Dr. Dwight McKenna, New Orleans Coroner, says there are some things you should know about obesity. Obesity is a major factor affecting the health of many Americans. It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 41% of adults and 19.7% of children now meet the criteria for being obese. Experts say obesity costs the United States about $147 billion annually in health care costs. While these numbers are staggering, they continue to rise.

Recent articles say, the recent craze over medications such as Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro shows how eager people are to lose weight. Obesity is a major contributor to many diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, but we are finding it also plays a role in other diseases, such as certain cancers. Treating obesity is imperative to prevent these diseases, as well as to promote better treatment outcomes. We’ve all seen diabetic patients lose weight and have their blood glucose levels come under control. Nearly one and five adolescents are living with pre-diabetes, where blood glucose levels are elevated, but are not high enough for type 2 diabetes.

A decade of type 2 diabetes shortens life by 3.5 years

Each additional decade of type 2 diabetes shortens lives about 3 1/2 years, compared with not having diabetes, researchers estimate on the basis of data from studies conducted in 19 high income countries. They estimated that, among 50-year-olds, life expectancy of those diagnosed with a type 2 diabetes at age 30 is 14 years shorter than that of their peers without diabetes. Among those diagnosed at age 50, life expectancy is six years shorter.