Obesity is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States and can be significantly impactful on certain communities and demographic groups. Obesity is the clinical term for when a person is overweight, based on body mass index (BMI).
According to the CDC, obesity impacts roughly 93 million adults in the U.S which equates to roughly 39 percent of the adult population. In addition, obesity rates are higher among Hispanic and African Americans than other racial groups. Individuals with more educational, economic, and social advantages are less likely to be obese than peers with lower levels of educational or economic attainment.
Obesity is a widespread disease that can lead to significant heart disease risks and other health complications. Patients that are obese can manage their risks and address key factors for obesity with a few medical appointments and lifestyle changes:
Obesity should be treated ASAP since it contributes to many chronic diseases
The healthcare risks of obesity are extremely significant and can lead to worsened overall health.
In particular, obesity is linked to many common chronic diseases that impact a person’s quality of life and overall health. The specific diseases that obesity contributes to includes the following, per the CDC:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Coronary heart disease
- Cancers including colon, breast, kidney, and gallbladder among others
Additionally, obesity is also linked to mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
So if you have obesity or believe you are at risk for developing obesity what you can do to limit healthcare risks?
Obesity can be managed with some important lifestyle changes
Managing obesity can be a straightforward process if patients make necessary lifestyle changes. According to the Mayo Clinic, treating obesity requires a weight loss goal of 3 to 5 percent of your body weight initially. However, the more weight you lose and the closer you get to an ideal weight the healthier you will become.
The treatment plan for obesity includes the following steps:
- Dietary changes including cutting calories, high-fat foods, and restricting other unhealthy foods.
- Incorporating healthier foods into your diet including poultry, vegetables, fruits, and fish.
- Exercising daily while gradually increasing your level of healthy activity each day.
- Peer support and counseling to help address personal or mental issues that inhibit weight loss.
Medical providers are also a fantastic resource to help guide patients to nearby fitness groups, gyms, nutritionists, and other dietary specialists to boost weight loss. Overcoming obesity is hard but with a little help, and a lot of dedication, patients can begin to see positive healthcare improvements.