Millions of people in this country and around the world are committing suicide. Slowly. They are not shooting themselves or taking drug overdoses. No. Instead they are eating themselves to death.
How can I put this more plainly. Obesity! It is killing us. Got it?
Okay, the first cause of death by choice is smoking which ends up with some 435,000 people a year, in American alone, who choose to die by smoking. They die from heart attack, cancer, and all kinds of other nasty afflictions attributed to smoking.
Don’t worry though, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is the runner up with 400,000 people per year dying from a disease related to being not just overweight, but massively overweight! Is that you?
No? Good. You are excused and can peruse some fashion website or check up on the latest celebrity gossip. Or do you really believe that you have a “Free Pass”? Kevin and I were talking about friends of ours and some of my clients who live with the burden of “weight loss”.
They are seriously overweight. But often they deny that this is a real health threat and assume it is simply a vanity issue.
This is not just an American problem either. Our British cousins across the pond, for example, are experiencing an obesity epidemic of their own.
“The number of people whose deaths are directly related to obesity has leaped by 35 percent since 2003, according to new figures obtained by The Independent on Sunday.
Obesity was cited on death certificates as a contributing factor in 1,203 deaths in England and Wales in 2007, highlighting how the incidence of related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and blood clots continue to rise alarmingly.
This is not just happening in England. It’s just as bad in Scotland and the latest figures show that the European nation with the fastest rising rate of obesity is that bastion of slender cool, Italy!
Experts warn that these figures are the tip of the iceberg, as the majority of obesity-related deaths are not being recorded on death certificates.
Actually, I find it comforting to know that it’s not just the Americans who are fat. Yes, fat is the word that needs to be used. The problem is that weight gain is usually gradual which gives us time to get used to it. But think about all the compensations that have to be made for all this girth. Many avoid mirrors, they never undress in front anyone, not even their wives or husbands. Food becomes an obsession, and a reason to create guilt. And yet, people have a hard time coming to grips with the thought “I need to get control of my life and my weight and I can.”
We are now dying by choice. In fact, for the first time our longevity may be on the decline. The Independent reported.
A recent study found a 74 percent rise in new cases of diabetes between 1997 and 2003; 80 percent of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are overweight, according to Diabetes UK.
“Heart disease is the biggest killer. According to the National Heart Forum around 6 percent of deaths from coronary heart disease are due to obesity. Yet only 6 percent of people understood the gravity of being overweight, most seeing fat as a vanity issue,” said the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson.
Friends, it’s an epidemic. Well, let’s see, what can we do about it. We can make a choice to take care of ourselves. We can get fresh air, we can walk instead of drive, we can choose not to eat the sweet stuff, the processed stuff, or the goopy stuff. We can take baby steps. We can choose to be different. We can choose to take back control.
We don’t have to get diabetes, heart disease, or the many other diseases that are triggered from being overweight or fat or obese. After all our lives are at stake.