The past 20 years has seen a dramatic increase in the number of overweight and obese Americans, both young and old. The good news is that obesity can be prevented, for the most part, by a combination of a healthy diet and regular physical activity. Here are ACE's top 10 reasons for maintaining a healthy weight:
People who are fit tend to live longer, while people who are obese have an overall mortality rate almost twice that of non-obese people. Even mild-to-moderate overweight people substantially increase their risk for premature death.
Excess weight increases cardiac risk factors, while a healthy weight helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke. If all Americans had a healthy body composition, the incidence of coronary heart disease would drop by more than 24 percent.
Obesity is associated with an increased risk for breast, colon and kidney cancer.
Individuals with a healthy weight are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The incidence of type 2 diabetes among Americans has steadily grown as the incidence of obesity has increased.
Excess weight stresses joints, muscles and bones.
Evenly distributed weight along the spine and body helps maintain proper posture, which is important for overall back health.
A healthy body weight makes leisure activities with friends and family more enjoyable and more comfortable.
Maintaining a healthy body weight increases self-esteem and helps maintain a positive self-image.
Excess weight can make everyday activities more tiresome and laborious.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent obstructive sleep apnea, a blockage in the throat or upper airway that temporarily halts breathing and disrupts sleep patterns.