Aging and obesity are two components of disease trends in the United States. Studies, reports, articles, and many other forms of information have been conducted or written to see just how these components of disease trends will influence the delivery of health care. If Americans keep indulging, we will be the largest country in the world, and that is not speaking geographically. Not since the beginning of man has the world had so many older people. There is a large percentage of elderly, more so than ever before.
This has not always been the case. It is documented, in 1930, that America’s aged 45-64 numbered less than 5. % of the American population. This day and age if you had 8 people at least one of them is 65 or older. From 2000 to 2010 that age group grew to 26. 4 percent of the American population. By the 2030 there will be 72. 1 million older people in the U. S. This is caused because of the “Baby Boomers”, people born between 1946 and 1964, are coming of retirement age (Transgenerational, 2013). . Environmental factors of ageing play a large role in the majority of cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease; two diseases that are closely related to ageing.
Exposure to toxic chemicals and other pollutants, diet, exercise, and socioeconomic stress can also play a large role on how ageing can be affected. The coming of the millenniums the aging population has become a major demographic trend in the United Sates. Improved health and longevity and declining fertility have had a growth spurt in the older populations dramatically. Here are some interesting facts. A swelling Population (Transgenerational, 2013) * For the first time in history, people aged 65 and over will soon outnumber children under the age of 5. Throughout the world today, there are more people aged 65 and older than the entire populations of Russia, Japan, France, Germany and Australia—combined. * By 2030, 55 countries are expected to see their 65 and older populations at least 20 percent of their total. * By 2040, the global population is projected to number 1. 3 billion older people—accounting for 14 percent of the total. * By 2050, the U. N. estimates that the proportion of the world’s population age 65 and over will more than double, from 7. 6% today to 16. 2%. As the number of the elderly increases, public health challenges increase.
At least 80% of people over 65 years of age have a chronic health condition and at least 50% have two chronic health issues. Diabetes, affects close to one out of five persons over the age of 65. Diabetes causes increased morbidity and health care cost is increased. Diabetes will intensify as the population ages; with more people over the age of 70 having the largest increase. By 2050 we are looking at least 8. 6 million men and women over the age of 70 with diabetes. Alzheimer is another disease affected by ageing. As adults live longer the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, also increases.
Close to 10% of over 65 and close to 47% over 85 suffer from this degenerative and debilitating disease (Transgenerational, 2013). A chronic condition, such as arthritis, is another disease affected by ageing and is a huge cause of disability. As the elderly are living longer there are more complications related to health than most anything else related to ageing. Everyday new medications ad new technologies are being created and can be contributed to people living longer. However, what the body is like at 55 years is not the same as it is at 75 years.
You do not heal as fast or as well, therefore the rehabilitation process will take longer and cost more. The most common condition touching those 65 and older is coronary heart disease, and then stroke, cancer, pneumonia and the flu (AgingCare, 2013). Hip fracture from falls is another common factor of health complication in the elderly. Many of the elderly have at least one of the following ailments not previously mentioned, and some with two or more: (AgingCare, 2013) * Breathing Problems * Depression * Incontinence (urine and stool) * Cancer * Eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, Macular Degeneration)
As the body gets older, other things to be aware of are: (AgingCare, 2013) * A slower response time, which is really important when assessing if a person can drive handle a vehicle. * Thinner skin, which can lead to breakdowns and wounds that don’t heal quickly * A declining immune system, which can make warding off viruses, bacteria and diseases difficult * Reduced sense of taste or smell, which can lead to reduced appetite and dehydration Current and future trends of obesity are not looking too promising for Americans. Americans are fat, and we lie about it.
Most women say they do not weigh as much as they really do and both men and women say they are taller than they really, so the body mass index are not true rates, either (insidermonkey, 2010) If we continue with the current trends of the past 30 years, we could be looking at 100% of an overweight population. By 2048, all African-American women could be obese and at least 90% of all Hispanic men could obese, too. 100% of the population overweight is another story. Here are some interesting facts: (insidermonkey, 2010)
* Non-Hispanic black people have the highest obesity rate of 36. 8%. Hispanics have an obesity rate of 30. 7% Non-Hispanic white people have an obesity rate of 25. 2%. * Other races, such as Asians, have the lowest obesity rate of 16. 7%. * The obesity rate of people aged 18-29 is 20. 3%. * The rate is 27. 8% for 30-39 age group, 29. 4% for 40-49 age group, 31. 1% for 50-59 age groups. The obesity rate declines slightly to 30. 9% for the 60-69 age groups * Those who manage to stay alive past the age of 69 have an obesity rate of 20. 5%. Obesity is one of the factors causing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (insidermonkey, 2010). A large portion of people that are obese are also diabetic. Environment, behavior and biology are the ntricate interactions from Obesities end result.
The current obesity epidemic is caused more by the environmental factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle, setting and watching TV or playing games, eating fatty high calorie foods, than the actual biological factors. People watching televisions are flooded with commercials showing all the comfort foods craved by the public. The convenience of a drive through restaurant is more appealing to some than the grocery store and cooking a healthy meal. The fast food we buy is packed in portion sizes that are way out of line with the federal recommendations.
Moreover, the imbalance if calorie intake and physical expenditure has decreased in today’s lifestyle. Fighting the obesity epidemic requires environmental and social policy changes, mainly in the portion sizes, making healthful foods more readily available and promoting physical activity. Obesity is known as the plague of the 21st century. Obesity is beginning to be one of the “sensitive” issue in the U. S. and people are afraid to discuss the issue because political correctness. Statistics do not tell the true story and are grossly underestimated.
There are parts of the U. S. hat the obesity rates are highest and that is the Midwest and the South; the home of fried chicken and potatoes and gravy. The obesity rates are the lowest on the West coast and the Northeast; obviously, a fish eating population. A fun fact; the US is biggest Big Mac consumer in the world (insidermonkey, 2010). It is agreed by the healthcare professionals that the more overweight a person is, the more likely they are to have health problems. Overweight or obese people are at higher risk for chronic diseases (WebMD, 2012). If a person’s weight is at 20% over the maximum healthy weight considered for their height, they are thought to be obese.
Those at greatest risks for overweight/obesity related conditions include: (WebMD, 2012) * People with a family history who have had heart disease or diabetes are more likely to develop these problems if they are obese. * High blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or high blood sugar levels are all warning signs of some obesity-associated diseases. * “Apple” shaped. People whose weight is mostly around their stomachs may be at greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes or cancer than people of the same weight who are “pear-shaped” (they carry their weight in their hips nd buttocks) (WebMD, 2012). Obesity can cause your health to suffer tremendously. It is harder on your heart and all your organs. A few of the main health issues can be blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol and an over-all metabolic syndrome, this is a combination of a your blood sugars, blood pressure, high cholesterol and high triglycerides (agingcare,2013). Caring extra weight on your body frame also can be contributed to osteoarthritis. Sleep apnea is another health complication that can be linked to obesity (agingcare, 2013).
You over-all quality of life may not be as good as it could be if you were not obese. Some of these issues may be, depression, discrimination, physical discomfort, shame, and even social isolation (Mayo Clinic, 2012). In 2030, it is estimated the older generation is be 20% of the American population. As people age in the future they will enjoy longer lives and better health. Older people will also be more active than in past generation; if the percentage of the elderly can stay below the obesity levels. Having the number of aged increased, there will be an increase in health-care cost, too.
Many elderly will be independent and take care of themselves but many will also depend on the care of long-term facilities. The issue with this can be that the number of working tax payers may decreased in relativity to the number elderly increase. So, we might see inadequate public resources and less people being able to formally care for the elderly. The obese population already have a large medical costs of obesity are as high as $147 Billion. On average, obese people have medical costs that are $1429 more than medical costs of normal weight people (insidermonkey, 2010).
Getting older is something we have no control of. We do have the control to prevent ourselves from becoming obese. We have control over what we put in our mouths. We have control over how we treat our bodies. If we are obese in our younger years, there is a possibility that we won’t make to our older years. It would be nice to know in 2030 we are not going to have a nation of old fat people. How we treat our bodies and how we teach our children to treat their bodies will tell how we are going to age and what quality of life we are going to have.