Is Being Fat Just as Bad as Smoking Cigarettes?

Is Being Fat Just as Bad as Smoking Cigarettes?

Could being fat be just as bad as smoking cigarettes? A very interesting study from Sweden reports that men who were obese at age 18 had the same risk for premature death as those who were heavy smokers (more than ten cigarettes a day). Those who were overweight at age 18 had the same risk for premature death as those who were less heavy smokers (that’s 10 or fewer cigarettes per day). The study followed 46,000 men from age 18 to roughly age 56. Compared to those who were a normal weight at age 18, those who were obese had more than double the odds for premature death. That’s similar to heavy smokers. Those who were overweight increased their risk by about one third. Being obese and a heavy smoker increased the odds of premature death by five times. This was statistically the same as being a heavy smoker or obese at age 18.

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Childhood Obesity and Health Risks

Childhood Obesity and Health Risks

Obesity is a major issue in this country, and in particular, in children. Childhood obesity is huge because we have to worry about the fact that it could increase the risk of a child getting diabetes as well as other health problems. Some of those other health problems we have to be concerned about are heart disease and stroke down the road. All of these things occur at a more rapid rate when children are overweight. If children exercise and if they have an opportunity to eat appropriately, in proper time they’ll do much better.

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Americans Are Not as Healthy as Europeans

Americans Are Not as Healthy as Europeans

This clearly is not good news. Americans are not as healthy as Europeans. We are more likely than Europeans to be diagnosed and treated for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The United States was compared with 10 European countries and there were some important findings that may help predict problems down the road. Americans are twice as likely to be obese. That’s twice as likely as Europeans. Also, more than 50% of Americans have a smoking history, while it’s only 40% in Europe. Now, there is a potential good side. The United States has better screening than Europe. If diseases are detected earlier, then they can be treated more effectively. The United States spends more on health care than any country in Europe, and I think that’s a very important point. We need to be more aware of what we’re spending, how we’re using it, and how effectively we can make it to help others.

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Obesity and Type Two Diabetes

Obesity and Type Two Diabetes

Type two diabetes, or adult onset diabetes, is the one that people are talking about as far as the links to obesity. As people gained weight in our culture, what has happened is there’s been a decrease in the way our bodies metabolize insulin. The insulin is sent out by the pancreas, doing the job it’s supposed to, but the body doesn’t respond to it. As a result, people actually have higher levels of blood sugar and those higher levels of blood sugar can do damage as time goes on. It can be a serious issue.

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Study Looks at Parents of Obese Kids

Study Looks at Parents of Obese Kids

A University of Michigan study looked at the fact that many parents are not aware that their children are obese despite the fact they’re extremely overweight. It gained a great deal of attention because many looking at the issue from the outside wondered how can a parent not know an obese child has a weight problem? But this is not that unexpected. Parents are often the most objective appraisers of their children. Sometimes they are, sometimes they’re not. Whether it’s sports, academics, or appearance, parents will see what they want to see. For that reason, we have to be careful in those evaluations.

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Fast-Food Restaurants Contribute to America’s Weight Problem

Fast-Food Restaurants Contribute to America’s Weight Problem

Fast-food restaurants; for most Americans, you can’t live without them, but can you live with them? They dot the landscape of our country, city after city, but with a nation on the run, with countless single parents, or couples trying to split time between work and the demands of a heavy family schedule, those fast-food restaurants can offer a quick and often cheap, filling meal. Fast-food restaurants are not entirely to blame for our nation’s growing weight problem. Many offer healthy options, but studies show that most of us turn them down because of other reasons. As a result, we are facing obesity as an issue. The combination of lack of exercise and high fat foods is causing us to be obese. The long-term problems of obesity are great. They include heart disease and diabetes. The bottom line here is we have to do whatever we can to control obesity.

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