Last updated: August 26. 2013 8:23AM - 1414 Views

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Obesity has become a public health crisis in the United States and has steadily increased over the past three decades. Obesity has many health, social, psychological and economic consequences for individuals and for society. The current generation may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents if this obesity epidemic cannot be controlled.

Obesity has increased steadily among all U.S. population groups. The increase in adults was faster than in children and women faster than men. If these trends continue, more than 86 percent of adults will be overweight or obese by 2030. In children, the obesity rate will nearly double by 2030.

The economic impact of obesity is especially evident in health care costs.

By 2048, all American adults could become overweight or obese, while black women could reach that state by 2034. Total U.S. health care costs attributed to obesity would double every decade to between $860 billion and $950 billion by 2030 if current trends continue, accounting for 16 to 18 percent of total U.S. health care costs, or $1 in every $6 spent on health care.

Sadly, these statistics are lost on most people. These facts are no secret and are not hard to come by. However, it seems that until someone personally deals with a health-related problem caused by their weight, they will continue to ignore this warning.

Obviously, you can point to the facts that more people are eating unhealthy foods, as well as more of them, and getting less exercise as reasons for this alarming trend. Plus, the majority of people who need to lose weight don’t want to put in the effort it takes to get healthy. They would rather wait around for the next “miracle” piece of exercise equipment or the next “wonder drug” that will do the work for them, only to find out they never work, and often leave the person in the same condition, or worse, than they were before they started. And although this ongoing cycle is counter-productive, it can also be dangerous at times, especially when people start fooling around with diet pills.

Healthy lifestyle changes are the key to long-term success at weight loss and improving your health. Most fitness and nutrition experts recommend staying away from quick fixes and other unsafe or questionable practices. When it comes to diet pills, they have always advised against them. Taking a pill doesn’t teach you how to create a healthy lifestyle that you can live with long-term.

There is no magic pill or miracle product when it comes to weight loss, just good old common sense and a strong desire to live a healthier life for both you and your family. By making permanent changes to your diet and finding a fitness program that fits your lifestyle, you’re likely to keep the weight off for good.

It comes down to one sentence: Burn off more calories than you take in. As always, if you have any questions, please consult your primary health-care provider.

Mike DeCinti feels sorry for those that need a personal tragedy to finally do something about their health, because there’s a chance that tragedy could be a fatal one. He can be reached at mike.decinti@lumbertondrug.com

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