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United States of Obesity

A study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association displayed some disturbing news regarding the state of overweight and obesity in the United States. Ready for this?… Roughly 35 percent of men and 37 percent of women are considered obese; and still another 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women are overweight.

Those numbers are exclusive of the other, meaning, they make up separate parts of the 100 percent.

That means that approximately 75 percent of men and 67 percent of women have excess weight problems, and the associated health risks, in the United States.

This study represents data from 2007-2012 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. As stated on their website, “The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations. NCHS is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has the responsibility for producing vital and health statistics for the Nation.”

Combining interviews with physical examinations allowed the researchers to collect:

  • Demographic
  • Socioeconomic
  • dietary
  • health
  • medical
  • dental
  • physiological data measurements.

The overweight population is also much more at risk for inflammatory and age-related disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, certain cancers, arthritis, and others.

So, what do we do with this information?

It appears, based on the recent media explosion around health and fitness related products and services, that people have noticed and will begin responding by making better diet and lifestyle choices.

I just read today that for the first time in its history, McDonald’s plans to close more restaurants over the next year than it will open. I’m not saying that fast food is the only culprit, but I know that these companies are highly sophisticated in their store analysis; and if they are closing, they are losing money. That’s a good sign that people are waking up and making better dietary choices.

If you are of normal weight, you are in the minority. If you are fit, well then you are definitely in a very small minority. I once heard someone say,

“You’re abs are built in the kitchen,
not in the gym.”

I like this and use it often as encouragement to people trying to lose weight. Exercise is a necessary part of health, wellness, and fitness; however,

A healthy and purposeful diet will bring benefits quickly that will make exercise much easier and more enjoyable.

After reading the NHANES data, I must publicly applaud all of those people that are actively taking steps to reduce their weight and improve their health status. It is obviously a difficult process for many, and encouragement and support from a healthcare professional goes a long way in helping to achieve a wellness goal.

If you are looking to lose weight to improve your health, prevent disease, or even just improve your body image, please reach out to our office and schedule a consultation.

We will give you honest data-driven feedback on your health status, suggestions for lab testing and therapeutic diets, and even refer you to fitness specialists that can also help achieve your goals.

Dr. Ryan Lombardo, DAOM, BCIM, RH, ABAAHP
Lifelong enthusiasm for wellness and lifestyle medicine led Dr. Lombardo’s integrative healthcare practice to include both Eastern and Western medical modalities. Read full bio.

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595 Elm Place, Suite 208
Highland Park, IL 60035