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BODY WATCH : TIDBITS : Excess Poundage Weighs Us Down

November 15, 1994|LESLIE KNOWLTON

Here are some weighty facts to chew on:

* At any moment, 80 million Americans are trying to lose weight.

* Americans spend $30 billion-$50 billion annually in efforts to lose weight.

* Americans collectively have gained weight over the past decade, with a mean weight gain of about eight pounds.

* The economic costs of illness associated with overweight are estimated to be more than $45 billion annually.

* Overweight has been linked to health problems including heart disease, certain cancers, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure.

* Efforts to lose weight are linked to health problems, including anorexia, bulimia, bone loss in women, drug abuse, nutritional deficiencies, injuries and death.

* Weight cycling (losing weight and putting it back on) is harmful to one's health.

* Body fat established during childhood influences health status later in life.

Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Center for Health Statistics; American Health Foundation; Healthy Weight Journal.

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