Obesity in America Plateaued ….

This is the newest obesity related news article to hit CNN. The headline is ‘U.S. Obesity Rates Unchanged’. By title alone, what do you think of this? Is this GOOD news? BAD news? Not news at all?

Here is the article: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/17/u-s-obesity-rates-unchanged/?hpt=hp_c2

 

U.S obesity rates unchanged

The prevalence of obesity in the United States seems to have plateaued, according to data released Tuesday.  The numbers show 35.7% of U.S. adults and almost 17% of U.S. children and teens are obese.

“There’s been no change in the prevalence of obesity in recent years in children or adults,” says Cynthia L Ogden, Ph.D, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and the leading author of the report.  “But I think looking over the last decade, it’s interesting to see how the prevalence of obesity in men has caught up with the prevalence of obesity in women.”

Ogden and her team compiled the data from 2009-2010 using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey measured the height and weight of almost 6,000 men and women and calculated their Body Mass Index (commonly known as BMI) to determine if they were obese.

They found that from 2009-2010, 35.5% of American men and 35.8% of American women were obese, with African-American and Mexican-American men and women having higher rates of obesity than white Americans. Obesity was more common among teens than preschool aged children and among boys than girls.

 

“This is a good news story but this is not the end of the story,” says Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Dean of the School of Medicine and Executive Vice President of Morehouse College.

“We cannot feel good… until we see a decrease in the prevalence of obesity,” says Dr. Montgomery Rice.

In Rice’s opinion, efforts over the last several years to educate populations about the importance of daily exercise, to encourage the incorporation of  healthy foods into school cafeterias, and to combat food insecurity throughout the country is having an impact on the number of Americans who are obese.  But she cautions that more needs to be done and that doctors should focus on giving patients realistic weight loss goals when counseling patients about obesity.

“It’s a difficult conversation to have with an individual, to say ‘okay, you are obese.’” People kind of know what ‘obese’ is but not really.”

For example, as an OB-GYN, Montgomery Rice counsels her patients on the dangers of belly fat and the reproductive issues that could be affected or made worse by obesity. She also encourages patients to focus on losing only 10% of their excess weight at a time.

“What I hope doesn’t come out of this study is that we start to think we’ve made some significant improvement and we stop the efforts that have been put forth,” says Rice.

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Filed under: Obesity

So, lets chat for a moment about my take on this. I think the fact that obesity is not still on the incline is great! We have all lent our voices to this fight. We want people to be aware that obesity is an epidemic and a disease. We want people to get help before they reach the point of needing surgical interventions. And we all want doctors to do their part in fighting this fight, am I right?

 

This right here ” In Rice’s opinion, efforts over the last several years to educate populations about the importance of daily exercise, to encourage the incorporation of  healthy foods into school cafeterias, and to combat food insecurity throughout the country is having an impact on the number of Americans who are obese.  But she cautions that more needs to be done and that doctors should focus on giving patients realistic weight loss goals when counseling patients about obesity.” is what I really want to talk about.

Doctors, are you reading? Probably not, but their patients are. So here goes. A doctor needs to be realistic when approaching the subject of obesity. We all step on that scale knowing damn well that it those numbers are screaming out begging for mercy the moment they pop up. We know we are fat, fluffy, chubby or morbidly obese. We don’t need a doctor who is going to be arrogant about it, but we also don’t need doctors who are going to spare our feelings and glaze over the subject either. So, this is where self advocacy comes into play.

I can’t urge you enough, regardless of how dreaded the topic and how embarrassing the numbers, talk to your doctor about your weight. Talk to your pediatrician about your child’s weight. Ask for advice about nutrition if you simply don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Ask for labs to be drawn to rule out underlying factors. Lets take control and grab this thing by the balls! Lets get our families healthy and give our children a healthier future.

A little bit of awareness goes a long long way! The article above is proof! Congratulations America! You didn’t gain more weight! You may not have lost a lot as a nation, but you didn’t put it on either and THAT RIGHT THERE IS PROGRESS! I’m proud of us!  Are you?

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