According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2006 and 2007-2008, approximately 64.1% of adult women in the United States are overweight or obese as defined by a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25. Over one third (35.5%) of adult women (over 20) in the United States are obese as defined by a BMI of greater than or equal to 30. These number are expected to increase dramatically over the next few decades.
The risk factors for overweight and obesity include Type 2 Diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypercholesterolemia, gall bladder disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, breast cancer, pregnancy complications and menstrual irregularities. Most cases of overweight and obesity are caused by an energy imbalance although some medical and genetic factors may also play a role. An energy imbalance in the body is created when more calories are consumed than burned. Treatments for overweight and obesity include a combination of diet, exercise, behavior modification and sometimes weight loss drugs. In some cases of extreme obesity, bariatric surgery may be recommended.
Over the last few years, hundreds upon hundreds of new diets, weight loss products and exercise programs have been introduced to address the problem of overweight and obesity. Some offer a quick fix or easy solution to weight gain. However, the most effective weight loss programs involve a complete lifestyle change sustained over time. If you are currently overweight or obese, you are putting yourself at risk for a variety of health problems. Your weight may even be affecting your quality of life and self esteem. Talk to your doctor today about implementing lifestyle changes to address this serious condition.