National Institutes of Health

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Abstract

Did you know that approximately 31 percent of men and 35 percent of women are considered overweight in America, according to the U.S. Surgeon General? In other words, approximately a third of the adults in America are struggling with obesity! Obesity is a serious and dangerous problem that Americans have to constantly deal with every day. Dangerous effects on physical health, declining mental health, and steady rises in medical expenses are just a few of the problematic struggles that come with obesity.

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Obesity has had a detrimental influence on the physical health of Americans in the past years.

As stated by the National Institutes of Health, the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States is obesity, with an estimated 300,000 deaths per year. Heart disease and strokes, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy problems, and kidney disease are some of the health risks that come with having excess weight, to name a few. Another fatal health issue that comes from being overweight is cancer, including gallbladder, kidney, colon and rectum, and breast cancer.

Mental health is another factor that can be significantly affected by obesity. Many Americans who wrestle with being overweight or obese, also struggle with eating disorders, depression, low self-esteem, and distorted body image. Recent studies show that among patients with PTSD, 32.6% of them were obese. Also, depression contributes to a lower success of weight loss for obese Americans.

When people with a larger body are criticized by other people, it causes the victim to gain low self-esteem which can cause the person to resort to drugs or suicide.

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