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The $190 Billion Problem: It’s the Actual Cost of Obesity in the U.S.

Bistro MD obesity and healthcare costs

Health researchers continue to study—and warn about—the rising rate of obesity worldwide and particularly in the United States. The concern, of course, is for people’s overall health: Being obese is associated with a ton of medical problems including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which is why you’ve probably heard that obesity is one of the main causes of skyrocketing health care costs.
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Fat For Life: Overweight People Live Longer Suggests a New Study

The validity of the BMI measurement tool has long been a point of contention among health professionals and consumers alike. A new report will not only cast further doubt, but actually go one step further: overweight people may live longer than their “normal” weight counterparts.

Overweight BMI

According to the report involving nearly three million people from nearly 100 studies, those who were overweight had a lower risk of death than people who were normal weight, defined as a BMI range of 18.5 – 25.

“Fat per se is not as bad as we thought,” said Dr. Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Irvine, in a story at New York Times.

While that may sound controversial, the fact of the matter is that health is often so much more complex than we’d like. Weight is but one factor in our health. You may be heavy with normal blood pressure, or thin with dangerously high cholesterol or blood sugar levels.
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Obie the Obese Dachshund Falls Into Custody Battle

Obie, America’s famous obese dachshund, has found himself in the middle of a custody battle between his foster care provider, Nora Vanatta, and the Oregon Dachshund Rescue group, which claims to be his rightful owners.

This pudgy pooch recently weighed in at 77 pounds and is now required to wear a harness so his body doesn’t drag the ground. It’s only a matter of steps before the poor thing is worn to pieces. Obie has made several TV appearances, including one last month on the TODAY Show. He’s also currently on the top of the Yahoo search list.

Nora Vanatta is a former veterinarian technician from Portland, Oregon and is currently taking care of Obie, doing what she can to reach him to the goal weight of 40 pounds.

According to Vanatta, he’s already lost 15 pounds. It wasn’t long after taking Obie into her care that Vanatta fell into puppy love with the pooch. She even created a Facebook page that tracks his weight loss, which now has more than 66,000 fans.
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Ohio Inmate May be Too Fat for Execution

An obese Ohio inmate is sentenced to die in January for crimes that took place decades ago. However, his lawyers have filed a complaint with the courts stating that this execution could result in a “tortuous and lingering death” because of his weight.

The Associated Press reported about convicted killer Ronald Post who is 480 pounds. He was convicted of shooting a killing a hotel clerk nearly 30 years ago and his execution date is set for January 16.

Post is claiming that his extreme weight, his limited vein access, scar tissue, and his other medical issues will lead to major issues during the execution process. It’s also questionable if the execution gurney will even hold Post during the procedure. The entire procedure is argued to be long and painful for Post.

Post has requested weight loss surgery while in prison after he’s failed to lose any weight during his years in jail. However, his request was denied. He’s had struggles exercising due to knee and back problems. Post has even broken exercise equipment from his large size as he’s tried to workout. Furthermore, It’s reported that Post’s depression affects his ability to limit his food intake.
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The Obese Turn to Private Gyms after Mainstream Alienation

“As an overweight person, it’s in my head that I’m being judged, whether it’s true or not.” These are the words spoken by Francis Wisniewski, a 38-year-old hedge fund manager and father of three. His emotions about being judged while working out at a gym lead him to open Downsize Fitness, a place just for the overweight to workout. It appears there’s a growing need for places just like this.

Downsize Fitness is new to the Chicago gym scene and is discreetly designed just for people looking to lose at least 50 pounds. Trim men and women are not allowed as members. In fact, when a member hits their weight goal and changes their lifestyle their time at Downsize ends.

Wisniewski created Downsize Fitness after he was finally able to lose 60 pounds by working one-on-one with an in-home trainer verses a gym or club. Wisniewski shared the same feelings as most overweight people prior to his private sessions. According to a 2009 report in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, most overweight people feel embarrassed and intimidated about exercising around younger and fitter people. Furthermore, other deterrents stand in the way. Many overweight people were put off by exercising with the opposite sex, using complicated equipment, and simply by the boredom of the gym. These issues can be true for normal weight gym members too, but heavier members tend to need more support and privacy.
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