There is in our country, my fellow Americans, an epidemic.
A most serious, potentially deadly epidemic. No matter what we do as a country or people, it only gets worse.
The epidemic is WEIGHT, far too much of it. The Mayo Clinic calls this overweight in America:
AN OBESITY EPIDEMIC.
Overweight and obesity have grown to “staggering proportions” to the point where in the United States, 70% of all adults in America are overweight or obese! Seventy percent! Seven out of ten American adults are overweight or obese!
Overweight or obesity has serious health implications, SERIOUS! Overweight and especially obesity has a direct effect on longevity. In short, this fatty condition shortens life. In fact, extreme obesity, dozens of pounds overweight can result in death at any time. The effect internally and on all organs of the body can be absolutely disastrous.
O or O also seriously affects the quality of life. The overweight person is much more susceptible to disease and illness. The immune system is constantly challenged. Athletic and other such activities are compromised. Serious overweight or obesity produces lethargy, a lack of energy or even desire to do things or participate. Quality of life lessens virtually daily.
O or O is a considerable risk factor, for some the main one, for cardiovascular disease. The strain on the heart is immense. That precious and vital organ works overtime to pump blood in an attempt to nourish the overweight fat in the body. Such a heart under pressure and in strain results in shortness of breath especially walking up stairs or up hills of any kind. Overweight and especially obesity is disastrous for the heart.
O or O is a major risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes. If any adult is susceptible to diabetes, overweight exacerbates the potentiality and the problem.
O or O almost always results in high blood pressure. That of course as most know can be extremely serious, and life threatening. Strong medications are required to control high blood pressure yet another problem in and of itself.
O or O can result in elevated cholesterol levels. Elevated to the point where they are dangerous for health and the heart. Those elevated cholesterol levels can contribute to plaque buildup in arteries and veins resulting in serious problems for the heart and the brain.
O or O can significantly increase the risk for STROKE. Any kind of stroke, whether a TIA (transient ischemic attack) or major brain debilitating occurrence can have permanent, even lethal effects on the body.
O or O can be a direct cause of gallbladder disease.
O or O can be a direct cause of liver disease. That of course can easily be fatal or drastically affect so many other bodily functions.
O or O can be a direct cause of obstructive sleep apnea. That most difficult condition can affect the quality of life or life itself every single day, every night when healthy sleep becomes so necessary.
O or O can be a direct cause in osteoarthritis.
O or O can also be causative with regard to certain types of cancer. Can there be anything worse for any human being than cancer, lethal, killing, life ending cancers of all sorts?
And finally, O or O definitely increases the risk of:
One of the most tragic conditions for mankind. O or O dramatically increases, as the Mayo Clinic has warned, “the risk of dying!” Does it ever.
The definition of overweight changes. It is also to some extent dependent upon the person, the structure of the body, lifestyle, occupation, energy and calorie expenditure, and both exercise and diet. One may be overweight if as few as ten pounds over the normal and ideal weight occurs. Certainly, 15 to 20 pounds, or 5–10% of total body weight can surely result in a mild overweight condition. An individual may be considered obese if he or she is 30 pounds over ideal weight, or more. Definitions change but the underlying conditions remain the same. Overweight or obese people feel more stress and anxiety, says the Mayo Clinic. The individual knows and feels either condition and suffers the consequences. The mood of the O or O individual is constantly down, often negative, even depressed. There can be a loss of self-esteem. And, there is surely a lack of energy at all levels of bodily function which significantly reduces the quality of life. O or O is indeed an epidemic, a brutal, often lethal epidemic and an incredibly serious problem in our country and the world over.
It is estimated that O or O results in costs hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars. There are far more medical expenses. Weight loss plans and medications are extremely expensive. The overweight consume more food and drink. And the more obese, the more special conditions are required and the costs of O or O just continue to escalate.
The remedy, says the Mayo Clinic starts with:
DIET AND EXERCISE.
Diet, of course and calorie restriction and the reduction or elimination of certain kinds of foods (i.e. sweets). The Mayo Clinic recommends FIBER, more of it. Eat, the clinic says, a wide variety of foods that are high in fiber, the fiber found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. With that fiber, drink plenty of water to help fiber move through your digestive track. That movement is healthy and it also produces a feeling of being full. Eat less, which requires discipline and willpower. And remember the old adage:
CALORIES IN – CALORIES OUT.
The more you eat, the more you need to exercise, move, be active and BURN CALORIES. Exercise is critical. Walking, modest aerobic exercise, stretching, yoga and of course activities which require bodily movement. Every movement of the body is calorie burning and says the Mayo Clinic, if you cut–out 500 calories a day from a normal 3,500 calorie daily diet, you would be able to lose 1 pound a week. That is certainly a modest goal but doable. And that is the key to weight loss, a plan well set, discipline and willpower, and a determination to lose that weight, that fat and return to the healthy living to which your body is entitled.
The scriptures tell us that the body which God has given is the so called:
TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
We should honor that body, take care of it, treat it as God-given and preserve and protect this TEMPLE with all dedication and discipline. We get one and one only. If you are overweight, perhaps 10–20 pounds, and certainly if you are obese, 30–40 pounds overweight or more, it may be your spiritual duty to return your God–given body to the state of being it was intended to be. It is a great joy to live healthy. It is not easy for temptation is everywhere. But it can be done with personal discipline, willpower, prayer and meditation and the determination NOT to be part of the:
O OR O EPIDEMIC.
In this world, there is nothing like good health. There can be no good health if one is seriously overweight much less obese.