Americans Are Packing On The Pounds - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/06/02

Americans Are Packing On The Pounds

Too much high calorie, high fat food and too little exercise has Americans expanding in size more that ever before. A former U.S. Surgeon General says overweight people put their overall health at risk. 

"Obesity increases the risk of cancer of the colon, cancer of the breast, cancer of the prostate. The risks are all increased with obesity so this is not just about appearances or cosmetics, it's about health," says Dr. David Satcher.

Satcher says adults aren't the only ones weighing more. He says since 1980, childhood obesity has doubled in this country. One reason, children today are less active than ever before. 

"Only 25 percent of high school students are taking physical education. Physical education is no longer required K-12 and not only that many of the schools are bringing in vending machines and selling high calorie food to children," says Satcher.

Satcher says simply put, Americans are lazy. We spend more time in front of the TV and computers than we do on the treadmill. He says the cost of obesity related health problems keeps skyrocketing. 

"We estimate we spend 120 billion dollars a year now treating the consequences of obesity. That goes up every year."  

To change those unhealthy statistics, Satcher says we need to change our eating and exercise habits and that means getting off the couch and into the gym.

By:Marcia Hill

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