Obesity has become an alarming health problem in the U.S. The American Medical Association is now considering obesity a chronic disease. However, it is far from just a weight problem. Obesity can harm a person’s psychological health too.
Find out why obesity is on the rise, the signs you have, and how to prevent it.
Factors Increasing Obesity Rates
Many factors contribute to the rise in obesity in America, including increased sedentary lifestyles, availability of unhealthy foods, and poor nutrition education. However, this is not a new phenomenon. Experts saw a rise in obesity in the 80s. Since then, reported cases have nearly doubled.
Moreover, obesity affects some communities more than others. Those at a socioeconomic disadvantage have less access to healthy foods and often turn to cheap sugar-laden alternatives. Likewise, people living in places without dedicated areas for recreational activities like biking and running are less likely to seek these healthy activities independently, often exacerbating a sedentary lifestyle.
The most obvious sign of obesity is a weight increase beyond gaining a few pounds. An obese person’s body mass index (BMI) is often over 30, whereas the normal range is 18-25. Other signs may include shortness of breath after a little activity, sleep apnea, daytime fatigue, and joint pain.
The disease may also include related diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
What You Can Do
Increased physical activity, healthy food choices, and taking care of your mental health are some of the best ways to prevent obesity. Families should also ensure that these nutritional values are passed down to children to ensure that future generations understand the benefit of eating healthy and keeping fit.