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Overweight costing California $22 billion per year

Medical News | April 6, 2005

We all imagine California as a state full of health fanatics - the opposite could not be more true, according to a new report which says that overweight and obesity is costing the state over $22 billion per year. The report was commissioned by the California Dept of Health Services.
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Over 50% of all Californians are classed as either overweight or obese, says the report. California is rapidly climbing up the league tables of fat states. Officials say the ‘problem' is getting worse.

The main reasons for California's rising obesity rates, say experts are:

-- Physical inactivity. People are just not doing enough exercise.

-- Bad eating habits.

Compared to other developed countries, California (and most of the USA) has an incredible number of fast food restaurants.

According to the report, if Californians lost 5% of their weight and did 5% more exercise the state would save over $6 billion a year.

It seems employers are feeling the effects as well in lost productivity (obesity $3.4 billion - inactivity $7 billion).

Health Consequences of being Overweight or Obese

Overweight and obese individuals (BMI of 25 and above) are at increased risk for physical ailments such as (NIH pp.12-20; Stunkard p. 224)

-- High blood pressure, hypertension

-- High blood cholesterol, dyslipidemia

-- Type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes

-- Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance

-- Hyperinsulinemia

-- Coronary heart disease

-- Angina pectoris

-- Congestive heart failure

-- Stroke

-- Gallstones

-- Cholescystitis and cholelithiasis

-- Gout

-- Osteoarthritis

-- Obstructive sleep apnea and respiratory problems

-- Some types of cancer (such as endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon)

-- Complications of pregnancy such as; gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia as well as complications in operative delivery (i.e., c-sections).

-- Poor female reproductive health (such as menstrual irregularities, infertility, irregular ovulation)

-- Bladder control problems (such as stress incontinence)

-- Uric acid nephrolithiasis

-- Psychological disorders (such as depression, eating disorders, distorted body image, and low self-esteem).

Written by Christian Nordqvist
Editor, Medical News Today

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