I’ve spent my entire career talking about weight issues. Part of that stems from the fact that I was once overweight myself—so I personally know and understand the struggle, and I never want to see anyone else go through it.
But the other part is the fact that I’m a doctor. And being overweight simply isn’t healthy—despite what modern “fat-but-fit” campaigns might tell you.
Obviously, my patients and readers know this—as I’ve been pushing this message for 30 years now. But in case there was any lingering doubt on the matter, along comes a new report on obesity that shocked even me.
Bigger waistlines, shorter lives
This report comes from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And its central message is chilling: Simply being overweight will shave an average of three years off of your life—and four if you’re a typical American.
Just read this sad statistic: Ten years ago, one in five people among the OECD’s 36 participating nations was obese. But now, that number has increased to one in four—that’s an additional 50 million people living with obesity! Most of which are concentrated in wealthy nations, where a staggering three out of five people are overweight.
In these countries, the statistics are truly jaw-dropping: Two out of three people are overweight in the U.K., while one in three is obese. Meanwhile, some 40 percent of American adults—and 20 percent of kids—are obese.
It’s truly tragic. Just in my lifetime, childhood and morbid obesity have gone from rare events to common occurrences… enough to earn their own TV shows.
And it’s no wonder. Statistics also show that half of all people have unhealthy diets—and that nearly half their time is spent sedentary. More specifically, at least a third aren’t getting the exercise that they need (at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week), while two in five don’t eat their vegetables (or follow a healthy diet that’s full of fresh, whole foods—like my A-List Diet).
These are simple things, folks. But the whole world—especially the United States—is dropping the ball. And it’s steering us straight toward disaster.
If this trend doesn’t stop, we’ll have 462 million new cases of heart disease and 212 million new cases of diabetes over the next 30 years. Which is a true tragedy.
Obesity is an economic crisis, too
So what are we going to do about this?
Well, the OECD agrees with me in saying that it’s time to break this cycle—and transform our current obesogenic environment into one that promotes health and longevity—by focusing on policy.
And while I really don’t expect our government to take any meaningful action that would benefit the public over big business, there’s certainly a lot to gain by doing so.
Putting health matters aside for a moment, just consider this: Obesity reduces economic growth—significantly. But every dollar we put toward prevention could generate a return of six dollars. Let me explain why…
The U.S. currently spends nearly $650 per overweight person every year. So, you do the math: When nearly half of your roughly 350 million population is obese, you’re looking at trillions of dollars wasted.
All because we can’t be bothered to encourage people to eat healthy and exercise consistently throughout their entire lives.
The U.S. alone will spend upwards of 14 percent of its health budget on obesity and obesity-related complications. Now imagine what a difference it would make if we could stem this tide and put that money towards other things.
Across the world, countries are regulating and incentivizing… isn’t it time we, too, got serious about this crisis?
But of course, that will never happen. Because it would come at the expense of Big Pharma, Big Agribusiness, and all the other special interest groups that run this country and get rich off of making us sick and fat.
So instead, the change is going to come down to you: An extra four years of life… or a doughnut? You decide.
I know what choice I’m making, every single time.
P.S. I explain why “fat-but-fit” is dangerous to your health in the June 2017 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“Healthy obesity is not a ‘thing’”). Subscribers have access to this and all of my past content in the archives. So what are you waiting for? Click here to become a subscriber today!
“Being Overweight Wipes 4 Years From Life, New Report Reveals.” Medscape Medical News, 10/11/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/919771)