A White Paper by Catalyst Healthcare Research - LIVING IN DENIAL - is absolutely eye-opening in its revelations. There has been a huge push on wellness programs, particularly in the workplace. Yet often times the people who use them are the same health-conscious people who really don't need them as much as others.
What this research reveals is that most overweight Americans avoid the truth about their health. The majority agree that obesity is the number one threat to public health. Yet most adults who are overweight or obese – even the well-educated – say their health is excellent or good.
A recent McKinsey Quarterly report estimated the annual cost of obesity in the United States at $450 billion. That includes $160 billion in medical costs plus such items as absenteeism and decreased productivity on the job and the cost to individuals of extra food.
“Some epidemiologists believe that excess weight will soon rival tobacco as the world’s leading cause of preventable premature deaths,” McKinsey said. “The obesity pandemic’s health effects may wipe out the gains in life expectancy achieved through decreasing smoking rates.”
Sixty percent (60%) of those questioned in the Catalyst Healthcare Research study were overweight or obese as measured by their Body Mass Index. That percentage is similar to the U.S. adult population at large.
Of those considered to be obese or overweight, 11 percent of those who responded to the survey considered themselves to be in “excellent health,” and an additional 61 percent said they were in “good health.” It is perhaps not surprising that the overall prevalence of exercise in this group is relatively low.
Obese or overweight people don’t fully appreciate that their own health is in danger.
As the study concludes - It's Time to Look in the Mirror."