Health, wealth and happiness is attainable but not immortality

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Imagine this. You are 43 years old, in the prime of your life and you are having the time of your life. Heck most of the world at least knows of you and many people love you. You are a happily married man with two wonderful children. You aren’t the richest man on earth but you aren’t doing too bad with a net worth of about $15 million and a rather substantial income. Your life is clearly the envy of many. Too bad it had to come to an untimely end in your 43rd year.

Or how about this guy: He was born in Madison, Wisconsin on February 15th1964 and grew up in nearby Maple Bluff. His dad owned an oil company and his mom was a homemaker raising him and his four siblings. After graduating college this man worked with his dad at their oil company. But he had a different vision for his life and so with his family’s blessing he set off on a different track. Still a young man, by age 33 this amazing man had achieved a substantial level of success and had achieved a net worth of $5 million, not bad at all for guy only 33 years old. Too bad his 33rdyear was his last year on earth.

The first man was John Candy who at the time of his very untimely death weighed above 300 pounds. He died in Mexico from a heart attack. Candy is by no means alone because as it turns out ischemic heart disease kills over 9 million people worldwide every year. It is indeed the leading cause of premature death around the world. Let us not forget that one of the leading causes of heart disease is obesity which is also linked to several other potentially deadly diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.

The other man who only made it to age 33 was Christopher Crosby Farley, better known simply as Chris Farley. He died due to a combination of drug overdoses and atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, a condition that is largely a byproduct of obesity. While drug overdoses are nothing to ignore or to bring upon yourself there is fair chance that he may have survived if did not have atherosclerosis, which he most likely would not have had if he had not been obese. Chris was only a couple pounds shy of 300 pounds at the time of his death.

These are just celebrities that died far too young proving that not even fame and fortune will shield you from the ravages of obesity. And now here is the really bad news. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one third of the world population is obese. That means about 2.6 billion people are obese. And if that isn’t enough consider this: according to a recent study leading the top ten nations for obesity is the United States of America with 109,342,839 obese citizens, each one with a significantly higher risk of one or more deadly diseases.

The author, Ron Irwin, in the hospital after collapsing from a heart attack (Ron Irwin)
  • Approximately 33,636 American die each year from gunshot wounds.
  • The flu and pneumonia generally kill about 55,327 Americans every year.
  • On average 63,632 Americans die each year from a drug overdose.
  • Type 2 Diabetes kills around 70,499 Americans every year and it is associated with obesity.
  • The number of deaths each year from all accidents including vehicular is about 136,053.
  • A whopping 598,000 die from cancer and some of those cases involve obesity.
  • But the elephant in the room is heart disease which kills 604,640 Americans every year and heart disease is heavily linked to obesity. But what the heck is “obesity” anyhow?

Obesity has been more precisely defined by the National Institutes of Health (the NIH) as a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 and above. (A BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight.) The BMI, a key index for relating body weight to height, is a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m) squared.  Obesity is when your weight is 30 or more pounds over ideal weight for your height and gender.

But what the heck is my “ideal” weight? The answer can be found right here. Just go to this calculator and follow the simple instructions. If it turns out that you are 30 or more pounds over ideal weight you are obese. From about 10 to 30 pounds you are over weight and that should be seen for what it is, a warning sign for a potentially big problem ahead. No super urgency but to protect your long-term health should you be over weight start working on drawing it down now. Ah but if indeed you determine that you are obese that is a matter that deserves immediate and full attention.

Ron Irwin after regaining a healthy lifestyle

Please understand this one extremely important reality. Obesity is not about fashion and style, it truly is about life. Letting out the belt, going to next size or two up are not the answers. Taking effective action to purge your body of excess weight is the only good healthy answer. Do keep in mind that you have a far greater risk of dying young from obesity related diseases in general and heart disease in particular than you do from cancer.  Keep that realization in your mind always.

It is important to note that the statistics used herein were obtained from credible sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization. Certain specifics may vary but the overall picture is clear and certain.

Okay so now we know that obesity is truly a massive killer and we do not want it. But here we are 60 pounds overweight, 80 pounds overweight or as was once my case, 140 pounds overweight, what can you do?

As a strong advocate for health, wealth and happiness and knowing without doubt that early death deprives you of all of that I declared war on obesity and I won that war. So in part two we shall look at a variety of effective ways to purge obesity from your life so it won’t purge your life from tis world.

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You can get a head start on beating obesity right here.

Top photo: John Candy, Ron Irwin and Chris Farley, with credits to Wikipedia