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Obesity, Whats The Big Deal

Nowadays, so much of the public is obese (fat) that it is the"norm". So much so, that we are starting to ignore thisepidemic.

Thankfully, the Surgeon General has issued a warning aboutthe plague of obesity that has been considered to be assignificant or moreso than the warning issued about thehazards of cigarette smoke.

As long as you are carrying extra weight (beyond theacceptable upper limits of body fat), you increase your risksfor a variety of health complaints.These complaints and risks include conditions such asdiabetes, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure,osteoarthritis, and more.

Definition of Obesity and Overweight

Obesity has been defined as an abnormal accumulation ofbody fat in proportion to body size. Overweight persons,although still technically obese, will have a body-fatproportion that is intermediate between normal andobese. (1)

Some Common Excuses for Being Obese

This section will probably ruffle the feathers of somepeople who read it. It is not meant to be demeaning orbelittling. Rather it is meant to shed light on some of the"unhealthy" thought patterns that contribute to obesity, itsconsequences, and other conditions.

A lot of people will say to themselves and otherssomething like"Yeah, I'm a bit overweight but I feel okay aboutit" or "Maybe I'm carrying a few extra pounds,but so is everyone else" or even"I might be fat, but I can lose it anytime I want".Other things that you might hear someone else say arethings like "Jeez, you look pretty good ?""for someone who just had a baby" or ?"for someone who has had three kids" (my wifeabsolutely hates hearing those 'compliments') or?"for someone who hasn't played hockey in tenyears."

Then of course there are the "medical" excuses. "I've gotmetabolic syndrome", "ever since my surgery, I've hadno energy", "my knees hurt", "I have arthritis", "It'shereditary", "I've got asthma" ?

All of the above probably have a seed of truth in them formany people. However, more often than not, theseexcuses are a way to avoid doing something that youdon't want to do, such as getting more exercise, orcontrolling your eating habits.

Why does this occur? Because we are in D.E.N.I.A.L.(an addictions counselor/mental health worker told methat it stood for Don't Even (k)no(w) I Am Lying).

Lifestyle Factors

Today's life is, no doubt, incredibly hectic and seems tobe getting moreso every passing year. Gone are the dayswhen most people in our society must do heavy physicallabour every day just to survive. Automation has createdmany labour saving devices. This in turn has created alargely sedentary, inactive society.

Look at the kids today. Instead of being outside playingshinny or a game of pick-up basketball, or any ofthousands of other outdoor activities, they are insideplaying video games or getting mesmerized by the T.V.

Patricia Markham Risica (2) writes that ?

The number of people affected by obesitycontinues to rise along with the prevalence ofcomorbid diseases that result from this condition.What could be considered the modern-day plague,caused by higher consumption and lessexpenditure of energy, has been broken down intoits economic components by Eric Finkelstein.[1,2]The likely economic culprits for the markedincreases observed in the 1980s and '90s includethe increased availability of higher-calorie-densefoods, increased portion sizes, and lower overallcosts of food along with increased exposure totelevision advertising of the same products. Thesetrends are coupled with the earlier trends from the'60s and '70s of lower energy expenditure at work,more women in the workforce, and not makingfamily meals at home. The increased prevalenceof obesity carries a parallel increased demand foreconomic resources; 5% to 7% of total medicalexpenditures are already being devoted to thisvery costly condition.[1,3,4]

And she further writes that ?

Obesity and overweight (the term preferred by theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers forDisease Control and Prevention, and otherorganizations when referring to children andadolescents due to the potential negativeconnotations associated with "obesity")[5]represent a challenge of vast dimensions to thepublic health community, with causes of theepidemic permeating American society.Americans are surrounded by facilitators of aneat-more/expend-less society -- from theindividual and family; to the food producers,processors, sellers, and advertisers; to the cityplanners of our neighborhoods; to the businessorganizations that demand our time during the dayand the media that entertain us in the evening.Clinicians generally are not equipped to controlthis epidemic that greets them every day.Behavioral change counseling is not in theirrepertoire and effective treatments are not readilyavailable; in fact, even when they are available,such programs are usually not reimbursed bythird-party payers.


In today's society, the cost of eating in a healthy fashionis more often than not, much more expensive than eatingall of the garbage that is available. Additionally, invirtually all processed foods, there is some sort ofadditive which will increase hunger and cravings.(reminds me of a line from "So I Married An AxeMurderer" with Mike Myers were his father wasdiscussing "the Colonel" and how he puts an addictivechemical in his chicken to "make you crave itfortnightly!") Nowadays the home vegetable garden plotis fast disappearing which again will limit the availabilityof wholesome produce at a lower cost.

Look at artificial sweeteners. They have the ability toartificially increase your hunger. Not only that, but whenthey break down in your body, some very harmfulchemicals can appear. One particular artificial sweeteneris in over 2000 products! Think of the impact on society.Try finding chewing gum without it.

All of the above can contribute in some small or even insome large way to increase the increasingly presentburden of obesity.

Until next time?

Yours in Health,

Dr. M. Montgomery @

References1. Obesity. Jonathan Q. Purnell, M.D.,Medscape.com2. Prevention of Overweight and Obesity: Focus onChildren and Adolescents. Patricia MarkhamRisica, Dr.PH, RD,

Disclaimer: As always, check with your health care provider to seeif this information applies to you. Due diligence is yourresponsibility. This information is meant to supplement yourknowledge, not to replace your own decision making process or takethe place of your health care provider.

This newsletter is provided for free byHealthyUnderstanding.comThis newsletter may be distributed in its entirety without alteration.

Dr. Marshal Montgomery is a practising chiropractor in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and is the creator of He has practised in Canada and Australia.


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