Obesity is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States and now surpasses malnutrition as a cause of death worldwide. But being overweight is not always due to a lack of willpower or exercise.
Studies show that obesity is linked to a number of factors – some controllable and some not. These include behavior, genetics, environment, socioeconomics and metabolism. For some people, no amount of dieting or exercising alone will help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity is a disease affecting more than 42% of adult Americans. This is compared with some 74% of adult Americans who are considered overweight, including those who are obese. Obesity also impacts more than 18% of children in the U.S.
Globally, the number of people with obesity has tripled since the 1970s. The World Health Organization estimates 13% of the world population is now considered obese and the numbers may actually be higher.
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Obesity directly impacts your emotional and physical well–being. Being obese means you are at a higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as:
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Heart disease and stroke
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
- Anxiety and depression