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Dollars and Death — Will it Get Coloradoans to Lose Weight or Do Your Genes Weigh Too Much?

Gossip around the water cooler likely includes the health of people you know, personally I know two people who have had heart attacks in the last week. In looking at the numbers in dollars and death, I wondered, is that enough to get Coloradoans to lose weight?

Dollars and Death Enough to Lose Weight iStock

More than one-third of all Americans are obese. Obesity leads to a multitude of health issues and financial burdens to individuals and others.

Health issues associated with obesity are, but not limited to heart disease, strokes, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The financial burden in the United States from obesity is nearly 200 billion, yes billion with a ‘B’.

The largest group of obese individuals are adults aged 40-59. Non-Hispanic blacks have the largest cases of obesity, accounting for 47.8 percent followed by Hispanics, Non-Hispanic whites at 32.6 percent and Non-Hispanic Asians.

Colorado weighs in as one of the least affected by obesity, yet still has 20.5 percent of individuals classified as obese. Just to be clear, obesity guidelines are a lot lower than one would expect and many more are medically considered obese than you may know. On average, the highest numbers for obesity are in the Midwest at nearly 30 percent and rounded out with the South at just a bit lower percentages at 29.4 percent, the Northeast at 25.3 percent and the West at 25.1 percent. Obesity contributes to 100-400 thousand deaths each year in the United States.

One in every six individuals might be able to blame it on their parents because of the FTO gene. If you have this gene, witnessed in children as young as 4. The gene creates higher levels of the ‘hunger hormone’ meaning you may feel hungry more often, even shortly after eating. If you do have the FTO gene you are 70 percent more likely to be obese.



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