Obesity is at all-time high and costing billions of dollars to the healthcare system. And one would think that obese individuals would be trying to lose their weight considering the fact it improves health and lowers medical bills.
Unfortunately, a recent study out of Georgia Southern University reveals that very few overweight Americans have actually been trying to lose weight over the past few years. In fact, the researchers feel that there is a trend of social fat acceptance by many of these individuals.
It appears that being fat or overweight is now being accepted as part of life and people feel that they do not need to do anything about it. Perhaps another reason for the lack of motivation for not undertaking exercise could be related to multiple failed attempts in the past. The results of the study are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers looked at US governmental health surveys from 1988 to 2014. More than 27,000 obese adults between ages 20-59 were involved in the survey. The surveys asked health related questions. A physical examination was also conducted for all participants. They were also asked if they had attempted to lose weight within the past 12 months.
During the early surveys, about 50% of the adults were obese or overweight, but by 2014, the number had climbed to 65%. Further the number of obese or overweight participants who were trying to lose weight dropped from 55 to 49 percent. In this study, the researchers noted that obesity was most common in African American women and that there was also a big drop in the number of African American women trying to lose weight.
The results of this study have tremendous clinical relevance. Today many people have accepted the fact that they are obese or overweight and think this is perfectly acceptable. In fact, anecdotal data reveal that many obese people do try to lose weight initially but many get frustrated with the slow or no result and then give up.
The researchers do feel that there is a positive side to the social acceptance of obesity because there is less ridicule or embarrassment. However, researchers warn that obesity is not a silent disease and sooner or later it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and also lowers self-esteem.