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Be Well

Be Well: Obesity

Friday, January 18, 2013 at 3:07 PM

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More often than not people become obese for a variety of reasons including genetic to behavioral, economic to cultural. Fundamentally, obesity results from people consuming more calories than their bodies burn, but it's a far more complex problem than that. In 2013 ideastream’s award winning heath team will present in depth, multiple media coverage that will examine the obesity epidemic.

Be Well: Obesity Image 1“Obesity costs this country about $150 billion a year, or almost 10% of the national medical budget. Approximately one in three adults and one in six children are obese. Obesity is epidemic in the United States today and a major cause of death, attributable to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.”

Dr. William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D.  Expert on fitness, nutrition and obesity
Past Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high.
  • More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese.
  • 12.5 million children (17%) in the United States are obese.
  • Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
  • In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
  • In the last ten years, the percentage of American adults who are 100 or more pounds overweight (“severe obesity”) has skyrocketed and now totals 15.5 million or 6.6% of all adults.
  • Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
  • 1 out of every 3 adults in Ohio (29.6%) are obese and a recent study by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that the adult obesity rate in Ohio could reach 59.8 percent by 2030.

Be Well: Obesity Image 2In simple terms, overweight and obesity are defined as someone who has an abnormal or excessive amount of fat that may impair their health. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults.

  • a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight
  • a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity
  • a BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight

More often than not people become obese for a variety of reasons including genetic to behavioral, economic to cultural. Fundamentally, obesity results from people consuming more calories than their bodies burn, but it’s a far more complex problem than that.

Be Well: Obesity Image 3In 2013 ideastream’s award winning heath team will present in depth, multiple media coverage that will examine the obesity epidemic. Stories will include:

  • What are the different reasons people gain weight and are their weight-loss strategies better suited for the different causes of obesity?
  • Why is the fat stored around the belly more harmful that fat stored in other parts of the body?
  • What exactly is BMI, how is it measured, what does it mean and why is it important for everyone to “know their number?”
  • What is bariatric surgery, how does it help people lose weight and do the risks outweigh the benefits?
  • What are the origins of the obesity epidemic? When, where and why did it start and grow so fast?
  • The cost of obesity and what some health insurance providers and employers are doing to provide incentives to lose weight.
  • Personal stories of greater Clevelanders who live with obesity and others who have committed their professional lives to stem the tide of obesity in northeast Ohio.

ideastream’s multiple-media coverage of obesity is part of the on-going, award-winning health information series called Be Well and is presented in collaboration with The Plain Dealer and NetWellness, a consumer information website from Ohio’s three medical research universities (University of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University).

Tags

Health, Be Well, Obesity

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Be Well Funders

Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation The Cleveland Foundation The Community Foundation of Lorain County The McGregor Foundation The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation The Woodruff Foundation