The Cost of Obesity

A recent study estimated that obesity costs Americans $147 billion per year, by causing four major diseases: heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke. A full one third of Americans are obese. Not a day goes by when I don’t see ads for weight control programs and surgical interventions. But none of these options seems to offer meaningful and lasting weight loss. (I have two siblings who underwent gastric bypass surgery but who regained all the weight they had lost.) Collectively, we are in a massive state of denial about the health implications of being overweight, and many people don’t wake up until the effects of obesity have seriously impacted their health.

One year ago I weighed 235 pounds – 45 pounds more than I do today. I spent the last 5 years at that weight level, which is 70 pounds more than my ideal body weight of 165 pounds. For most of that time I was pretty much oblivious to just how overweight I had become and the health dangers I was exposing myself to. Even though I had started experiencing negative effects on my health, I had become numb to the amount of weight I was carrying, but even more significantly, I felt utterly helpless to do anything about it. It seemed no matter what I did, and how much I dieted and exercised, I was only continuing to gain more and more weight.

Then about one year ago I entered a little-known weight loss program, which resulted in my losing more than half of my excess weight. It includes a flexible food plan with three meals daily. There’s no sugar or flour, and I must weight and measure all my food. I attend three meetings per week and make 3-4 calls each day to other program members for encouragement and support. The nice part is that the program is completely free, because it is just a group of individuals pledged to helping one another overcome their problems with food. Most of the people I see each week have lost 70-100 pounds or more and have kept it off for several years. Members maintain strict anonymity, so I am not at liberty to disclose the name of the organization here. But if you are interested in finding out more, please do not hesitate to contact me.

About Tony Sneed

Married with three children.
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