Thursday, January 7, 2010

Obesity Worse Than A Lifetime of Smoking

The news today broadcast a new study of almost one million people from around the world that showed obesity can trim years off life expectancy.

“Research by Oxford University found lifespan was reduced by 3 years in those who were moderately obese (BMI 30 to 35). Morbid obesity (BMI 40 to 50) reduced life expectancy by about 10 years; this is similar to the effect of lifelong smoking. Obesity increases death rates for some types of cancer, but the main way it kills is by increasing risk of heart disease and stroke.”  Link to the full article:

A couple of years ago, I moved out of the overweight classification and was labelled obese. Even then, I didn’t think of myself as obese. But after I started reading and realized I might die or worse, be disabled by my weight I knew the clock was ticking. When I met a woman who had been banded last year, I saw it as my hope to be a normal healthy weight again, to be there to see my grandkids, to spend a long life with my hubby and to not be a statistic.

Here is a checklist of the risk factors I have that can be reversed if I lose just 10-20% of my body weight:
          High Blood Pressure: Check √
          Type 2 Diabetes: not yet, but getting there!
          Bad Joints (especially my feet and knees): Check √
          High Cholesterol: Check √
          Fatty Liver (which can lead to cirrhosis): Check √
          Increased risk of Heart Disease and Stroke: Check √
I realize now that words do matter. I see my doctor write “Obese” on my chart and I hate the word. Their silence shows how helpless they are to help us. There are studies and statistics and lots of advice but making it work isn’t easy. Just reading the definition (from TheFreeDictionary) made me want to cringe.
I now know I want to see the word Obese erased from my chart. I first have to move into Overweight but at 144 pounds, when I get there, I will take such pleasure in watching them write “normal weight”. It will happen this time.

I also know that adding exercise back into my life will also be a plus in getting and staying healthy. My choice is walking, hiking and trekking. I also plan to pull the shrink wrap off my Wii Active Plus that I got for Christmas and get some of the stretching and balance exercises done.

Maybe then I should take up smoking. Not!


THE DASH! said...

Horrible two words, aren't they? Morbidly obese.. blech!!

Don't take up smoking lol.. kind of defeats the purpose!!

Gilly said...

When I was pregnant with my second son, I went to my first OBGYN appointment, and he used the words "mobidly obese" so many times, I started to get pissed off at him. Not a pleasant thing to hear...even less nice thing to be. I'm very much looking forward to those words being a part of my past! :)

SuperMegaAnna said...

Yup,I agree.... painfully bad words! glad to find your blog!

Anna <-

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