The High Cost of Obesity - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/21/04

The High Cost of Obesity

It's not just our waistlines that are bursting at the seems...the cost of obesity is also breaking up our pocketbooks. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control. Now that researchers have compared dollar signs with pounds and found that Americans can attribute a whopping $75 billion to obesity related medical expenses in the U.S. last year.

So, why are Americans fatter than ever? The leading theory is that too many of us are eating super-sized portions of fatty, processed foods and still not getting enough exercise.

Dr. Denise Bruner, a bariatrician, puts it bluntly saying if not for yourself, at least cut back for your kids. "We're seeing children at age five who are diabetics, when it was unheard of 30 years ago for a child to have diabetes related to his being overweight." According to Dr. Bruner, parents are in denial, because they tend to assume that a pleasantly plump child will slim down with age and forget there can be serious health threats along the way.

Dr. Bruner applauds the recent recommendation from pediatricians to remove soda pop from schools and says now it's time for parents to wean kids off sugary fruit drinks and fast food. And while you're at it, she says to get kids off the couch or away from the computer and back into some exercise.

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