The results of a new report finds being overweight cuts lifespan by 4 years. The study was released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD.) Their report is “The Heavy Burden of Obesity: The Economics of Prevention,” and predicts how obesity and its related health complications will reduce annual economic growth in its member nations, which include the United States, UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Chile, and Mexico.
In the United States, as figures revealed last month show, almost 40% of adults and nearly 20% of kids are obese. Despite attempts to raise awareness of the health risk obesity poses, and economic costs, obesity rates are failing to fall. Childhood and morbid obesity have gone from a rare event to a common occurrence. Obesity now poses an alarming burden on individuals, societies, and economies. On average, 50% of people have an unhealthy diet, 40% of waking time is spent in sedentary activities, one in three people don’t do enough physical activity, and two in five don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. Unless the tide is turned, over the next 30 years nearly 60% of all new diabetes cases will be caused by overweight, as well as 18%, 11%, and 8% of all cases of cardiovascular disease, dementia, and cancer, respectively.
The United States will spend $645 per person annually on treating high body mass index and its related conditions. The United States will spend nearly 14% of its health budget on obesity and overweight, according to the study. Among the most effective initiatives for fighting obesity is regulation of advertising of unhealthy food, with more than $5 in return investment for each $1 spent, the OECD report said. Almost as effective are food labeling initiatives and efforts to make workers less sedentary. Doctors largely believe that labeling obesity as a disease will help in getting theses initiatives and others started.
Obesity has an effect on our health, there is a huge economic impact and studies show healthy weight children are 13% more likely to report good school performance. Studies have long showed that children with obesity are over five times more likely to have obesity as adults, with all the attendant problems. The ideas that obesity is connected to school performance is new but powerful in an age where test scores and good grades mean getting into a good college or a college at all. Not that all children should go to college, a topic of a different day. All this to hit home that, according to the OECD study, obesity impacts our health, our pocketbook, our longevity, and our children’s school performance.
On top of all the other health concerns, being overweight shorting your life by 4 years is a huge deal. Plus what quality of life do you want to have as you get older? Obesity is going to impact your quality of life. If you live long enough with Type 2 diabetes you could loose your limbs and your eyesight. What do physicians need to do to make Americans change their lifestyle? What are you going to do? When are you going to do it?