Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WAKE UP America- Courtesy of Colorado!

This summer I had the pleasure of spending some time in the gorgeous mountains of Colorado, a state which has long been one of the "healthiest" state in the nation- especially as measured by weight. Colorado has "only" 20.7% of the population with a BMI (body mass index) that indicates obesity, compared with 35.7% of overall American adults who are obese. That's ONE in THREE American adults who are obese! But I point was going to be that as our family watched some of the Olympics on tv, we saw a Colorado health-awareness commercial that I thought was extremely well done. The commercial shows people waking up in bed, challenging the Colorado population to actually "WAKE UP" and look in the mirror and see their true reflection- not the image in their head. The point is that obesity is "not as extreme as you think", and certainly my clinical experience echoes that thought.

Most adults are so comfortable with the notion that they "will never look like/ weigh what they did in high school" to the point that as they carry around an extra 20-30 pounds, it doesn't occur to them that they are jeopardizing their health in any way. And their physicians (who are not immune to the same beliefs for both themselves AND their patients) are along for that joy ride.

In June of this year, the  United States Preventative Service Task Force issued an update to physicians regarding screening for obesity. We are called to screen EVERY adult (which means get a weight & height & determine a BMI) and then for every patient who is obese- meaning a BMI >30- we should direct them to an "intensive, multi-component behavioral intervention". What is that and why? More on this tomorrow...

BOTTOM LINE: "WAKE UP", step on a scale & check your BMI today- don't assume weight is not an issue if you don't "look" or "feel" obese. 

PS. It's the FIRST of the month- change those air filters!

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