Is there a better time to talk about obesity with the holidays finally over? The truth is there is no better time than the present. In a study, conducted in 2012 by the National Center for Health Statistics, data showed more than one-third adults, age 20 and over, are obese. Not only does this impact our society with high prices of health care and health insurance but it will be a long lasting effect that we are only starting to be aware of.
If we continue on the same path we have been for the last 30 years we will have to make new accommodations in health care facilities for obese patients. We are already starting to see these new adaptations being implemented.
Obesity and Health
Obesity is associated with increased risk of many health conditions. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis and colon cancer are just a few of the more than 60 risks commonly associated with obesity in adults. Frequently depression and anxiety are identified in obese people as well. All of these ailments are extremely expensive to treat.
An estimated 190 billion dollars was the direct cost for health care expenditures relating to obesity in 2013. This has doubled in the last 10 years and estimated growth is between 43 to 66 million each year. With advancement in pharmaceuticals, treatments and surgeries obese patients will continue to live longer. This means health care costs will continue to rise drastically as the obese population ages.
Obesity and an Unhealthy Diet
Our diets affect not only our health but also our productivity level. Productivity levels are lower from an obese person compared to a healthy person. With an unhealthy diet short-term effects are blood sugar imbalances, chronic headaches, and frequent common cold/flu type illness. Chronic health conditions relating to obesity are estimated to cost $153 billion in lost productivity and a total of 450 million additional days of work lost, compared to a healthy worker (Gallup Poll 2011). Not only is making better food choices imperative but also becoming more active.
Break the Cycle!
Providing yourself, and those around you, with incentives to be active and make healthier food choices can help lessen health care costs and increase productivity. Most of us need incentive to help motivate us to make changes.
- Look for opportunities at work and in your community.
- Find out if your insurance helps cover the cost of a fitness center or perhaps your workplace will help cover the cost.
- Check out websites like Weigh in and Win to participate in a weight loss challenge for prizes. The internet is loaded with ways to find the help and support you may need.
- Seek out meet up groups that focus on health, like cycling, hiking or healthy cooking groups. You can even start up your own group or coordinate a team sport with your coworkers.
- Host a friendly competition of a weight loss or fitness challenge at work.
- Utilize social media to help get people involved and stay engaged.
- Success can be increased when we have a community of supporters around us. That’s why the best weight loss diet for years has been Weight Watchers.
There are so many ways we can help make our future healthy and happy. Occupational Training Solutions wishes you the happiest and healthiest year. Happy 2015!