Healthcare costs: We’re screwed

Scientists are arguing about ‌‌the causes of obesity, which affects more than 40 percent of U.S. adults and costs the health system about $173 billion yearly. The meeting resulted in an implicit understanding of what obesity is not: a personal failing. That is ridiculous and means that we’re going to continue to experience high healthcare costs.

By 2030, 48.9% of adults in the United States will be obese, and 24.2% will be severely obese. Obesity is just one of the chronic health conditions that are now affecting almost 40 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 34, new federal data shows.

Although most Americans know that obesity can have adverse health consequences, survey findings show that few are aware that it can increase cancer risk. Studies show that obesity decreases lifespan by up to 8 years and is linked to at least 236 other medical problems, including 13 types of cancer.

According to the CDC, your risk of developing overweight or obesity is determined by more than how much you eat. It also includes the types and amount of food and drinks you consume each day, your level of physical activity (such as whether you sit at an office desk or are on your feet all day), and how much good-quality sleep you get each night.

Lack of physical activity, combined with high amounts of TV, computer, video game, or other screen time, has been associated with a high body mass index (BMI). Most adults need at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities for major muscle groups on two or more days each week, as these activities give additional health benefits. Children should get 60 minutes of aerobic activity each day. See the recommendations for physical activity for different age groups.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American ate almost 20% more calories in the year 2000 than they did in 1983, thanks, in part, to a boom in meat consumption. Today, each American puts away an average of 195lbs of meat yearly, compared to just 138lbs in the 1950s. Consumption of added fats also shot up by around two-thirds over the same period, and grain consumption rose 45% since 1970.

Fact: The average percentage of US adults meeting the necessary physical activity guidelines is 22.9%.

This clearly shows the lack of exercise in the USA, particularly considering that children, adolescents, and adults all have a range of suggested activities to perform regularly. Across the nation’s territory, there is a higher percentage of physical engagement among residents of western and northwestern states and a lower percentage of engagement among residents living in midwestern and southeastern states.

FACT: Only half of all US adults get the exercise they need, while about the same number live with a chronic disease.

In contrast, roughly 50% of the entire US population lives with a chronic illness; half suffer from two or more conditions.

These 82.1 million US residents reported that, outside of their regular daily activities (yard work, cleaning, and the like), they do not engage in any specific physical activity. As a result, the sports and fitness industry began presenting some benefits of everyday exercise and any type of physical activity in general.

Yes, some obesity is caused by complex factors out of the patient’s control but let’s be honest here; the most significant reason people are obese is lack of exercise and overeating. Until we, as a nation, acknowledge the critical reason for obesity, healthcare costs will continue to skyrocket.