- (Reuters/Rick Wilking)
A new poll has revealed that people are not only unaware of the health risks posed by obesity, but are also uninformed about what defines "obese."
Cancer, arthritis, infertility, and lack of sleep are just some of the health conditions that people failed to associate with obesity, according to a recent poll conducted by Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
While most of the population agreed that it was difficult to be healthy while being over weight, a majority of those people only consider health risks that included diabetes and heart disease. Most failed however, to acknowledge the correlation between obesity and other well known diseases such as cancer.
"People are often shocked to hear how far-reaching the effects of obesity are," said Jennifer Dimitriou, a bariatric dietitian at New York's Montefiore Medical Center, told the AP News.
A study printed in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that obesity could affect fertility in addition to causing "abnormal ovulation, menstrual abnormalities and excess hair growth" in less common places. Other studies also reported that obesity could lead to abnormalities in eggs.
The National Cancer Institute also reported that at least 34,000 new cases of cancer in men and 50,500 cases in women were due to obesity in 2007.
"A projection of the future health and economic burden of obesity in 2030 estimated that continuation of existing trends in obesity will lead to about 500,000 additional cases of cancer in the United States by 2030," the report stated.
Other issues were also connected to obesity, including sleep apnea, respiratory issues, joint problems, asthma, high blood, high cholesterol, and stokes.
People also failed to properly assess whether or not they were of the proper weight.
"In another complication, the AP-NORC Center survey found that about half of people think their weight is just about right, and only 12 percent of parents think their child is overweight," the AP reported.
Government figures reveal that two-thirds of U.S. adults, and one-third of children and teens, are either overweight or obese.