Being Overweight Sucks

By: Tom Rooney

You struggle to get out of bed in the morning and feel as tired as when you laid down last night and your back is aching.  You stumble to the bathroom, shower and then primp in the mirror and contemplate what item of clothing to choose that will hide more than it shows.  As you walk to your car for your commute to work you think you could have saved some money with a compact, but the seats are just too small.  Your size has again made you realize that being overweight really sucks.  

Do you take solace that you're now the average person in America since over 66.3% of adults (age 20 and older) are overweight or obese.  These statistics are taken from the National Center for Health Statistics.  Of course the statistics are only one way of looking at this epidemic, since emotions usually aren't factored in.  Millions of people are affected by this fat problem and its cost is reflected in 3 major areas:  

 Health - The data is in and being overweight or obese leads to or causes a number of medical factors that those in a healthy weigh category don't see as problems. Here are some stats on those factors of overweight or obese individuals taken from the Surgeon General's website.




  • Premature death - An estimated 300000 premature deaths are attributed to overweight. Individuals that have a BMI > 30 have a 50% to 100% risk of premature death. BMI stands for Body Mass Index and you can see a calculator at the Center for Disease Control


  • Heart Disease - Incidents of heart disease (heart attack, congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac death, angina, chest pain, and abnormal heart rhythm) is dramatically increased with a BMI > 25.




  • Diabetes - Over 80% of all people with diabetes are there because of their overweight condition.




  • Cancer - Overweight or obese increases your risk for different types of cancer to include; (cancer of the lining of the uterus), colon, gall bladder, prostate, kidney, and postmenopausal breast cancer.




  • Breathing Problems - Sleep apnea and asthma are associated with weight increases.




  • Arthritis - For every 2 pound increase in weight you increase the risk of arthritis by 9% to 13%.


  • Reproductive Complications - Overweight mothers to be have a 10 times greater increased in high blood pressure, low blood sugar and death to mother and baby.



  • Additional Consequences - Gall bladder dieses, incontinence, depression, increased surgical risks, joint (especially knee) problems and last but not least, a major drain on energy. 





Financially - The money associated with being overweight or obese is staggering.  The weight loss industry is in the billions of dollars so there must be a target audience that they're going after.  Here are some of the items that are connected to this issue. An article from the New York Times called Extra Weight, Higher Costs spells out the problems as well.






  • Health Care Costs - The staggering dollar amount for caring for those individuals who are fat are associated with all the health related items above, but also take on issues like oversize beds, wheelchairs, toilet seats, scales, etc. and this doesn't even take into account the lost time at work and increased doctor visits.




  • Transportation - As I stated in the beginning, larger cars have been manufactured so that individuals can sit in them comfortably.  The increase I n size has also increase the cost and cost to fuel since most are made with larger engines to haul people around.  Airlines, trains and ships have all had to make changes to increase the room necessary for a larger society.




  • Home Living Issues - Increase in the size of furniture has increased cost in order to reinforce the padding and structure.  Refrigerators, Washers Dryers and other appliances had to be increased in order to account for more in them.




  • Feel Good Items - Those things that are made specifically for the extra large person that attempts to work on their psyche.  Stores that cater to Big Beautiful Women (BBW) or oversize men.  Dining out from fast food to fancy where extra size is normal fare.  Jewelry with extra links, shoes with extra widths.  





Emotionally - As was stated in the Health related category, depression is a large problem for those that are overweigh and obese.  These problems are also enhanced by how others look at these individuals and the rejection that comes from being in this condition. We have included oversize, extra size, double extra large, and supersize as new words in our vocabulary. 






  • Job opportunities - Even though this is considered a protected class of individuals now, discrimination exists when applying for a new job or seeking a promotion based upon weight problems.  Some managers say "If they can't control their weight, how can they control any aspect of business?"  You can find an article from Forbes.com titled Is Your Weight Affecting your Job?




  • Relationships - If you seek a significant other as a partner in life, you may find that your personality is not all you can get by on.  The perspective mate pool dries up fast with the stigma that comes with being overweight.




  • Activities - This is related to health as well, but large people get excluded in certain activities like sports, dance, drives, etc. because of the ability to keep up or even participate.




  • Insults - There are more insults projected at overweight and obese then at any other stereotype.  The reason is that most people in this condition take it or practice self deprecating rather than demanding this practice stop.  





Being overweight or obese really does suck for the millions of individuals dealing with this problem.  The reality is all the items above that show what you go through if you have this excess fat.  One shining ray of hope is that you can do something about it.  Once you start to shed some of the additional pound you can reverse health and emotional factors.  The financial situation will eventually correct itself as well.  The time to start is right now, not tomorrow.  If you took the time to read this article you may feel you're in this number.  Get some help and get well again.

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