What Exactly Is Obesity???

 

 


Obese 2

This is a topic that I get so many questions about.   Sure, on one level people understand what obesity is – but on another level, there can be a lot of confusion.  So, I’d like to create a series of articles that will dive deep into covering all aspects of obesity.  Let’s begin first with acknowledging one important fact ….

You see, Obesity is a disease.  Let me take away the shroud of mystery.  Obesity is simply a disease.  Even though people tend to skirt around the issue, it meets the criteria of ‘disease’ just like all the other diseases.

For some reason, people fail to see obesity as a disease.  If you doubt what I am saying, just go to any health website, any bookstore, and even most medical reference books.  You will find lots about the diseases like hypertension, high cholesterol, and others. But for some very odd reason, obesity is not recognized as the disease that it is.

If Obesity Is A Disease, Why Is It Not Treated Like A Disease?

I honestly cannot explain why even the ‘medical establishment’ doesn’t fully recognize obesity as the disease that it is.  I suspect the media and many websites don’t use the word ‘disease’ since there still is a lot of shame and embarrassment associated with obesity.  In fact the word ‘obesity’ is practically taboo in some circles.  Nonsense!  I feel this really gets in the way with establishing solid solutions.

You see, as long as society fails to recognize it for what it is, there will be no steady improvement in the treatment and prevention of the disease of obesity.

It can be likened to the strange phenomenon with alcoholism. You see, it takes someone to recognize they have a drinking problem, before they can really take further steps toward recovery.  As they say, “admitting you have a problem is the first step.”  Perhaps it is a strange analogy, but I see that only until obesity is recognized as the problem it really is, only then can powerful steps be taken.

So, recognizing obesity as a disease is perhaps the very first conclusion that must be reached.  Like I said earlier, there is often a lot of embarrassment, shame, and yes, denial, in the recognition of obesity.

Now, let me ask you a question — if you were diagnosed with high blood pressure, would you be ashamed of this?  Or, if you were told you had high cholesterol, or perhaps your thyroid wasn’t functioning properly — would this make you embarrassed?  I believe you will agree with me that the answer would be a resounding- “Of course not!”

Well, I challenge you:  Why should the diagnosis of obesity be any different?

“Am I The Only One Who Struggles With This?”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of the American adult population is overweight or obese.  More than 50%!  Many other sources estimate the percentage to be closer to 65% of the American population who fall into the ‘obese or overweight’ category.

It is estimated that 97 million Americans are obese.  This is an absolutely astounding number.

It is difficult to get statistics that are fully up-to-date, so it is likely today’s numbers are even higher.  I believe we all know that obesity is increasing every single year.

These statistics are simply staggering. Many feel that obesity is soon to be recognized as the #1 preventable killer in the US. (Right now it is #2, after smoking).   It is projected by many to be the biggest health concern worldwide by 2010.

So, NO, you are not the only one struggling with this!

Another eye-opening statistic is that of the 97 million people who are obese, roughly 11 million of those fall into a category known as “morbidly obese.”  This means that their obesity is so severe that it threatens their health and significantly affects their lifespan.

Now, realize I am not painting this dismal picture to discourage you.  If you are in that percentage of those who do struggle with this disease, I’d like to provide some hope and direction for you.

After I explain these statistics, a frequent question I receive is: “How serious is MY obesity?”  Let’s address this question tomorrow….

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody S. Wurster September 15, 2010 at 12:19 am

This article is the first I have seen that looks at the complexities of the issue with such simplicity. It allows the reader to see that here is asolution. When one believes it is genetic only, they believe that there is nothing they can do about it. Cleary your presentation is solution oriented. A friend that met you at the seminar recomended upu and your site. I enjoy your articles they are like a breath of fresh air.

Janet Bruno MD September 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Hi Woody,

Welcome to my site! I am glad that your friend referred you to my site. I do sincerely appreciate your comment that my articles are like a breath of fresh air. I strive hard to present things in a simple manner. For, all too often, that is the ONLY way to truly embrace the truth!

What I often say is that many people have all the knowledge ‘in their head’. Sure, they may know they should eat this, and not eat that, etc…, but they don’t do it. Why??? Well, my theory is that they haven’t moved the knowledge ‘from their head’ down ‘to their heart’! It is only when someone really and truly embraces the concept (the truth, the emotions, the fear, etc…), it is only then that change can really begin to happen. For me, explaining things simply, with simple solutions, has been extremely effective. 🙂

I hope you continue to come back and enjoy my articles. Please feel free to comment and ask questions freely. That’s what this wonderful blog platform is all about. Also, if you have other friends who may enjoy my material, I’d really appreciate it if you can refer them here as well. The more, the merrier!

Here’s to your improving health!

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