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Weight Loss

´╗┐Obesity Has Reached Epidemic Proportions

Almost anyone with an extra pound or 20 on them has heard jokes about "fat people." The reality is obesity is no laughing matter. It can have serious impacts on a person physically and psychologically.

The World Health Organization estimated that in 2005 about 1.6 billion adults, age 15 plus, were overweight. Of that number, 400 million were considered obese. That same agency projects that by the year 2015, about 2.3 billion adults worldwide will fall into the overweight class with a whopping 700 million being categorized as obese.

With side effects that include decreased life span, diabetes, heart disease and more, the condition is one that many believe needs to be addressed right away. The implications of not tackling this trend can be wide reaching, leading to a decline not only in lifespan, but also quality of life for the billions that face obesity. This doesn't include the number of lost workdays or the costs for medical care associated with the condition.

Obesity involves a condition of being what's considered grossly overweight. The actual poundage involved will vary based on sex, age and height. Having a few extra pounds that need to be shed doesn't constitute obesity, but it is a good signal that changes need to be made.

The ever-growing obesity epidemic is blamed on a number of different societal factors. These things include changes in work habits and transportation. As more activity involves sedentary behavior, calories are no longer being burned as they once were. Cars, planes, trains have replaced walking. Sitting at a computer has replaced work that involves physical activity and movement. The availability of fast, tasty, high-fat foods in abundance can also be listed as a factor in this growing problem.

While there is no easy answer to the contributors that surround work and transportation, diet can be altered on the individual level. Employers, too, can help provide their employees breaks for exercise. Many companies have, in fact, adopted this practice and some have even added exercise rooms into corporate offices.

The key for individuals to fight obesity before it takes hold involves eating right and exercising. It is recommended that sustained moderate level activity take place on a regular basis - once a day if possible. This activity can include anything from running to cycling and beyond. The idea is to just get up and get moving.

As obesity has hit epidemic proportions, the impended health impacts of this condition are also on the rise. Heart disease, diabetes, skeletal problems and more now plague millions. Fighting back requires will power, but it is a battle that can be won.