If you are overweight or obese, the problem won’t go away just because you ignore it. Also, many appear to operate under the assumption that the health dangers of excess weight don't apply to them. It's always someone else who has high blood pressure or diabetes but not you, right? Don’t bet your health or life on those assumptions!
It is wise to give yourself the best chance to live healthily for a long time. Deep down, we all know what we need to do to make that happen.
A study conducted by Catalyst Healthcare Research, a nationally recognized leader in health care research, found that 60 percent of Americans said obesity is the number one threat to public health; this result far outdistanced cancer, which was in second place with 16 percent. For the study, researchers interviewed 1,500 Americans ages 18 to 65.
Of those considered to be obese or overweight, 11 percent of the people who responded to the survey considered themselves to be in excellent health, and an additional 61 percent said they were in good health.
"These results suggest that many Americans are living in denial about their health status," said Dan Prince, president of Catalyst Healthcare Research. "Health advocates face a much deeper problem than merely persuading people of the benefits of losing weight -- they must find ways to help people face the hard truth about themselves.
"The survey results suggest to us that many Americans may not connect their own weight or exercise level with perceptions of their overall fitness."
Sixty percent of those questioned in the Catalyst Healthcare Research study were overweight or obese as measured by their body mass index, which relates a person's weight to his or her height. That percentage is similar to the U.S. adult population at large. People who are overweight have a lower BMI than those considered obese, but both groups are considered by medical professionals to be at risk for serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses.
Their level of concern about the danger their weight poses to their health is reflected in their exercise patterns, according to the study.