Few Americans Know All Obesity Risks

Risks of Obesity

Heart disease and diabetes get all the attention, but what about the many other ways obesity can damage your health?

Carrying too many pounds may lead to or worsen some types of cancer, arthritis, sleep apnea, even infertility. But a new poll suggests few Americans realize the links.

Yet with sufficient awareness about the negative consequences of being overweight/obese, public perception could be shifted towards preventative eating — lessening the need for expensive pharmaceutical intervention or hospitalization simply through the virtues of a healthy diet.

And to make it easier for folks to get started with eating and cooking healthier, I have developed two programs:

  • The 14-Day Kickstarter Weight Loss Program is designed to help you understand why pasts diets may have failed, and how you can make lifelong weight loss a reality.
  • The 200-Calorie-Fix is a program to help you cook healthier, because each recipe comes with a video, nutritional stats and swaps. You can see how quickly the dish comes together, and how sizeable the portions are!

So here’s what the poll uncovered:

Only about one-quarter of people think it’s possible for someone to be very overweight and still healthy, according to the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research (Download PDF with Research Highlight here)

Ask about the most serious consequences, and more than 7 in 10 Americans can correctly tick off heart disease and diabetes. Heart disease is the nation’s leading killer, and diabetes and obesity are twin epidemics, as rates of both have climbed in recent years.

The other consequences aren’t so well known.

“People are often shocked to hear how far-reaching the effects of obesity are,” said Jennifer Dimitriou, a bariatric dietitian at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center.

  • Only 7% of people surveyed mentioned cancer, although doctors long have known that fat increases the risk of developing cancers of the colon, breast, prostate, uterus and certain other sites. Plus, being overweight can make it harder to spot tumors early and to treat them.
  • Then there’s the toll on your joints, especially the knees. About 15% of people knew obesity can contribute to arthritis, a vicious cycle as the joint pain then makes it harder to exercise and shed pounds.
  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol and strokes were fairly low on the list. Infertility didn’t get a mention.

Read the full article »

The poll has a lot of interesting tidbits, including the question of who’s responsible for solving the nation’s obesity epidemic… download the PDF with the poll’s highlights.


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