The term obesity is used to describe the health condition of anyone who is significantly above their ideal healthy weight. An obese person is someone who is at least 20% above their ideal body weight. In this day and age, many people are facing such a predicament. In fact, between 60 to 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese. These conditions place people at a much higher risk for health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and many more. Obesity is mainly caused by consuming more calories than are used in physical activity and daily life. When too many calories, or too much cholesterol, trans fat, or saturated fat are taken in, the body’s blood cholesterol levels rise, raising the risk for the diseases stated above. Obesity Statistics Recent statistics show that 16.9% (12 million) American children aged 2 to 9 are obese and almost one in three (31.7%) of American children aged 2 to 19 are either overweight or obese. More than one-third (33.7%) of American adults are obese, which is equal to nearly 75 million people. Obesity Health Risks Many factors affect the way that obesity impacts health. These can depend on things such as gender, age, distribution of body fat, and a person’s physical activity level. People who struggle with obesity, engage in minimal physical activity, and have unhealthy eating habits, have a higher risk for sleep apnea, stroke, coronary artery disease (CAD), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and gallstones, among many others. Obese children are at risk for many of the same long-term health conditions. On the other hand, by losing weight and following a healthier lifestyle, the risk for these health problems is significantly reduced. It is also important to note that a person’s waist size affects the risk of health conditions. Fat that builds around the stomach (forming an apple-shaped body) creates a higher risk of coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes compared to those people who are lean or those with fat distribution around their hips (which forms a pear-shaped body). A Healthy Weight Losing weight is an urgent need for people who are overweight or obese. Even taking off just a few pounds can offer cardiovascular benefits and place a person on the path to healthier living. Consider the following reasons to exert effort in having and maintaining a healthy weight: • The body is able to circulate blood more effectively • Fluid levels are more easily handled • There is a decreased risk for the development of sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. These days, there are many tools available to help people lose weight, from the HCG diet to a trendy cellulite treatment. Consult a diet doctor to recommend the best regimen for your specific needs. You can also visit a weight loss center for treatments that might offer a solution for obesity. With consistent effort, a person can significantly reduce obesity and health risks.