No matter how we slice the sugar enriched, artificially spiced, and chemically enhanced pie, there is no denying that our nation is growing…bigger and less healthy.  Indeed, 2/3 of the adults in this country are overweight and 1/3 are obese. Using the Body Mass Index (BMI) to calculate obesity, the Wellness International Network Ltd (WIN, Ltd) reports that out of 58 million overweight people in the United States, 40 million of those are obese and 3 million morbidly obese.  The BMI formula: weight in pounds divided by height in inches squared, multiply the result by 704.5, divide the result by height squared divide that final result by height squared!  Overweight is 25-30, obese is over 30, and morbidly obese is over 40.  On the other hand, many people dispute the accuracy of the index, claiming it does not account for the relative weight of muscle and other exceptional factors making otherwise fit people fall under the category of overweight or even obese according to the mathematically restrictive BMI. 

 However it is measured, obesity is an epidemic.  It lowers the average life expectancy and is closely linked with type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, gall bladder issues, sleep apnea, stroke, high blood pressure, and many types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, kidney, endometrial and colon.  Trends toward obesity in children are also worsening: 25 % of kids age 2-17 are obese and the number of children diagnosed with diabetes and weight-related health issues has also significantly risen in the last decade.  Indeed, 85 % of children with type II diabetes are obese. (ibid) 

Furthermore, WIN reports that the overall medical cost in the United States of obesity is a whopping 117 billion dollars, while loss of productivity amounts, directly and indirectly, to a “mere” 3.9 billion.  Something is going to have to give, and it is far more serious than a notch or two on America’s waistline. 


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