According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 70 percent of American adults over the age of 20 are either overweight or obese. Over 12 million (or 1 in 6) American children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight or obese. In addition to
the negative effects that being overweight or obese can have on a child or adult's quality of life and self-esteem, the obesity epidemic in the United States is also taking a toll on health and life span for many Americans.
How Weight Affects Your Health and Wellbeing
Although society tends to focus primarily on outward appearance and the cosmetic aspects of weight gain, living at a healthy weight for your age, height and physical composition is an important factor in your overall health. As stressful and upsetting as it can be to not fit into your favorite jeans or to feel winded from walking up a flight of stairs, being overweight can take a major toll on your general health and increase your risk of developing serious health complications such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Pregnancy complications
What Is Considered Obese?
Body mass index (BMI) is the ratio between your height and your weight, and it is often used as a general guideline to determine whether you are in a healthy range for your individual body specifications. Not sure where you fall? Try the CDC's Adult BMI Calculator to get started.
However, factors like BMI and the number on your scale only give you an overview. A comprehensive medical exam and consultation with a physician can help you determine where you are at the moment and suggest safe long-term solutions for living at your ideal weight.
Get Help Losing and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
You should always consult with a physician before beginning a new diet or exercise program, especially if you suffer from health problems like diabetes, heart disease or joint problems such as arthritis. UAB Medical West offers personalized care designed to help you safely reach and maintain a healthy ideal weight, from helping you get existing medical problems under control to suggesting appropriate lifestyle modifications and wellness plans.
For more information, contact us today by calling (205) 481-7000 to schedule an appointment.