By Shaaban Fundi,
I have been thinking about the issues related to obesity lately. I was reminded about this with my doctor in my last annual check-up. He said, you have no other lingering issues to worry about “young man” except for the fact that you need to exercise regularly and make sure you wear your seat belt whenever you drive. Receiving that seal of health approval from my doctor was reassuring but living in North America provides you with a constant reminder of obesity every second of every minute.
I have gained some weight over the years and that has left me incapacitated in my own body. I can’t run like I used to. I can’t walk like I used to and I can’t play soccer anymore (as if I used to previously lmao!!!!). This sedentary life we live in, is a major contributor to our own body demise. Fast foods, 30 minutes dinners, video games, the cheap and unbalanced diet we eat increasingly perpetuate the situation.
This is a major cultural problem in America and it is, quite literally, killing all of us. This is not a tsunami, a famine or a flood over which we have no control this is something that only WE, each and every person, can change…or not!!
Here are some data about this issue in North America. According to a new study released this week by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), the total economic cost of overweight (BMI between 25.0 –29.9) and obesity (BMI of more than 30) in the U.S. and Canada reaches $300(1) billion per year, with 90 percent of the total – $270 billion – attributed to the U.S.
While much research has been conducted on obesity, the SOA study looked at the economic costs of overweight and obesity caused by increased need for medical care, and loss of economic productivity resulting from excess mortality and disability. In the study, the SOA also divided the $300 billion finding into specific causes of economic costs. The figure breaks down into the following economic costs per year:
Total cost of excess medical care caused by overweight and obesity: $127 billion.
Economic loss of productivity caused by excess mortality: $49 billion.
Economic loss of productivity caused by disability for active workers: $43 billion.
Economic loss of productivity caused by overweight or obesity for totally disabled workers: $72 billion.
In sum, let us just get outside…run some more, walk some more, drive less, ride bicycles some more and make some real dinners and lunches too. Maybe that will help.