Many Obese Unaware of Health Risks, Survey Says
A recent survey of 4,000 British men and women – half of whom were overweight or obese found little awareness of the serious health risks posed by excess weight. About half of obese and overweight respondents rejected the notion that healthy eating could reduce cancer risk while two-thirds did not believe exercise could reduce cancer risk.
Equally disturbing: More than one in four obese and overweight individuals do not want to lose weight. Given the burgeoning evidence of the link between obesity and increased risk of several ailments, including various cancers, these findings suggest more explicit educational messages will be necessary to help check the obesity epidemic.
"Its worrying to think that people are in denial about their weight," observed Dr. Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK, which conducted the survey. "These results show that far too many of those at greatest risk are choosing to ignore their weight."
As discussed in a recent DNN, new research suggests that obesity may accelerate aging even more than smoking. Excess weight raises general health risks for a variety of diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoarthritis. It also poses gender specific risks such as higher rates of ovarian, breast, cervical and uterine cancer in women, as well as an increased risk of stomach and prostate cancer in men. Since men carry their extra weight in the midsection, they may also fare worse than women in terms of carbohydrate intolerance and diminished exercise endurance.
If vitality and vanity aren't enough to keep you motivated in the fight against fat, how about a better love life or cash incentive? Avid DNN readers may remember that dropping pounds can lift your libido and possibly fatten your wallet as well.