Health Facts

What is Obesity?

Obesity is usually defined as being 20% over the ideal weight or as having a body mass index of 30 or higher. Body mass index or BMI is calculated using height and weight. A Normal BMI falls in the range of 15-25. A BMI of 25-30 is classified as overweight.

Obesity Costs Health

Obese people are more likely to suffer from chronic health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. Obese people also tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to people with normal BMIs. The latest research indicates that obese men and women have a higher risk for many diseases, including colon cancer. Women with a BMI of 30 or greater are at an increased risk for breast cancer and endometrial cancer. A BMI of 30 or greater also leads to a diminished quality of life because of physical difficulties and discrimination.

Obesity Costs Sleep

Obese individuals tend to suffer from a lack of sleep. Heartburn or acid reflux can keep them up at night. The extra fat around the neck area can narrow the airways and cause sleep apnea, making it difficult to breathe at night. Studies have shown that losing even 10% of your body fat when you are obese can substantially alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Obesity Costs Comfort

For an obese person, simply shopping for clothes can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience. It's also hard to take airplane rides, sit comfortably in some chairs or couches, or to take extended car commutes. Simply climbing the stairs can seem insurmountable, while previously enjoyed activities are dismissed as impossible.

Obesity Costs Mental Health

When a person suffers from obesity, their mental health can be greatly affected, too. Anxiety or depression may set in, not just from societal pressures to be slender, but also from physical changes that happen when the body is not healthy.

Obesity Costs Money

A recent study by the School of Public Health at George Washington University found that it costs an obese woman $4,870 more per year to live in America than a woman of healthy weight. It costs an obese man $2,646 more per year. Some of those costs are paid directly by the obese person, while other costs are paid by employers and other taxpayers. This comes to a monthly average of $405 for women and $220 for men. Don't you think it's time to let your employees know about these dangerous trends? We would love to come to your business and educate your employees about what they can do to change their lifestyles!

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***The figures were based on data regarding: medical costs, work-related costs, personal costs, insurance-covered costs, doctors visit cost, hospital care costs, medication costs, missed work days and disability payment costs and personal costs referring to the amount spent on transportation and life insurance. The researchers believe that their estimates are on the low side because they did not take into account other expenses that are higher for obese people, such as clothing, air travel, or furniture.

***As of note, obese women make less money than normal women in the workforce.

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