In a rather shocking new study, it seems Americans aren’t getting any fatter. Four years ago, one in three Americans was obese. Today, one in four Americans is still obese. 25% of the country being forty or more pounds overweight is nothing to brag about for sure, but to have only 25% is at least a bit of breathing room for those in the medical community who felt strongly the United States was headed toward almost complete obesity.
Currently, 72 million adults in the United States are obese. To be considered obese, your body metric index must be 30 or higher. The body metric index, or BMI, is a calculation that considers your height and weight. There are many resources available to help compute your BMI, if you don’t already know it.
To be overweight, your BMI must be higher than 25, and to be considered morbidly obese, you’re looking at a BMI of more than 40. Many who are technically considered obese have been told by their doctors that they are only “overweight.” Overweight has much less stigma attached to it. It’s not too bad to be overweight; after all, more than two thirds of Americans are already overweight (or obese). Being overweight makes you “normal.”
The Health Risks of Obesity
Of course, being overweight doesn’t mean you really are normal or especially that you are healthy. Being overweight and especially obese can lead to some very serious health consequences including heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and other weight related conditions.
The federal government wants only 10% of Americans to be obese by 2010. That means in two years, 15% of those currently obese will have either lost weight or passed on. Presumably they will have lost weight. Of course, the population is still growing which means truly that only 12-13% of those that are currently obese now will have to lose weight to fall into a healthier weight category.
Falling Out of Obesity
To fall out of the obese category, an individual must only lose weight. Of course, if it were really that simple, there would be no obese people in the country. To lose weight most effectively, with the best chances of it staying off for the long-term, diet and exercise must be adjusted.
This is especially hard to do in light of the poor food choices and out of control portions at many restaurants and the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of most Americans. But there is hope. Restaurants are always offering new healthy options and shows such as The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club show the world that anyone can get off their rear end and start moving.
When you’re obese, even the smallest changes can have a dramatic impact. If you’re facing obesity, but aren’t up for a full diet and exercise change. Start by ditching the soda and drinking black coffee. Take a walk around the block after work or take the stair (however slowly you need to) to get to your office. Those small changes can easily add up to more than a few pounds on the scale.