Obesity in America Climbing
The price of health care is already at an all time high. Yet experts are predicting an even larger jump in the cost of health care unless Americans can get a handle on the obesity problem. Released this month, projections warn that the obesity rate of Americans could rise to 42% by the year 2030 unless we do something to change the way we live. That is moving up on nearly half of Americans! In a time of ever changing and more efficient ways to accomplish tasks, we have been unknowingly sedentary, allowing the pounds to pack on, sending the obesity rate higher and higher. Add to that the stress of the economy and the popularity of fast food and pretty soon before we know it, we have heart disease, high cholesterol and other obesity-related health problems. So what are ways to prevent obesity?
The Obesity Epidemic
In addition to the above consequences of obesity, carrying extra weight also greatly increases stroke, type 2 diabetes, many different types of cancer, chronic illnesses and sleep apnea. And the extra weight that people carry can also cause significant joint pain, even further reducing their quality of life and hindering them in the workplace. And let's not forget the cost of doctor bills on top of it all.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that with the latest projection, the medical costs due to obesity will possibly climb as high as $147 billion annually, tapping out about 9% of total medical expenses for the country. And when it comes to people and numbers, if the United States indeed stays on track with the latest projections, 32 million more people will be obese within 20 years.
In 2010 the obesity rate projection was lower, set at two-thirds rather than the latest projections at pushing nearly one half. If we could reduce the current projections, the United States could save over $549.5 billion in doctor bills linked to obesity by the year 2030. Chronic health problems caused from obesity drive up health care costs, plain and simple, and has obesity-related problems have been among the largest contributors to higher health care prices.
How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off
If you are overweight, take heart. You are not alone. Many women feel the same way as you and there are always ways to change your life so that you feel better and lose the pounds. Here are some helpful tips to lose weight from dieters that have lost 30 lbs or more, keeping the weight off for a year plus:
- Watch your food intake. At times it's best to count calories. Choose low-fat, low-calorie foods and shoot for 1800 calories per day.
- Keep a food diary so that you know what exactly is going in your mouth. A food diary can pinpoint any "red flags" and you can adjust accordingly.
- In addition to counting calories, count fat grams or invest in a weight loss program that will help you track your food intake.
- Walk an hour a day.
- Never skip breakfast, and when you do eat it, go for whole grains and low-fat dairy.
- Monitor how much you dine out. Restaurants often give portions that are too large. If you must dine out, try to keep it to three times per week. In a pinch you can do fast food but make sure that visits to fast food restaurants are very, very rare.
- When you find good, healthy foods that work for you, stick to the same types and watch your portions.
- Find something else to do than watch television. Limit television to 10 hours per week.
- Weigh yourself regularly to document progress. Once a week is ideal.