Dorena Rode, Ph.D. describes the obesity problem in the US in an effort to increase awareness that the problem is not just about looks, but has the potential to bankrupt the country.
Rising obesity rates have significant health consequences, contributing to increased rates of more than 30 serious diseases. While obesity per se doesnít kill - heart disease, cancer and diabetes do. It is estimated that obesity will soon replace smoking as the number one preventable cause of cancer.
Obesity related conditions create a major strain on the health care system. Estimates of the cost of obesity vary from 10% to up to one-quarter of health care costs being related to obesity. Thatís 150 to 300 billion dollars a year. And for every dollar in health care costs there is another dollar lost due to sick leave and disability benefits.
In 1990 less than 10% of the United States population was obese. Things have changed. Right now, one in three people in the US are obese and researchers at Harvard University say America's obesity epidemic won't plateau until at least 42% of adults are obese.