In this health video you will learn the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the world.
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Raena Morgan: Hello. I’m Raena Morgan. I’m visiting with Sherry Torkos. She is a health writer. She is a pharmacist. One of the things, Sherry that I would like to talk to you about is the epidemic of obesity in our country. Ms. Sherry Torkos: Yeah. It is a very serious concern—obesity. We now know that over two- thirds of North Americans are considered to be overweight or obese. And that— Raena Morgan: Two-thirds. Ms. Sherry Torkos: Two-thirds. And that’s causing significant implications on their health. People are developing record rates of diabetes, osteoarthritis. It’s impairing their ability to enjoy a good quality of life. And it’s actually taking years off their lives. Raena Morgan: What would you say the annual cost is? Ms. Sherry Torkos: Well, it’s hard to measure the exact cost, but we do know it’s in the millions—if not billions—of dollars. Because there are the costs associated with treating the direct consequences of obesity, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis. Those are some of the hard financial costs, but then there are also socioeconomic costs. Having obesity causes lost work days because of the conditions that result from being obese. It also effects people’s quality of lives and ability to really enjoy a good quality of life. Raena Morgan: And so some of the diseases you say are attributable to obesity would be heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis. Ms. Sherry Torkos: That’s right. Those are some of the big ones. Heart disease, diabetes, also certain cancers, we know that being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast, prostate cancer as well. There are effects that it can have on your ability to breathe properly. A lot of people that are overweight or obese develop sleep apnea, where they have trouble breathing at night— Raena Morgan: Oh, that’s right. Ms. Sherry Torkos: Lung disorders, the list goes on. But the bottom line is that it can take years off your life. It can impact your quality of life. So, I think it’s important for people to find strategies that can help support healthy weight loss. Raena Morgan: Thank you for that information. Ms. Sherry Torkos: Thanks.