Glycemic Index of Carbohydrates
|One in five Americans is obese: three in five are either overweight or obese
Obesity is widely recognized as a health risk. Rand Health Research compared the health risks with smoking, heavy
drinking and poverty.
Their finding: Obesity is the most serious problem. It is linked to a big increase in chronic health conditions
and significantly higher health expenditures. And it affects more people than smoking, heavy drinking or poverty.
It is clearly the top health problem and on the rise in all segments of the population.
The study was completed in 1998 used 10,000 respondents in the survey.
The study reveals that obesity is linked to very high rates of chronic illnesses - higher than living in poverty,
and much higher than smoking or drinking.
Obese people suffer from an increase in chronic health conditions of approximately 67 percent more often than normal-weight
individuals. In contrast, the increase for normal-weight daily smokers is only 25 percent; and for normal-weight
heavy drinkers, only 12 percent.
Obese individuals spent more on both services and medication than daily smokers and heavy drinkers. Obese individuals
spend 77 percent more on medications.
Rand's findings suggest that weight reduction should be an urgent public health priority.
Cancer: certain cancers are known to occur more often among people who are overweight. Other cancers are linked
to the type of bad eating habits that produces obesity. Men are more likely to get colon, rectum, or prostrate
cancer while women are more likely to get gallbladder, breast, and uterine, cervical, or ovarian.
Obesity and Breast cancer: Almost half of breast cancer cases in postmenopausal women occur in those suffering
from obesity. A possible explanation is that obese women store xenoestrogens (harmful oestrogen-like compounds
resulting from environmental pollution) in their extra fat cells.
Diabetes: It's a fact that obesity is closely linked with diabetes. Diabetes is one of the major causes of renal
Heart Attacks and Strokes: A weight gain of 20 pounds doubles your risk of heart disease. Strokes are twice as
common in obese people. Nearly 70% of the diagnosed cases of heart disease in America are related to obesity.
Blood Pressure: If you are 20 % overweight, you are eight times more likely to suffer from high blood pressure
that someone of normal weight.
Strokes: Being obese increase the chance of suffering a stroke. There are also links between obesity and the lack
of exercise - those who are physically inactive have three times the risk of a stroke.
Obesity is associated with increased risks of gall bladder disease, incontinence, and increased surgical risk.
Obesity can affect the quality of life through limited mobility and decreased physical endurance.
Obesity can cause breathing problems and conditions like sleep apnea. Obesity can cause breathlessness and respiratory
Obesity contributes to osteoarthritis and joint problems. Obesity raises the risk of arthritis. For every 2 - pound
increase in weight, the risk of arthritis increases by 9 to 13 percent. Obesity is the main risk factor for developing
osteoarthritis of the knee. Between a quarter and a half of all knee osteoarthritis might be prevented by eliminating
Mortality - People who are overweight or obese tend to die younger than people of ideal body weight. Actuarial
data from insurance companies has shown that an obese person is 2-3 times more likely to die prematurely than their
lean counterparts. Obesity reduces life expectancy because it increases the risk of other health disorders. Voluntary
weight loss has been shown to reduce these health risks.
Obesity is now considered an independent risk factor for disease. The 8 year Nurses' Health Study showed that around
40% of all heart disease in women studies was attributable to overweight.
Operations on obese people pose an increased risk.
Obesity is a major cause of infertility.
Obesity is expensive. Obese persons take off more time from work, higher rates of disability, earlier pensions.
Obesity places an enormous financial burden of the individual through lost earnings and increased insurance premiums.
Obesity is linked to higher than average rates of depression and greater mental illness.