10 things over 60s should know about obesity
By Ken WongIn HealthOn Sunday 23rd Nov, 2014

10 things over 60s should know about obesity

It’s safe to say that nobody chooses to be obese. The negative effects obesity can have on a person’s health are well documented. In addition, obesity can be a great blow to a person’s self-esteem and result in a surprising degree of psychological hardship. Here are ten things you might not yet know about obesity, but should.

  1. 3 out of every 5 adults in Australia are overweight or obese based on their BMI
    This is a sign that there are serious problems associated with the average Australian diet and lifestyle.
  1. Adults aged 55-65 have the highest rates of obesity
    Obesity is also one of the leading causes of death and disease. This sends a clear message to over 60s not only that they have an increased propensity for weight gain, but also that obesity can have a significant influence on their health and lifespan.
  1. Australia’s obesity rates are climbing faster than anywhere else in the world!
    At present, obesity rates here are on par with those in the United States. In a land where outdoor activities abound and fresh fruit and vegetables are readily available, this shouldn’t be the case, but it is.
  1. Obesity is a major contributor to heart disease
    Beaten only by smoking and high blood pressure, obesity is the third highest contributor. This means obese people are at a much higher risk of health complications than those of normal weight.
  1. Obesity can be caused by a variety of factors
    Factors can include lifestyle, genetics or other medications, and may not be entirely attributable to the choices of the individual.
  1. Obesity can lead to a shortened lifespan
    The condition has been linked to an increased risk of a mind-boggling range of diseases, from cancer and diabetes to heart attacks and respiratory problems. In order to fully enjoy your golden years, it is important to give yourself the best possible chance for optimal health. Tackling obesity is the first step towards better health for many seniors.
  1. Instead of assistance, obese people tend to be faced with discrimination and prejudice
    For many obese people, the road to good health is a lonely and arduous one. Instead of understanding and help, they are often met with nasty comments. To make matters worse, many people display prejudice against obese people, which can be horribly alienating.
  1. Obesity is similar to other long term conditions like arthritis or asthma
    It requires long term treatment to keep it at bay. In severe cases, a complete lifestyle change and treatment like gastric band surgery may be necessary in order to not only reduce weight but make sure it stays off.
  1. Even small amounts of weight loss can greatly improve lives
    Losing just a bit of weight can greatly improve a person’s mobility, making everyday tasks and exercising much easier and more enjoyable. Just as importantly, losing a bit of weight can work wonders for one’s social life and self-esteem.
  2. Obese people can get locked in to yo-yo dieting
    A vicious cycle, yo-yoing between crash dieting, losing weight and then putting it all back on. This is immensely frustrating and can lead to overpowering feelings of helplessness. In addition, constantly gaining and losing weight can wreak havoc on one’s health, leading to nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis and even organ failure.

Obesity is caused by a variety of factors, but virtually all of its effects are undeniably negative. If you’re struggling with obesity, make a commitment to effectively deal with it once and for all. The problems associated with obesity can be passed on from generation to generation in a terrible cycle that’s already starting to play out in Australia with alarming regularity.

Are you suffering from obesity? What are you trying to do to get your weight back on track? Have you considered gastric band? Tell us below.

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