The Problem Of Obesity
Obesity can be defined as a body weight that is in excess of 20-30% of one's ideal weight. In order to fit this definition, though, the excess weight must be from fatty tissue, or adipose tissue. Muscle mass is not counted in obesity weight measurements. Obesity is detrimental because it can cause or contribute to the development of many other very serious health problems. Obesity, and simply being overweight, has been linked to coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (also called adult-onset diabetes), gout and gall stones, some forms of cancer, and arthritis. Some experts believe that obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. The increase in obesity, and associated illness, might be the result of the stresses of modern lifestyles where time is limited, high calorie food is abundant, and physical activity is reduced.
Obesity is a persistent, continuing disease caused by many factors. However, a useful and precise definition of obesity has been elusive. This is generally due to the fact that many factors can influence the weight of a person. Diet, gender, exercise frequency, genetics factors, and environment all contribute to weight. Regardless of the lack of a distinct definition, obesity is charged with over 300,000 preventable deaths in the United States each year. Second only to the effects of cigarette smoking and other tobacco use, obesity costs are estimated to exceed $100 billion per year, and continues to increase. As a whole, the portion of American society considered to be obese rose from 25% to over 38% from 1991-2002. Therefore, the demand for bariatric services has also increased proportionally.