Breaking Down Obesity Epidemic: June 4, 2012

If you were to break down obesity by the numbers, the results would be distasteful.

“The weight related changes that we’ve seen in the United States really over the past twenty years have brought us to that definition of an epidemic,” says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, Vice President of Health and Wellness for Lee Memorial Health System.

The CDC reports a third of our population, or 78 million people, are obese today. The number is expected to blossom. By the year 2030 almost half the country will be, but does that make it an epidemic?

“I think it is, actually. I think you can say that it’s a disorder that can be spread through the population because of the way we live.  We certainly spread that thought process to our children,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

Laura Sapka agrees.

“If you see your parents eating what they’re eating, then chances are you’re going to be eating that as well and you know it just kind of falls down the line.”

Linda Baxter finds that hard to swallow.

“If you look back years ago, people didn’t watch what they ate and there was still you know obese people then. I just think there’s more emphasis put on it now.”

Our excess pounds are getting super-sized attention because of the health consequences that go along with weight. Consistently overeating is giving us a nationwide food hangover.

“If you don’t become concerned about it and really take some action to make it better, you will end up with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes the list goes on and on,” says Dr. Lacagnina.

Linda and Laura agree that diet is a lifestyle choice. The consequences are ours too.

“I think it’s great to be put out there that people can step back and say whoa maybe I do need to change my lifestyle,” says Sapka.

Or provide food for thought anyway.