Obesity is a growing epidemic in America – no pun intended. Although many initiatives are put forth to help fight obesity, we still continue to see a climb in obesity rates across the United States.
Obesity is a risk factor for many other serious and chronic ailments, such as heart disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and even diabetes. Combating obesity would not only ensure that the population is healthier, but it will ensure that the rates of these other illnesses continue to drop as well.
Below is a roundup of Bel Marra Health’s top obesity news stories over the past year, which further outline causes, prevention, treatment options and facts about this international health condition.
Obesity Prevention: Obesity rates still rising in U.S. even with efforts to reduce it
Despite all the efforts to prevent obesity, the rates are still increasing significantly.
Even with strong efforts to fight obesity, the obesity rates still continue to grow within the U.S. As of 2014, roughly 38 percent of Americans were obese, rising from 35 percent in 2012. Although the rise may seem small, health experts suggest that it is actually quite significant.
Marion Nestle, Ph.D., from New York University, said, “The trend is very unfortunate and very disappointing. Everybody was hoping that with the decline in sugar and soda consumption, that we’d start seeing a leveling off of adult obesity.”
Obesity rates compared to a decade ago show the highest climb. In 2004 approximately 32 percent of American adults were obese.
Obesity Side Effects: Obesity and metabolic syndrome result in low vitamin E
Metabolic syndrome can cause vitamin E deficiency in the obese.
A new study has found that obese individuals with a metabolic syndrome actually require more vitamin E. They undergo higher oxidative stress, but their condition makes the body utilize it less efficiently. The researchers suggest this vitamin E paradox is what could be contributing to the wide range of diseases associated with metabolic syndromes, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
More than one in three Americans face a metabolic syndrome, which is categorized as having three or five common issues that raise health concerns.
In theory, vitamin E should be readily available to obese individuals because it is a fat soluble nutrient, but the new research says otherwise.
Diet and Obesity: Is junk food to blame for rising obesity?
Junk food may not be to blame for rising obesity rates.
We know that obesity is on the rise, but is junk food to blame? It’s easy to blame soda, candy and processed food, but new research suggests our poor diets aren’t necessarily the cause of the obesity epidemic. The findings come from the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. The researchers uncovered that the consumption of junk food isn’t solely to blame for rising body mass indexes (BMI).
Researchers reviewed data of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. What they found was that junk food consumption was not linked with higher BMI for 95 percent of the population. The exception was for those who were severely underweight or morbidly obese. The researchers found minimal differences between healthy weight and overweight consumption of junk food, which led researchers to their conclusions.
GDP Affects Obesity: Obesity rates higher among less educated population
New research confirms that obesity is linked to a country’s GDP.
In a country where food is scarce, the educated elite show their wealth in their waistlines. In the past, the popular way to show social status was to gain extra weight. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that excess weight was negatively regarded. However, in poor countries, obesity is still more common today for those with a higher education.
A recent study, conducted by researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen in Norway and Columbia University in the U.S., uncovered that while obesity if more common in people with lower levels of education in wealthy countries, obesity is more common in those with higher educations in poor countries. The findings confirm previous research.
Heart Failure and Obesity: Obese women with heart failure live longer than obese men
A new study found that female heart failure patients can live longer if they are obese.
Mildly obese women live slightly longer than mildly obese men when they have heart failure, according to new findings. Further findings suggest these heavier women may also outlive their normal-weight female counterparts with heart failure as well.
Co-author Dr. Carl Lavie said, “It is not doomsday when an overweight or mildly obese patient, especially female, develops heart failure, as the prognosis may be quite good. There is an ‘obesity paradox’ in heart failure. Despite the adverse effects that overweight and obesity have on heart disease risk and on heart function, many studies, including several of my own, show that overweight and at least mildly obese patients with heart failure have a better short-term prognosis than do lean heart failure patients.”
Obesity and Exercise: Lower odds of obesity linked to exercise and standing
Researchers have uncovered that standing can help lower the risk of obesity.
Standing and exercise are linked to lower odds of obesity, according to new findings published in the latest Mayo Clinic Proceedings. It is well known that sedentary behavior is linked with poor health outcomes, but it was not previously known if standing could negate these effects.
A research team explored standing habits in relation to objectively measured obesity and metabolic risk in over 7,000 adults. An association between standing and obesity were determined with three different measures: body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and waist circumference. The link between standing and metabolic risk was assessed through metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of factors that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The more we learn about obesity, the more we can create programs and initiatives to help lower the number of people who are obese. Through diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits it is possible to prevent obesity, and the more we understand about it, the better outcomes we can achieve.
Hopefully in 2016 we can create further policies that will help those who require it to get the support they need to combat obesity.