Dr. Campbell: Obesity is an epidemic the US

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Obesity has become an epidemic in the United States today.

Nearly 150 billion healthcare dollars are spent annually on obesity and obesity related illness.  Now, nearly 35 percent of all adults are considered obese. Rates in children and adolescents are rising as well. If we continue along the same trend, it is estimated that nearly 50 percent of Americans will be considered obese by the year 2030.

A new study published just last week found that since the 1990s the average American has put on 15 additional pounds without getting any taller. The new statistics were released Aug. 3 in a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics

According to the report, the average weight of men in the United States rose from 181 pounds to 196 pounds between 1988-1994 and 2011-2014. Their average height remained the same at about 5-foot-9.

The average woman went from 152 pounds to 169 pounds while her height remained steady at just under 5-foot-4.

As we move towards back to school for traditional calendar students in our area in the coming weeks, it is a good time to think about ways to make sure our kids stay healthy and develop good lifelong habits – exercise, diet and an overall healthy lifestyle is important for success in school.

It is clear that as a society, we have become far too sedentary. We are not nearly as physically active as we have been in past decades. In addition, we are making poor food choices.

Americans are busier than ever and our diet (and that of our families) is beginning to suffer. Out of convenience, many of us are grabbing fast food meals for dinner rather than making healthy dishes with fresh ingredients.

We must make changes if we want to avoid the complications of obesity.  The number one killer in the U.S. today is heart disease and obesity puts us at very high risk.

Obesity puts us all at risk for serious chronic health conditions. Most of the risk factors for heart disease can be prevented by lowering your body weight and developing a healthier lifestyle.

Obesity puts us at risk for:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart disease

Most importantly, we must begin to pay attention to habits such as diet and exercise. As adults we must set a healthy example for our kids. Here are some simple suggestions:

  • Stock the house with healthy snacks – fruits and veggies
  • Plan meals a week in advance – pre-prepare them so that you can make them quickly after a busy day
  • Make fitness and exercise part of the “family culture”
  • Make sure you and your children get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week

To get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter. If there’s a topic you’d like to see Dr. Campbell cover, let us know by sending an email to newstips@wncn.com.

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