Obesity & Health
At Palmetto Health, we have invested in a variety of programs and services to help individuals overcome obesity, a life-threatening disease that currently affects 25 percent of the United States population. Our home of South Carolina has some of the highest obesity levels in the country for children and adults.
Obesity-Related Health Conditions
Often, obesity leads to a number of physical ailments and diseases, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure and heart disease
- Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints
- Sleep apnea and other respiratory problems
- Gastroesophageal reflux and Heartburn
The Toll of Obesity
- Obesity contributes to more than 300,000 deaths annually in the United States, second only to cigarette smoking.
- Studies have shown that obesity - linked to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers - raise a person's healthcare costs by 36 percent and medication costs by 77 percent.
- Adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more, or a BMI of 35 with other health problems, are considered at risk for disability and premature death because of their weight.
Causes of Obesity
The causes of obesity are multiple and complex, and not simply a result of overeating or lack of willpower. Research has shown that in many cases a significant, underlying cause of severe obesity is genetic.
Studies have demonstrated that once the problem is established, dieting and exercise programs have a limited ability to provide effective long-term relief. As scientists continue to study the causes of obesity, individuals must decide how to treat their condition most effectively.