Indiana News

Study: Many Americans Unaware of Obesity Health Risks

1/10/2013

A new study from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows many Americans don't know some of the health risks associated with obesity.

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The study says seven in ten Americans know that heart disease and diabetes are risk factors of obesity, but only seven percent of those polled said they knew obesity could lead to different types of cancer.  15-percent of Americans knew obesity could lead to joint problems including arthritis and five percent knew that respiratory problems could result from obesity.

Sarah Muntel, a registered dietician at IU Health Bariatric and Medical Weight Loss, says it's surprising to hear the statistics.  She says many times, people tend to think about their appearance instead of health risks.  Muntel says while heart disease and diabetes are the most talked about risks, there is still work to be done to educate people about the other health risks.

Muntel says many overweight and obese people, especially around the new year, want to find the quick fix to losing weight.  She says weight loss is a slow, gradual process and people can start by making small changes to their diet and exercise habits to improve their overall health.

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