American Obesity

As mentioned before in this blog, I take staying in shape very seriously. I have already outlived the life expectancy for American males, and while my health is excellent, I’m not taking any chances. I’m determined to live to be a hundred.

So I watch my weight and stress foods of high nutritional value and low calories. For years, I was a runner and have always lifted weights. Damage to my right leg several years ago brought the running to a  halt, so these days I emphasize working out. I am able to maintain the ideal weight for my body size and type.

That devotion to health and particularly to weight control puts me at odds with the majority of Americans. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 percent of adults aged twenty and over are overweight. That includes the nearly 40 percent who are obese. Before the pandemic struck, we already knew that obesity dramatically increases the risk of developing medical conditions or diseases such as cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and stroke. I couldn’t find any current figures on the degree to which obesity increases the risk of infection from covid-19, but we know that it makes severe illness from the virus more likely. We do have obesity rates for countries worldwide. The lowest are Japan and South Korea. Japan has suffered seven deaths per 100,000 people from covid-19. South Korea has reported three deaths per 100,000. Compare that with the U.S.: 163 deaths per 100,000.

In short, there is a direct correlation between obesity and pandemic deaths. That fact reminded me of a blog I did several years ago on American obesity. I’ll post it again tomorrow with updates.

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