Obesity may not be a ‘disease’, but it is definitely an epidemic with significant implications for the health of our country.  Being obese also has numerous health effects such as heart disease diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems and more.  According to combined information from the CDC and Surgeon General, obesity-related conditions cost up to 147 billion dollars annually and cause an estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the US.

Who is to blame when we are obese or even 20-30 pounds overweight?  Is it our traditions, our society, the fast-paced culture we live in…or is it something far more personal than that?  And whose responsibility is it to fix the problem?  Certainly, there is a difference between being obese and overweight, but 20 pounds overweight is more than one step down the road to being obese.

These questions have more than one answer.  Events ranging from a successful lawsuit against McDonalds corporation in which they took responsibility for an employees weight gain all the way to government officials offering opinion on how to resolve obesity in America indicates the issue deserves not only attention, but a method for solution.

My opinion about what factors influence and cause obesity
With more than 30 percent of Americans qualifying as ‘obese’, it’s becoming a social norm in the same sense that smoking was 30 years ago.  When many people around you are overweight, it’s easy to justify staying that way and skirting around the both the cause and the implications.  My opinion, being overweight is a social issue with psychological implications, just as smoking is often related to anxiety and addictive behavior and bulimia/anorexia has far more to do with underlying psychological issues than with physical actual physical appearance.  Being overweight is the result of social norms combined with the psychological state of the individual

I think the most appropriate solution for reducing the percent of obese in America is a dual approach.  Individuals need to take personal responsibility for their habits and the underlying issues that cause them to make unhealthy choices.

Simple methods you can use to get started on weight loss
In the end, regardless of social pressures, commerce, or government intervention, being overweight is a choice just like being a smoker is a choice.  If you are having trouble losing weight or leading a healthy lifestyle I feel your solution starts by asking yourself the right question: why?.  Why am I doing this right now.  How can I do better?  Is what I’m doing leading me to a good end point?   Start by finding out what is driving you to overeat or avoid exercise

Once you understand that, get started on a physician approved exercise program that will allow you to improve your cardiovascular health.  From there, you can design a fitness and nutrition program to help you lose weight and regulate your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular system, and hopefully prevent type 2 diabetes.  Seek out the assistance of government tools such as the CDC and search out professionals in your area to support you along the way.    Above all, never give up on yourself or your health and fitness goals!  You can do it!