In a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, most Americans fail to recognize that the risks of obesity go beyond heart disease and diabetes.
According to the poll, only 7 percent of the people surveyed knew that there was a link between obesity and certain forms of cancer, such as colon, breast, prostate, ovarian and a few others. And, even if obesity isn’t the cause of the cancer, it can make detection difficult and risk the odds of early detection and treatment.
High blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol and infertility were either unknown or mentioned by a scarce number of respondents. Only five percent of respondents linked obesity to “breathing problems,” such as sleep apnea and asthma.
In a poll out late last year, approximately 50 percent respondents believed that their weight was “just about right,” despite falling in the BMI (body mass index) category of overweight. Of the respondents who were parents, only 12 percent believed their child was overweight – well below the national average showing that nearly one-third of all children and teens are overweight or obese.
These attitudes may be a reflection of who people are comparing themselves to in their everyday lives. If you look around, the odds are, you are going to be surrounded by people in a higher to much higher BMI classification than you. Sixty percent of the population is overweight or obese – that’s the majority and that’s a problem.
Excess pounds contribute to a number of diseases. Forget the comparisons in your environment. Strive to achieve and maintain a healthy weight for the sake of your quality of life.