Public Largely Ignorant About Obesity Risks

It shouldn’t be surprising that since 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese that many people don’t understand the risks of obesity. Duh. This is twice as many as 20 years ago. Even our children are getting fatter. Among young people, 15 percent of those ages 6 to 19 are seriously overweight. That’s nearly 9 million, triple the number in 1980.

Maybe if people had a better idea about how damaging obesity is, there wouldn’t be so many overweight.

About one out of four people think it’s possible for someone to be very overweight and still be healthy, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Only seven percent of people in the survey mentioned cancer. Yet doctors have known for years that fat increases the risk of a number of cancers. It was recently reported that cancers of the esophagus, uterus, pancreas and kidney have risen despite declines in cancer rates. Experts said that excess weight triggers production of insulin and hormones that play a role in cancer growth.

Also, with overweight people excess fat makes it difficult to spot some tumors.

John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.”For people who do not smoke, excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity may be among the most important risk factors for cancer.”

As an arthritis sufferer, I was not surprised to learn that excess weight takes a toll on one’s joints, especially the knees. Only about fifteen percent of people were aware that obesity can contribute to arthritis, which then aggravates joint pain and makes it harder to exercise creating a vicious downward spiral in health.

The study also found that half of the people think their weight is just about right and only 12 percent of parents think their child is overweight. Nevertheless, about 60 percent of adults and 30 percent of children and teens are either overweight or obese.

If you want to know how much you should weight, please check out What is My Ideal Weight?

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research study took place between late November and mid-December, by phone interviews with just over 1,000 adults.

For significantly more detail on obesity, you can read How Does Obesity Affect You posted here in May. Or you can click on the obesity tag at the right for a number of similar items.




Filed under arthritis, body fat, childhood obesity, fat, fat kids, general well-being, health, healthy eating, heart problems, men and healthy eating, men's health, obesity, Weight

2 responses to “Public Largely Ignorant About Obesity Risks

  1. Tony, I wish every person would seriously think about this blog…and not just think…put it into action. I have always done everything I know to do to prevent serious illness…I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I’m sure going to try to do my part so I don’t have to spend the last part of my life living “sick,” as my beloved brother did.

    My brother passed away about 3 years ago…he was 3 years younger than me and weighed 340 pounds. (same parents) His last 10 years of life were spent in pain and on medications, and of course, we know many prescription drugs have negative side effects. He had heart and knee operations and needed both hips replaced. He could not walk very far for years and shuffled when he did. He was slim until his 30’s…. He ate himself to death. Before he passed away he said “Sis, you can tell my story in hopes it will encourage others not to follow my path’”.


    • Tony

      Many thanks, Oleda. I wish folks would appreciate how much they have to do with how well or badly they age. Always great to hear from you.


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