Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Health Care and Staying Healthy

Over the last decade, Americans have become more sedate in lifestyle choices. With the advent of the internet, computer games, and digital satellite TV we have turned into a nation of major couch potatoes. So far, the population with 2 out of every 3 persons in the U.S. is overweight, and our rate of obesity in the nation has reached epidemic proportions--about 72 million people based on information reported by the CDC . According to the Mayo Clinic website, obesity is described as having a high amount of body fat. However, obese people are more susceptible to diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health issues. The Mayo Clinic also reports that one third of all Americans are considered to be obese, and over 25 million children and adolescents are overweight according to Mayo and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We are more sedentary and eat more junk food than people in the rest of the world. Unhealthy snacks, carbonated beverages with high sugar content, and multiple hours of video games are making our society fatter and more unhealthy day by day. Yahoo Health online indicates that we are jeopardizing our future by not paying attention to our lifestyles. According to their information, poor habits in diet and exercise lead to many health problems associated with being overweight. In addition to HBP, obese and overweight Americans may also suffer from sleep apnea and other breathing problems--this in turn can lead to heart problems and a life filled with additional major health related issues.

Overall, Americans need to get fit. The Journal of the American Medical Association said in November, 2007, that obesity is associated with the inability for obese individuals to accomplish simple functional abilities such as bending over to pick up an item. Increased weight affects your quality of life and ability to do simple tasks according to Medline Plus. Over the past three decades, the number of people in the U.S. who are obese has doubled. The CDC reports that being seriously overweight can also lead to stroke, arthritis and some cancers.
Face it. Being fat is not good, especially if obesity continues into senior adulthood. A study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys this year has stated that elderly obese individuals have a higher risk of being disabled and will experience severe difficulty in activities of daily living (ADL) such as the ability to dress and feed yourself. Every bodily function becomes much more difficult when people are significantly overweight. Here are some more stats from the report:
--The age bracket most obese is 40-59
--Men are slightly more obese than women by 2%
--Over 50% of both African-Americans and Hispanics women are obese
According to Healthwise as reported on Yahoo Health this month, Americans need to come up with a working game plan to get and stay healthy. The skills for making wise health decisions are simple--consider your choices with your family doctor, learn the facts, determine your needs and values for the best possible outcome, come up with a written plan, go to work on it and track your progress. Although not as simple as eat less and exercise, the solutions to overcoming obesity and being overweight are available through many resources both on and offline. You can access help with local clinics, YMCA, toll free help lines, internet sites, community services, and many more options.
The bottom line about the size of your bottom is that you need to take control of your personal health situation. No one else will do if for you unless you happen to be incapacitated or unable to function due to medical or mental health reasons. Making wise choices about your health, your weight, your lifestyle is going to pay tremendous benefits in the long run. Staying healthy with the proper eating habits, diet, and exercise plan will be incredibly beneficial for the rest of your life and pay rewards well into your senior years. Don't eat too much, and start an exercise routine that helps your lifestyle get and stay healthy. Plan to stick with it, and talk with your doctor if you need assistance in coming up with a plan. Set up a system to track your progress and a support group if you need extra help and encouragement.
Good health is priceless. Unhealthy living will make you pay a price. Until next time. Let me know what you think.

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