Assignment #6 - Assignment#6 1 The town of Weymouth should...

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Assignment #6 1. The town of Weymouth should be extremely concerned about the problem of obesity, especially when analyzing the data on their school children. First, for a larger view of the situation, Weymouth’s population has 10% more people who are overweight than the national average, and a prevalence of obese citizens that is again 10% higher than the national average, and an even higher 15% more than the average of Massachusetts. These figures are quite alarming. Furthermore, the average of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all frequently caused by excess weight, range from being 4-10% higher than the averages of the stat and the nation. These statistics alone prove that something needs to change in the lives of those living in Weymouth. Their environment is clearly no aiding their health. Secondly, the rate of children who are overweight or at risk of being overweight is high, with an overall total of about 12% overweight and 11% at risk. In a town where the rates of obesity are already extremely high, the numbers are more alarming than normal. Children’s actions and weight carry over into adulthood, and if there is already a concern, this only increases it. There is very good, and a lot of, evidence proving the relationship between overweight or obesity and poor health or increase mortality. The statistics of Weymouth hint at this, with the prevalence of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol increasing as the prevalence of overweight and obese people do. One of the more intimidating statistics on this fact is from research from the CDC, stating that there are estimations of 300,000 premature chronic diseases resulting in death annually that are caused by obesity ( Creating a Healthy Environment ). That number is overwhelming,
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Dello Russo 2 especially when in the context that this number is describing the amount children who have died. Dr. Brownell also provided some statistics providing support that overweight or obesity cause poor health and increased mortality. He stated there are 112,000 deaths by obesity per year. Also, overweight and obese individuals have health care costs averaging 25-27% higher than those of normal weight, implying they need more health care because of their related health issue from their weight. Massachusetts alone holds a total of $1.8 billion used for obesity related medical expenditures and that issue costs $78 billion a year in terms of national health care (Mass Health Policy Forum). Data consistently shows that those morbidly obese, or who switch between gaining and losing weight as on a cycle, have an increased mortality rate. It is no coincidence that as children today have had a 37% decline in amount of physical activity as transportation since 1977, they also have higher rates of obesity and health problems. It is simply facts that as obesity and overweight rates have risen, so have the rates of colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, as well as subsequent mortality rates.
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  • Fall '11
  • SophieGodley
  • Nutrition, Dello Russo

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