I was doing some research for my own self-imposed project and I came across some startling statistics that I would like to share. We should start out the week with a rude awakening (sorry for potentially ruining your Memorial Day Cook/Eat Outs). Our business seems such a struggle sometimes, but I see all the media about obesity rates and then I look at all these statistics and I don’t get it. Do we really not want to change? Or do we really just wait with baited breath for doctors/scientist to find a magic pill or a magic cure? Why not do something ourselves? Are we really that lazy? There is so much about obesity and I’ve seen a lot about sugar lately too, so we can not blame it on ignorance or not knowing? Why, then? Because this is an addiction that many don’t want to claim they have? Because sugar is an addiction (grains, starches break down into sugars so don’t think because you’re not chowing down on a Snickers that you get off scotch free), and it’s got a tight grip on us. Because we all have memes and excuses for not being healthy. Because we don’t want to or are unwilling to change our thoughts or our ways. Well that stubbornness and resistance is killing us. Here is why:
- Shall we begin with the Kiddies? Alright, 1 in 3 kids (age 3-19) are overweight or obese). 1 in 6 are obese. Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight adults (hint this is a very large and devastating amount). This increases to 80% if 1 or both parents are overweight or obese.
- o A classroom with 30 students will have between 1 and 3 children with ADHD (boys more common than girls). This means: 1/4 of children with ADHD have serious learning disabilities, 65% of children with ADHD exhibit problems in defiance or problems with authority figures, 50% of children with ADHD experience sleep problems, and emotional development in children with ADHD is 30% slower than in their non-ADD peers.
- Statistics show that there are around 7.3 million women in the USA of child-bearing age who suffer from some type of infertility. In 2002 11.9% or 7.3 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 years of age have received some sort of infertility services. We may not want to admit it, but lifestyle choices may be preventing some yearning mothers, having a baby.
- Now time for adult obesity: Among Americans age 20 and older, 149.3 million are overweight or obese. Want a perspective closer to home? 30.9%, roughly every 1 in 3 people that you see strolling the streets of Terre Haute is overweight (I am such a superb researcher, I can tell you any statistic about Terre Haute that you want to know. Like that means there are roughly 18,211 overweight individuals in Terre Haute. Did you know that 9.2% or 5,463 people have diabetes? Hmm…pretty compelling stuff. Just think in your circle of three best friends, one of you would likely be overweight. Or think of your family, although lifestyles seem to pass down so this could vary but generally speaking think of the ratio). If current trends in the growth of obesity continue, total healthcare costs attributable to obesity could reach $861 to $957 billion by 2030, which would account for 16% to 18% of US health expenditures.
- Diabetes seems to go hand-in-hand with obesity so we might as well do it next. In 2008, 18.3 million Americans had physician-diagnosed diabetes. An estimated 7.1 million Americans have undiagnosed diabetes. And an estimated 81.5 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Are you keeping track, because that’s a total of 106.9 million! That is round-about 1/3 of the population having some kind of association with diabetes!!!!! In 2008, diabetes killed 70,553 Americans. At least 68% of people >65 years of age with diabetes die of some form of heart disease; 16% die of stroke. Heart disease death rates among adults with diabetes are 2 to 4 times higher than the rates for adults without diabetes. $17 billion: 4 Total costs of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2007, $116 billion for direct medical costs, $58 billion for indirect costs (disability, work loss, premature mortality).
- Every 39 seconds, an adult dies from cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of more than 800,000 adults each year, 150,000 of them over 65. One in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure. 1 in 4 Americans aged 45 and older take statin drugs to lower cholesterol. That amounts to 32 million Americans or the equivalent of the entire populations of Florida and Illinois combined. So think that you have the typical family and four grandparents. That means that at least one of your beloved granny or gramps has takes a statin and we know my feelings on statins.
- Alzheimer’s, for some reason this one really got to me. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. Nearly half of people age 85 and older (45 percent) have Alzheimer’s disease. Every 68 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may triple, from 5.2 million to a projected 11 million to 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease. What gets to me about this, is that when I think about it, I think: we are dying not even knowing who we are. What’s the purpose living and doing all these beautiful things that shape who we are and not be able to tell them. Over 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. 61% percent of family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias rated the emotional stress of care giving as high or very high. In addition, about 33% of family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias report symptoms of depression. 36.5% of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rated stress as the greatest difficulty they faced. A total of 72% of family caregivers said they experienced relief when the person died. So not only do we not know who we are, but we are stressing out our family that we can’t remember, to the point that they are relieved to have us finally die. That is sad folks!
- Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. In 2012, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day. Over-all costs of cancer in 2007 were $226.8 billion: $103.8 billion for direct medical costs (total of all health expenditures) and $123.0 billion for indirect mortality costs (cost of lost productivity due to premature death). In the United States, it has been estimated that overweight and obesity contribute to 14% to 20% of all cancer-related mortality. Overweight and obesity are clearly associated with increased risk for developing many cancers, including cancers of the breast in postmenopausal women, colon and rectum, endometrium, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, kidney, and pancreas. Overweight and obesity may also be associated with increased risk of cancers of the liver, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, cervix, ovary, and aggressive prostate cancer, and obesity also likely increases the risk of cancer of the gallbladder. In addition, abdominal fatness is convincingly associated with colorectal cancer, and probably related to higher risk of pancreatic, endometrial, and postmenopausal breast cancers. Increasing evidence also suggests that being overweight increases the risk for cancer recurrence and decreases the likelihood of survival for many cancers. There is strong scientific evidence that healthy dietary patterns, in combination with regular physical activity, are needed to maintain a healthy body weight and to reduce cancer risk. Studies have shown that individuals who eat more processed and red meat, potatoes, refined grains, and sugar-sweetened beverages and foods are at a higher risk of developing or dying from a variety of cancers. In keeping this personal and how these are not just numbers, but how they affect us individually, I know several people who have dealt with cancer (some unsuspecting). My mom lost a cousin this year to colon cancer, last year I lost an aunt to lung cancer, I’ve had several of my mom’s cousins and aunts diagnosed with breast cancer. We’ve had several clients diagnosed, and last year we lost one of these beautiful people. Unsuspecting? My dear friend Chelsey is only 25, but the first year I met her I distinctly remember going out in February (wearing purple to represent pancreatic) to celebrate 5 years being cancer free. When you’re 21 you’re not supposed to be celebrating that, we should only be concerned about being young and dumb.
- I added autoimmune diseases because I see a growing prevalence of them, but also it hits close to home, as my sister has two already. NIH estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease and that the prevalence is rising.) Researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis. These diseases are chronic and can be life-threatening. NIH estimates up to 23.5 million Americans have an AD. In comparison, cancer affects up to 9 million and heart disease up to 22 million. NIH estimates annual direct health care costs for AD to be in the range of $100 billion (source: NIH presentation by Dr. Fauci, NIAID). In comparison, cancers costs are $57 billion (source: NIH,ACS), and heart and stroke costs are $200 billion (source: NIH, AHA). According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health, autoimmune disease and disorders ranked #1 in a top ten list of most popular health topics requested by callers to the National Women’s Health Information Center. The last year I have a lengthening list of individuals (yes mostly women) with thyroid problems. This one and these statistics, really stick with me of why I need to nourish and take care of myself.
I personally find these numbers atrocious, but I have the keys, it’s up to the population to drive the car!