Weight Loss Matters
Obesity in America
Obesity and being overweight are very real and prevalent health issues in the United States. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, overweight and obesity conditions affect an estimated 97 million Americans and are the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. 1
The 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicates that an estimated 32.7 percent of U.S. adults 20 years and older are overweight, 34.3 percent are obese and 5.9 percent are extremely obese. 2
The number of extremely obese has grown to almost seven times 1970 levels, and trends in the past four decades show significant overall growth in obesity. The health consequences from our increased weight are serious and impacting a large percentage of our population.
The Center for Disease Control states that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity,” the risks for the following conditions also increases: 3
Benefits of Weight Loss
- Coronary heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
- Liver and Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
- Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
- Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
The benefits of weight loss for overweight and obese individuals cannot be overstated. Many health issues of our day are related to being overweight. The potential benefits can impact overall health, quality of life, and life expectancy.
Consider the following
- Weight loss may improve survival in those who have an obesity-related disease, especially type 2 diabetes. 4
- A modest weight loss of 4.4lb to 9.7lb resulted in a significant lowering of blood pressure in one study. 5
- People with asthma who lost an average of 31.3lb over 1 year showed improved lung function and overall health, and with weight loss, the number of severe asthma episodes (exacerbations) and oral corticosteroid courses were reduced. 6
- People with type 2 diabetes who lost weight had lower blood sugar levels and were able to use less medicine to lower their blood sugar levels. 4
- Sustained weight loss prevented new cases of type 2 diabetes in people who were obese. 4
- People with obstructive sleep apnea who lost as little as 10% of their weight improved their sleep patterns and had less daytime sleepiness. 4
- For each pound of body weight lost, there is a 4-pound reduction in knee joint stress among overweight and obese people with osteoarthritis of the knee. 7
- Weight loss may not only help control diseases worsened by obesity, it may also help decrease the likelihood of developing these diseases. 1
Get Started Now
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- American Gastroenterological Association (2002). AGA technical review on obesity. Gastroenterology, 123(3): 882-932. [Erratum in Gastroenterology, 123(5): 1752.
- Stevens VJ, et al. (2001). Long-term weight loss and changes in blood pressure: Results of the trials of hypertension prevention, phase II. Annals of Internal Medicine 134(1): 1-11.
- Stenius-Aarniala B, et al. (2000). Immediate and long-term effects of weight reduction in obese people with asthma: Randomised controlled study. BMJ, 320(7238): 827-832.