The obesity epidemic has grown to staggering proportions. Worldwide, the prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1989, and in the United States, over two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.

Being overweight or obese has serious health implications that can affect your longevity and quality of life. It’s a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, stroke, gallbladder disease, liver disease, obstructive sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer and overall risk of dying. It may also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

You don’t need to achieve a bodybuilder’s physique or run marathons in order to improve your health. Even a modest weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can result in health benefits. Achieving a healthy weight can also reduce stress and anxiety and improve your mood, self-esteem and energy levels.

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight won’t come from some miracle drug or the latest fad diet. It will come from a lifelong approach that combines a healthy diet, regular exercise and behavior change. This will take perseverance, but the benefits you’ll reap for your health and happiness are well worth the effort.

Source: Mayo Clinic Health Letter Supplement November 2015