What do you need to know? The Good and the Bad
The Not so Good News:
Our society is now plagued with lifestyle diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and many others. Our risk of many cancers such as breast, colon, and uterine cancer is also increased due to obesity.
Our lack of physical activity and exercise increases the risk of dementia, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer.
These chronic lifestyle diseases are taking a huge toll on us as individuals and on society as a whole. According to the World Health Organization, (WHO),
“Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of mortality (death) in the world, representing 60% of all daths. Out of 35 million people who died from chronic diseases in 2005, half were under 70 years of age, and half were woman.”
Having identified the link between obesity and the risk for these chronic lifestyle diseases, this WHO quote confirms the magnitude of this societal challenge.
What happens to people who have these chronic diseases?
- In one study, Diabetes was found to almost double the risk of developing Dementia.
- Type 2 Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and leg amputation. The American Diabetes Association revealed that adults with diabetes die from heart disease two to four times more frequently than adults without diabetes. The risk for stroke among diabetics is also two to four times higher.
- The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation web site (www.cbcf.org), states, “research shows that post-menopausal women with a higher body weight have a higher risk of breast cancer. Excess weight gained during adulthood increases the risk for breast cancer later in life, particularly women who continue to have a higher body weight after menopause. Higher body weight has also been associated with a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence in both pre and post menopausal woman.
People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success. – Norman Vincent Peale
Now the Good News
By getting to a healthier weight, one can dramatically reduce the risk of all these life style diseases. Additionally, a healthier weight results in more energy, feeling revitalized and feeling a sense of empowerment over one’s health. Even when people develop one of these lifestyle diseases, such as type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, losing weight, exercising and becoming more physically active will reduce the complications of many of these diseases, or create the possibility of reducing or stopping some medication (under your Physician’s guidance.) There are no absolute guarantees, but I believe that a deep desire to be healthier will make it easier to lose weight, and become more physically active and ultimately become a happier person. I have seen so many of my patient’s lives become truly transformed.
Stay tuned, over the next several weeks, several simple ideas will be included in this blog, to help you achieve your weight loss goals, incorporate physical activity and exercise into your life and become a healthier and more energetic person.