Being Overweight or Obese IS NOT OK! Time and time again I have had this discussion with friends and family only to be dismissed or ridiculed for condemning people who are fat with common responses like, “let them live their life, it’s not affecting you”, “what do you care? Worry about yourself”, and “It’s their body they can do what they want with it.” All of which are valid responses if they were true. What if I told you that obesity is far more taxing to society than you ever thought possible? What if I proved to you that the reason health care and pharmaceuticals are so expensive is due almost solely to obesity? As one of the leading causes of death in today’s society, it is incomprehensible how many people are willing to overlook health or dismiss those who are clearly harming the rest of society through their poor choices. These individuals are so self-absorbed that they are unwilling to make a change. Do they think their choices don’t have second and third order effects on the rest of the world?!
Numbers don’t lie. Nearly 75% of all deaths in the United States can be attributed to 10 diseases, all of which can be traced back to one’s diet and health. At the forefront of these illnesses are Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke, Diabetes, and Chronic lower respiratory disease. All of which have be directly correlated to one’s overall health. Amongst these deaths, over 65% have been reported as either overweight or obese, for those doing the math, that’s over 48% of deaths in the U.S. that can be attributed to obesity. Not to mention that individuals with a higher BMI (body mass index) are far more susceptible to obtaining the aforementioned diseases. Yes, it’s a generalized statement to say that all of the deaths related to these fields are directly a cause of high body fat, as there are a number of other contributing factors. However, even in a general sense, those numbers are shocking and should draw the attention of the public eye. Yet, for some reason they have not.
Ultimately, this why it infuriates me to see someone who is overweight shoveling “quarter pounders” down their throat with a side of French fries and a large coke. Every day we as a society tend to “skinny shame” people more than we would call someone out for being unhealthy. In my opinion this is mind-boggling. Consider this, you’re sitting with your child at the park. Imagine now that a smoker were to walk up, sit down next to you, and blow smoke in your child’s face. I would like to think that most people would confront this individual. The negative effects that second-hand smoke has on a child’s health are well-known facts. Now, think of the quarter pounder scenario. Yes, that obese person isn’t blowing smoke into your face or causing a direct deterioration to you or a loved one’s health. However, what he is doing is promoting the unhealthy advertising of processed foods and supporting businesses that push atrocious food agendas for the FDA. Foods that are loaded with unnecessary Omega 6s, additional preservatives, simple sugars, and other additives that can’t even be processed by the human body. On top of promoting these businesses and diets, it also taxes our overall health care system. It is estimated that health-related obesity issues account for $190.2 billion (or nearly 21%) of overall annual medical spending, with projected expenditures expected to triple over the next 20 years. That’s over $500 billion in health care costs alone that factor into increased cost of health insurance policies, pharmaceutical drugs, and the filling of hospitals. Think about someone that has to go to the ER for a legitimate concern and wait hours just to be seen. Now, imagine in 20 years that same visit. It will take an estimated three to five times longer for projected obesity issues in the younger generations. Even when factoring inflation into this equation, the cost would come close to 65% of overall spending in medical cost annually simply from obesity related issues. It’s time to speak up and start that paradigm shift!
My goal for this article is to start a spark. I want to get you all talking with your friends and family. Talk to those who are pushing the limits of being overweight/obese, start the conversation of pushing them back toward the right direction. You can’t force someone to eat healthy, but you can damn well try to inform them of their overall impacts to society and perhaps more persuasively, on themselves. They are not just shortening their own lives and setting themselves up for an increased chance of medical issues, they’re making health care more expensive for the rest of society. Unless there is a paradigm shift in culture, the food industries will continue to falsely advertise processed poison that has little to no nutritional value and hospitals will continue to be packed. Until people start making diet and exercise a priority, not just for themselves, but for those around them, we’ll continue to see increased cost in the health care system. Finally, it’s time to face the awkward conversation and address the real issues head on. Maybe it’s time to face the harsh reality that being obese is affecting the rest of society and it’s time to make a change. My hope for those reading this is that you will continue to follow us and take some bits of free advice for your kit bags to spread to the world. Our mission is to make anyone and everyone a better a fucking human, in all aspects of life! Stay tuned for more fitness advice and blogs in the weeks to come, there’s some good stuff on the horizon. Earn your spot!
Nichols, Hannah. Top 10 Leading Causes of Death in the United Sates. 23 February 2017. Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg Phd.
Overweight & Obesity Statistics. National Institute of Diabetes and digestive and Kidney Diseases. August 2017.
U.S. Department of Health and Services. National League of Cities. 2018