Obesity: Americans Aren’t Fully Aware Of Potential Health Risks

A recent poll suggests that quite a few Americans aren’t familiar with the type of health problems obesity can cause down the road. The survey was reportedly conducted through telephone and cellphone interviews towards the end of last year.

Although being overweight has been linked to sleep apnea, arthritis, and various types of cancer, a large section of the American population hasn’t been properly educated on the potential risks. According to the Boston Globe, one-quarter of the people living in the United States believe you can be healthy while living with obesity.

Most folks are quick to identify the links between heart disease and obesity, while others understood the association between diabetes and being overweight. However, researchers discovered that education about health risks seem to end there.

“People are often shocked to hear how far-reaching the effects of obesity are,” explained dietitian Jennifer Dimitriou. “Most people want to become healthier. It’s the know-how, and understanding what the consequences are.”

The Associated Press poll revealed that only seven percent of Americans understand the link between obesity and certain types of cancer. Fat can greatly increase the risk of of cancer in the colon, breast, prostate, uterus. The additional weight can also make it difficult for doctors to locate and treat tumors.

The poll also showed that only 15 percent of Americans understand that obesity can have a tremendously negative effects on joints, particularly the knees. As a result of these problems, people sometimes have a hard time exercising. This means that shedding unwanted pounds can be extremely difficult.

While understanding the effects obesity can have on the human body can prompt people to make a change in their lifestyle, only 52 percent of those polled said they discussed such health risks with their doctors.

What do you think about the recent poll? Are you surprised that many Americans are unfamiliar with the health risks associated with obesity?