The prevalence of obesity began to be detected by epidemiologists at the CDC in the mid 1970s. It surprised everyone as the increases were taking place so rapidly. Initially, they thought they had erroneous cross-sectional data. But eventually as the graph above show, the data was real and the consequences not clearly understood at time. By the late 1970s the growth of obesity was exponential. Something was going wrong
50 years ago most people who were obese got diabetes in the 40s and 50s however today children and adolescents in great numbers are becoming pre-diabetic or diabetic (Barry Poplin, (from documentary, Obesity in America: A National Crisis).
The obesity epidemic, when considered from an epidemiological perspective, is but one epidemic–although an important one–among varied epidemics now sweeping through American society, and changing the very fabric of our culture and social norms. What started out for me as an investigation into the causes of obesity, turn out to be an eye-opener.
Population Health May be the Primary Cause of this societal breakdown.
Over a 5-year period I filmed leading obesity and type-2 diabetes experts through out the US and Canada. I interviewed people struggling with loss and peered into the literature looking for the answers to the questions, how prevalent is obesity? Is it a problem? How do we assess it? and how do we treat it?
What became evident is that the diet restrictions did not seem to be effective (covered in another blog). The answer is the obesity epidemic changes everything. Health care costs go through the roof because of the many secondary diseases that flow from obesity. The population becomes sick, affecting work capacity, the over labor force because of heightened disability applications. A smaller and less skilled labor force remains that effects product ut and quality leading to less sales and less revenue. This has incalculable consequences on the economy. Moreover, it affects the education systems. Obese children with type-2 diabetes are truly sick and do not perform as well in school. Many kids especially in the south like San Antonio suffer from sleep apnea caused by the obesity.