Extreme obesity becoming epidemic - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Extreme obesity becoming epidemic

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October 14, 2003

Albany -- Americans are not just getting fatter, they are ballooning into extremely obese proportions. Extremely obese means you are at least 100 pounds over ideal weight. And the number of dangerously overweight Americans is skyrocketing. Health experts are alarmed. ]

Americans losing in the battle of the bulge. Health experts no longer worry about the number of overweight adults. Now they are alarmed by the number of extremely obese adults.

 There are four million extremely obese adults, at least 100 pounds overweight. That means about one of every 50 Americans. Bariatrics Doctor J.T. Cooper thinks that figure may be too low. Dr. Cooper said "About half the public has a weight problem. Adults and one third of the children. Why? Well, it's a combination of genetics and the lousy diet we have."

The problem is easy to see, but hard to correct. Americans like to over-eat and do not get enough activity. At Pearly's their most popular breakfast dishes are pancakes, eggs, and biscuits. But the restaurant managers see more people eating lighter. Carl Young said "We're selling a lot of fruit cups. A lot of sandwiches that are typically on biscuits we're selling those on wheat toast, dry wheat toast. We're seeing a lot of Atkins diet clients coming in. Laying the breads and carbohydrates off."

Here's how your figure your ideal body mass. Men calculate five feet at 106 pounds. For every inch taller you are, multiply by six. So a 5-10 inch tall man's ideal weight should be 166 pounds. For a woman, again start with five feet and 100 pounds. Then 5 pounds for each extra inch.

Being extremely overweight can cause a number of health problems. Dr. Cooper said "Gallbladder problems. They are more prone to diabetes, to heart disease, and orthopedic problems. The same for men, except they have an increased instant of prostate cancer if your are overweight."

Dr. Cooper's advice to lose weight. Walk and exercise, and eat smarter. More fruits and vegetables, less starches and fats.

Researchers have found that the number of extremely obese American adults has surged twice as fast as the number of just overweight persons.

posted at 3:49 PM by jimw@walb.com