exercise patterns that people are able to sustain in the long term.

“Eating a healthy mix of foods, and balancing food intake with the amount of physical activity we do is the key to diabetes prevention and diabetes management.”

US Obesity Could Cost $147-Billion a Year

// November 16th, 2010 // No Comments » // Obesity

us obesity cost

America’s expanding waistlines have nearly doubled medical spending on obesity-related conditions which could reach $147 billion a year, a study said Monday.As Congress debated President Barack Obama’s major push to overhaul US healthcare, researchers warned that the prevalence of obesity — which now affects over 25 percent of Americans, up from 18.3 percent in 1998 — and associated medical problems, are behind ballooning overall medical spending.US obesity rates grew 37 percent between 1998 and 2006, pushing obesity-related spending up another $40 billion a year, according to the study published by Health Affairs.Obesity currently accounts for 9.1 percent of all medical spending, up from 6.5 percent in 1998.”The medical costs attributable to obesity are almost entirely a result of costs generated from treating the diseases that obesity promotes,” said lead author Eric Finkelstein, who heads RTI International’s Public Health Economic Program.”Obesity will continue to impose a significant burden on the health-care system as long as obesity prevalence remains high.”Per capita medical spending for obese individuals was $1,429 more each year than for those of normal weight — a whopping 42 percent more. Finkelstein and researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Health-care Research and Quality based their analysis on data from 1998 and 2006 medical and health spending surveys, and defined obesity as body mass index above 30.The bulk of obesity spending, the researchers said, is not devoted to treatments such as bariatric surgery, but rather to treating obesity-linked diseases. Excess weight, they noted, is the best predictor of developing diabetes, which costs $191 billion each year.”If not for obesity, these costs would be much lower, as would costs for other conditions caused by excess weight,” the authors said. “The connection between rising rates of obesity and rising medical spending is undeniable.”

Poor Diets, No Exercise – Obesity: 90 per Cent of the Population Could Be Overweight by 2050.

// November 16th, 2010 // No Comments » // Obesity

The levels of obesity are increasing throughout the world particularly in North America and Europe. England has some of the worst figures in Europe and also some of the worst trends in acceleration of obesity. In the majority of European countries numbers have increased between 10 and 40 per cent over the last 10 years, but in England this has more than doubled.

UK obese

Obesity in UK

Two-thirds of British adults are now either overweight or obese and, based on current trends, this figure could rise to nine out of 10 by 2050.

Obesity occurs when a person puts on weight to a point where it can seriously endanger their health. Some people are genetically more likely to put on weight but the basic cause is consuming more calories from food and drink than are used in everyday activity.

Rising levels of obesity are due to changes in eating habits and less active lifestyles. The reasons for both of these are complex. They include family patterns of eating and cooking and levels of physical activity which are all determined by level of knowledge, attitude and behaviour.

Cultural and psychological issues also play a major role as do poverty, access to affordable local facilities for healthy food and exercise and, of course, busy lifestyles. This has been made worse by the ease with which we can get cheap, high-calorie fastfoods and the physically-demanding lifestyles that we were once used to have now been replaced by more sedentary jobs and leisure activities.

There are several groups who are at increased risk of obesity – those from poorer backgrounds, people with physical or learning disabilities and people who recently stop smoking. Women, especially women from some ethnic groups such as Black Caribbean and Pakistani women, are more at risk of becoming obese than the rest of the population.

In Birmingham there is a large South Asian population who are at additional risk of developing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease because the weight gained in this group tends to be around the tummy region.

Other high-risk groups include children where one or both parents are obese. The problem facing children and young adults is a big one but it has the potential to be much worse in the future. At the moment at least 16 per cent of children aged two to ten in the Midlands are classed as obese and we have, at about 40 per cent, the highest proportion of women aged 16-24 years who are either overweight or obese. If current trends continue then 20 per cent of all boys and 33 per cent of all girls will be obese by 2020.

Poor diet and a lack of physical activity are mainly to blame. Children tend to watch more TV, play video games and spend time on line rather than pursuing more physical activities as was the case 30 years ago. One real concern is that poor dietary habits and physical inactivity in childhood are often carried through to adulthood and those who are overweight or obese children tend to become overweight and obese adults.

Currently the definition of obesity is based on what is known as the Body Mass Index (BMI). This is calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms by the height in metres squared. A BMI of more than 30 is classed as obese. However this is a rather crude method in that it does not take into consideration the percentage body fat and muscle, gender, ethnic origin or the distribution of body fat. For example, an athlete may have a body mass index of 30 and therefore technically would be classed as obese. Clearly this is incorrect and it is the amount and distribution of fat which is more important.

Fat distribution, particularly around the abdomen, would make an individual more prone to developing not only diabetes but also high blood pressure and problems with their cholesterol.

Obesity in the UK is now accepted as a major cause of social, psychological and medical problems. Obese people are twice as likely to die of heart disease. Obesity will reduce an individual’s life by an average nine years and is responsible for at least 30,000 premature deaths.

More concerning is the rise in Type 2 diabetes which has even been diagnosed in children. This was a condition mainly confined to older and elderly people but it is becoming more common at a younger age. Obese women, for example, are 27 times more likely to develop diabetes than normal weight woman.

The increased number of people with diabetes is associated with an increase in heart attacks and strokes.

The cost of treating obesity is huge and set to rise further with massive implications for the NHS. Treating obesity and its related problems nationally costs the NHS at least pounds 500 million per year and the wider cost to the economy could be an additional pounds 2-3 billion per year. It has been estimated that each year 18 million days of absence through sickness are related to obesity.

Obesity has been highlighted as a national priority for major health policies with several government initiatives addressing this issue.

Recently Health Secretary Alan Johnson and School Secretary Ed Balls published a longterm strategy aimed at tackling obesity. A pounds 372 million plan aimed at schools, the NHS, employers, town planners and individuals has been suggested and this includes pounds 30 million for the creation of “healthy towns to promote physical activity”.

Although the causes of obesity tend to be simple, the solutions are far more complex.

Clearly the major drive to tackle the problem of obesity has to be around improving dietary intake and also increasing levels of physical activity. Simple measures an individual can take, such as avoiding snacking and walking on a daily basis, can help reduce obesity levels.

Indeed many individuals need to make only modest changes in their lifestyle in order to get their weight down and keep it down.

Unfortunately, a common desire is to lose weight quickly so that the impact of the changes can be seen quickly. However, rapid weight loss is often associated with drastic measures and bad diets which are extremely difficult to maintain in the long term. Therefore when these individuals go back to their normal lifestyle the weight is rapidly regained and often with a little more. This is very disheartening and often results in people giving up on trying to lose weight.

In order to shed the pounds and maintain weight loss, healthy eating rather than fad diets, and a moderate increase in physical activity, such as an hour’s brisk walk on a daily basis, would help most people. An average weight loss of up to 1lb per week is good and this can be achieved by making modest changes to both diet and physical activity levels and can be maintained in the long term.

It needs to be remembered that weight gain usually occurs over many years and therefore to try to achieve weight loss over a short period of time and maintain this weight loss is generally unrealistic and, when the weight is regained, extremely disheartening.

Small changes in eating habits can have a major impact on your weight over time. For example, eating an extra 100 calories a day more than you require, which is equivalent to a slice of bread, on a daily basis in a year will result in weight gain of about 10 lbs. If you multiply this by five years then, over a fiveyear period just with one extra slice of bread per day, you could potentially gain 50 lbs in weight.

An increase in physical activity of walking briskly for about one hour a day is equivalent in a year to burning off about one stone in weight. Currently we walk about a mile a day less than we did 20 to 30 years ago.

For those with higher levels of obesity and who have developed problems such as diabetes and heart disease, there are tablets which can help. One such tablet can reduce the amount of fat that is absorbed from the food that you eat.

However, it reduces the absorption of fat by only about 30 per cent and therefore to achieve good results with this you need to be on a low-fat diet.

There are other tablets available which can help you if you feel hungry all the time. These drugs work by suppressing hunger.

However, all these medications are effective only if used as part of general lifestyle changes, which include healthy eating and an increase in physical activity levels. Taken on their own they are unlikely to have any significant impact on weight.

For those who are classed as morbidly obese, that is those who weigh twice as much as their recommended body weight for their height, there is the more drastic measure of surgery. Before this is considered the benefits of surgery will be weighed against the risks.

This is not a procedure which is entered into lightly and, once again, surgery generally is only successful in those who have made some lifestyle changes before their operation.

There are two types of surgery available. The first is a gastric band operation which places a plastic band around the stomach, causing patients to feel full sooner and limiting the amount that can be eaten.

A second operation is more permanent and involves essentially re-plumbing the stomach to prevent it from digesting food that has been eaten.

This is a permanent procedure and once again is considered for those where the risk of obesity outweighs the risks of the operation.

Obesity is a major problem already. If we do nothing now then the future for us and our children looks bleak.

Three People Die in Scotland Every Week Because of Obesity

// November 16th, 2010 // No Comments » // Obesity

RECORD numbers of Scots are eating themselves to death as the country’s obesity epidemic spirals out of control. Shocking figures obtained by the Scottish Daily Mail show three people a week die as a result of being dangerously overweight.

obesity is killing youThe number has rocketed by 70 per cent since devolution, according to disturbing statistics compiled by the General Register Office.

Last night experts called for radical action to curb the level of obesity deaths, which lead by around 14 per cent between 2004 and 2005.

Dr Colin Waine, of the National Obesity Forum, said: We are not sitting on an obesity time-bombthe time-bomb has gone off and the consequences are going to be devastating. The rising tide of Scots falling prey to obesity shows that lifestyle and diet are getting worse despite successive multi-million pound healthy eating campaigns.

The latest disclosures also prompted calls for obese children to be taken into care if their parents fail to encourage them to eat more healthily.

Obesity was either listed as the underlying cause of death or mentioned on the death certificate in 158 cases in 2005, the latest figures available just over three per week compared with 139 in 2004a rise of nearly 14 per cent and up nearly 74 per cent from 91 deaths in 1999.

Eighty-five of the 2005 cases were male, showing the problem is greater among men, according to the General Register Office for Scotland.

The figures, described as concerning by ministers, bring the obesity death toll north of the Border to around 900 between 1999 and 2005.

The surge in the number of times obesity is mentioned as a significant contributing factor to a death shows doctors increasingly believe the condition is responsible for a growing number of deaths.

Obesity is believed to cost NHS Scotland [pounds sterling]500million a year and by 2020 it is estimated 25 per cent of the NHS budget across the UK will be spent on treating diabetes and obesity-related conditions if present trends continue.

The condition poses a major risk for chronic diseases including type 2diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and some cancers.

North of the Border, 65 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women are overweight and more than a fifth are obese while of Scottish children born in 2001, more than 20 per cent were overweight by the time they reached the age of three-and-a-half.

The National Obesity Forum described the increase in obesity deaths as deeply worrying and called for obese children to be taken into care in extreme cases.

Last year, the Mail told the story of Scottish teenager Emma McAuley who had to have life-saving surgery after her weight rose to 34 stone at the age of only16.

Dr Waine said: Solutions could include legislation to force manufacturers to limit salt content and so on rather than the current voluntary arrangements.

But in the most extreme cases, we have to consider whether obese children ought to be taken into care if their parents ignore health advice for the sake of the youngsters survival. He added: Obesity is a significant risk factor for developing a whole range of conditions, not just heart disease and diabetes.

It does not seem that ministers have curbed the problem despite the investment and that is desperately worrying. Professor Annie Anderson, of Dundee University’s Center for Public Health Nutrition Research, said: Obesity is notjust a genetic problem or a cultural problem or a clinical problem or a psychological problem it is all of these things and that needs to be recognized as we try to deal with a global issue which is posing a major health risk. Research by the University of Edinburgh earlier this year showed the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes the preventable form of the disease will soar by 60 per cent within ten years. The disease is thought to reduce a patients life expectancy by at least eight years and can also lead to blindness, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and even amputation.

Diabetes and the problems associated with it already costs Scotlands health service nearly [pounds sterling]1billion a year.

North of the Border, ministers efforts to tackle the obesity epidemic have so far ended in failure despite massive investment.

It emerged in May that Scotlands fat star had been axed after an [pounds sterling]80millioncampaign to tackle the obesity crisis failed to make an impact, seen by some critics as a tacit admission of defeat.

Gillian Kynoch had been appointed as the Scottish Executives food and health-coordinator to promote healthy eating.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: It is concerning that the number of deaths associated with obesity has risen.

We recognise that obesity is an increasing problem and poses a very serious threat to health. This is why we are making tackling the problem, particularlyearly in life, a high priority.

Overweight and Life Expectancy

// October 30th, 2010 // No Comments » // Obesity

Applicants for life insurance usually undergo a medical examination. In the Build Study of 1979,136 weight was measured in 86.1 to 88.5 percent of the 3,997,650 men and 592,509 women on whom policies were taken out. The analysis of such data, with all of its limitations, provides the major retrospective studies on the effects of body weight on mortality and morbidity. One limitation is that persons who buy life insurance may not represent the American population. They earn above-average income, are Caucasian, are free of serious medical diseases, and are usually engaged in “safe” occupations. The mortality rate among insured individuals is only about 90 percent of the rate for the entire population at all ages between 15 and 70.17

The information obtained from analysis of the life insurance experience is valuable for two reasons. The sample size is large, comprising several million individuals. Second, the individuals are continually followed until death, an event in which the life insurance companies have a financial interest. Figure shows the relation between excess mortality and deviations in body weight. The overall mortality rate—that is, the ratio of deaths to the total population of insured lives—was taken as 100. The

insured individuals were subdivided into subgroups based on the percentage deviation from the mean for the entire group. The death rate in each subgroup was then compared to the population as a whole and expressed as deviation from the overall mortality of 100. The minimum death rate occurred at a body weight that was slightly less than the average weight for the entire population. As body weight, expressed as the BMI (kg/m2), increased, there was a progressive increase in “excess mortality.” There was also a small increase in excess mortality with very low body weight. This was more pronounced in the younger age group than in the older one and may reflect a higher number of smokers. The excess mortality among those with life insurance was due to diabetes mellitus, digestive diseases, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.

Comparison of the Build and Blood Pressure Study of 1959135 with the Build Study of 1979136 reveals several facts. Body weights of insured Americans were higher in the recent study. However, the curvilinear relation of excess mortality to BMI was evident for all age groups in both studies. Unfortunately, few grossly obese individuals were insured in either study. The implications from the life insurance studies is that obesity is hazardous.

Drenick and associates36 provided a clear insight into the effects of gross obesity on life expectancy. They reviewed two hundred morbidly obese men whose average weight was 143.5 kg, who were admitted for a weight-control program and followed for an average period for seven and a half years. Of these men, 185 were followed until death or termination of the study. The age range was 23 to 70 years with a mean of 42.7 years. The mortality rate was higher at all ages when compared with the mortality expected for the general population of U.S. males. In men aged 25 to 34, the excess mortality was 1,200 percent! In those aged 35 to 44, the excess mortality had declined to 550 percent, and in men 45 to 54, it was 300 percent. In men aged 55 to 64, the excess mortality was only double that of the normal U.S. population. This study showed that the excess mortality associated with obesity is greatly increased in the younger age groups and that excess mortality is substantially higher in grossly obese persons.

Effects of Obesity on Health and Happiness

// October 30th, 2010 // No Comments » // Obesity

The medical and social problems identified with obesity can be manifested in many ways. Obesity may decrease longevity, aggravate the onset and clinical progression of maladies, and modify the social or economic quality of life. On the positive side, weight loss can reverse all or most of the disadvantages of obesity.

Most of the data relating health and obesity have been collected and analyzed in terms of overweight. Overweight refers to deviations in body weight from some “standard weight” related to height. Being overweight, however, does not necessarily mean being obese. This distinction is most obvious in athletes but may also apply to other groups and individuals with body weights only slightly above the upper limits of normal. The correlation between measures of body weight such as weight divided by height, percentage overweight, or body mass index (wt/ht2), have a correlation of between 0.7 and 0.8 with body fat measured by other more precise laboratory methods. Of these indices, the body mass or Quetelet index has the highest correlation with body fat. In this chapter the following definitions will be used.


// October 25th, 2010 // No Comments » // Impotence

There is no way to stave off aging, but some modifications in behavior can help minimize risks of sexual dysfunction. Smoking, heavy drinking, obesity, high levels of serum cholesterol, and elevated blood-sugar levels, as well as the use of narcotic or other mood-altering drugs, can all contribute to impotence. Early investments in weight reduction, temperance in alcohol consumption, and avoidance of nicotine and drugs during youth may provide significant sexual dividends later on.