Obesity kills far more than any killer. Yet, it is never listed as a killer in our health statistics. Nevertheless, all health professionals knew that obesity is the notorious 'abettor' of most top listed killers. It is an indirect killer, a killer in disguise. This killer in disguise in reality is far more dangerous because it often strike within close range through many 'assailants'. Obesity kills through top listed killers such as heart attacks and cancers. It also kills through suicide resulting from depression, stroke and many other listed causes of death.
While health policy makers are doing their part to alleviate damage of the scourge of this century, the public should do their part to educate themselves and take the necessary actions:
Have a look at the following hard facts:
(References: American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
1. Heart Disease — According to the American Heart Association, obesity is a major risk factor for developing coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. People who are overweight are at a greater risk of suffering a heart attack before the age of 45. Obese adolescents have a greater chance of having a heart attack before the age of 35 than non-obese adolescents. If you are overweight, losing 10-15 pounds can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. If you exercise regularly, the risk of developing heart disease falls even more. Read: Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise.
2. Cancer — A study by the American Heart Association found that being overweight increases your chances for developing cancer by 50 percent. Women have a higher risk of developing cancer if they are more than 20 pounds overweight. Regular exercise and a weight loss of as little as 12 pounds can significantly decrease the risk.
3. High Blood Pressure — High blood pressure is the primary cause of death among Americans older than 25. About 75 million people suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
4. Diabetes Obesity is considered one of the most significant factors in the development of insulin resistance, and insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes. According to the World Health Organization, more than 90 percent of diabetes patients worldwide have type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the development of diabetes by making cells more resistant to the effects of insulin. A weight loss of 15-20 pounds can help you decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Read:Exercising with Diabetes.
5. High Cholesterol levels — High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of heart attacks. Cholesterol is transported through your blood in two ways: the low –density lipoprotein (LDL), which transports cholesterol to the cells that need it, and the high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the healthy cholesterol that reduces your risk for heart attack. Having high LDL levels raises your risk of having heart disease by 20 percent. Losing 11-20 pounds can help you significantly reduce your cholesterol level.
When I was in Taiwan about a year ago, I pointed out to my friend that at least 90% of Taiwanese are slim and lean. While writing this blog, I am currently in Nottingham and while I was walking on the street yesterday, I did a head count of the people whom I considered fat (obese/overweight) by eyeballing and at the end of the day I gathered that at least 50% of the population are fat. I believe this small population is a good representation of the general population of both United Kingdom and USA,
What a big contrast? Why are the Taiwanese so slim and lean? After some discussion and research, I came to the conclusion that Taiwanese are generally very health and beauty conscious. In addition, they are highly disciplined and shall do all it takes for good health and good look. Perhaps, fat countries should have a serious look at the Taiwanese and incorporate whatever that are applicable to their own population. The scourge of the century made worse by quick development of the fast-food industry should be addressed with speed and diligence so that the potential damage can be effectively mitigated.