ANOTHER OPINION: Obesity rate remains long-term health concern – Goshen News


Posted: March 11, 2020 at 9:45 am

Like the readings on many bathroom scales that keep creeping up year after year, the rate of obesity in the U.S. continues to climb.

Government survey results released last week reveal the national obesity rate was 42%, which is higher than the 40% in a 2015-16 study, also done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The severe obesity rate was more than 9%, up from the 8% figure in the previous survey.

THIS INFORMATION may have very well gotten just a cursory glance in light of all the recent attention paid to the spreading of coronavirus. But consider that being seriously overweight is a long-term medical concern that is affecting more children and adults as time goes on. Untreated obesity often leads to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some types of cancer.

The report clearly indicates the trend isnt likely to fade away soon. Fifty years ago about 1 in 100 American adults were severely obese. Today obesity is 10 times more common.

A multi-pronged approach needs to rein in the growth of obesity.

Thorough education about the value of sound nutrition and exercise needs to come early and often, for everyone from young children to senior citizens. There is a lot of bad information circulating, including weight-loss scams that concentrate on the quick dropping of pounds rather than a sustainable way of living that means adopting sustainable good habits.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT of sound nutrition also needs to be front and center; if school lunches are allowed to be less nutritional than in the past, thats a real disconnect between cause and effect. After all, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is responsible for establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is supposed to be the nations go-to source for nutrition advice. Support in communities designated as food deserts also should be a priority so theres access to nutritional food no matter where you live.

Medical providers need to keep stressing preventive measures with their patients instead of trying to fix problems after they are well-established. Along with that is providers taking a close look at family history, which can often determine a patients likelihood of problems. And of course, the more affordable preventive measures are for everyone, the better off we all are.

Obesity is not just a seasonal concern; its a long-term epidemic that will affect lives and the economy far into the future unless Americans and those in power pay more attention.

The Free Press, Mankato, Minnesota

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ANOTHER OPINION: Obesity rate remains long-term health concern - Goshen News

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