As many people are well aware, rates of obesity in America – already higher than most other parts of the world – have only continued to grow in recent years. Especially for older people, those who are obese face several heightened risks compared to others, and these risks only continue to heighten.
At AGA Clinical Trials, we’re currently enrolling for obesity research studies that may help the medical community move toward improved treatments and outcomes for obesity and its underlying causes. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over some of the realities that we face as Americans with regard to obesity – today’s part one will look at some of the negative trends that rising obesity contributes to in this country, while part two will go over some of the approaches that require further investment and research to help combat these trends. Let’s get started!
Lower Life Expectancy
Another area where the US lags behind many of its peers is life expectancy. It’s been found that those who are obese tend to have a shorter life expectancy than their peers, and the US currently has a lower average life expectancy than other industrialized countries.
This could be partially due to higher rates of obesity, which can lead to a number of medical conditions such as hypertension and heart disease. People who are obese are also more likely to suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that can lead to complications such as stroke, heart attack, and depression.
Higher Health Care Costs
The trend of rising obesity in the US is not only leading to lower life expectancy for Americans – it’s also contributing to higher health care costs. As people with obesity face more medical issues, they require more medical care, which puts a strain on the health care system.
From hospital visits to medication costs and even long-term care, all of these are costs that could have been avoided if obesity rates were lower. Unfortunately, this is not the case in much of America – instead, we’re seeing an increase in obesity-related medical costs, which is pushing up the overall cost of healthcare.
Increasing Racial Disparities in Health
Sadly, another consequence of rising obesity in the US is an increase in health disparities between different racial groups. As obesity rates continue to rise, so do disparities between races when it comes to health outcomes.
This could be due to a combination of factors, including access to healthy foods and medical care as well as cultural differences that lead people of different races to have different beliefs about diet and exercise. Whatever the cause, it’s clear that certain racial groups are being impacted more than others by rising obesity rates in America.
These trends demonstrate just how much of an issue rising obesity is for Americans, and it’s clearly a serious issue. In part two of our series, we’ll look at some of the approaches that may help combat these trends, plus areas where more research is needed.
For more on any of our clinical trials for obesity or various other conditions, and how you can help move research forward in these areas with your participation (even if you’re a healthy volunteer), speak to our staff at AGA Clinical Trials today.