Obesity Surpasses Smoking in Terms of Ill Health Effects

via: Mercola
by: Dr. Mercola
August 3, 2012

This may come as a surprise to some, but data collected from over 60,000 Canadians show that obesity leads to more doctor visits than smoking.

The idea that being overweight can be worse for your health than smoking is likely to make many balk, considering how “normal” it has become to carry around extra pounds, but in terms of overall health effects and subsequent health care costs, it’s likely true.

The study estimates that if obesity were not a factor, doctor visits in Canada would decrease by 10 percent. The decrease would be even greater if you take into account problems related to type 2 diabetes, which is also directly related to obesity and poor diet.

With the obesity epidemic putting pressure on health care systems everywhere, this news may trigger financial penalties or incentives to get people to lose weight, according to Medical News Today [1].

“Just as smokers have higher life insurance premiums, people who are obese could also be made to pay more for health insurance. The complication is that obesity tends to be more prevalent among people with low income, making this solution difficult to implement,” Medical News Today said.

… “The fact that obesity is more serious than smoking helps people understand the gravity of the problem because they already have some kind of intuitive understanding of how bad smoking is,” says [lead researcher, James] McIntosh.

Excess Weight is a Gateway to Chronic Disease

Canadian and American obesity statistics are neck-to-neck, with about one-quarter to one third of adults in the obese category. A staggering two-thirds of Americans are overweight. This does indeed place a heavy burden on the health care system. It’s important to realize that a large number of diseases are directly attributable to obesity

Continue Reading At: Mercola.com

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