19 New Reasons to Keep Fat Off

Being obese can lop as many as 20 years off your life and make the time you do have more painful, less healthy, active, productive, and sexy and even less professionally and financially rewarding.

Levi Brown
We are in the midst of a fat epidemic: An astounding two-thirds of American adults, including 65 million women, are overweight or obese—a rise of 10% in just a decade. If we keep it up, according to a new study, all adults in the United States (yes, everyone) will be overweight or obese in 40 years.

Whats with the huge numbers? In addition to our poor diets and sedentary lifestyles, one reason for the growing epidemic is that carrying extra pounds doesnt seem dangerous to us; we dont consider it life-threatening.

In fact, an American Diabetes Association (ADA) survey recently suggested that people are more afraid of shark attacks and snake bites than diabetes, even though diabetes contributes to more than 230,000 deaths every year—compared with 5 to 10 a year from sharks and snakes!

“People dont take obesity or obesity-related illnesses like type 2 diabetes seriously enough because they dont realize that they can have dire consequences,” says Ann Albright, PhD, RD, past president of health care and education for the ADA.

Being obese can lop as many as 20 years off your life and make the time you do have more painful (physically and emotionally), less healthy, active, productive, and sexy—and even less professionally and financially rewarding (thanks to weight discrimination). Even normal-weight people who have a high percentage of body fat are at increased risk of heart disease–related health problems like high blood pressure, high triglycerides, abnormal cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance, according to Mayo Clinic researchers.

In other words, fat is the problem. A big problem. Its so big that we came up with this comprehensive list of fat-related issues that everyone—especially women—should know about. Keep in mind that, in most cases, losing even a small amount of weight can reduce or even reverse the risks. Thats why youll also want to check out our fat-blasting workout and fat-burning food combos. Start fighting fat now!

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Ginny Graves
Last Updated: April 19, 2009

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