If you suspect a client has an eating disorder, it’s important to refer him or her for help. Why? Your client may also have a drug or alcohol problem. Up to 50 percent of individuals with eating disorders also abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, compared to 9 percent of the general population. (Source: “Food for Thought: Substance Abuse and Eating Disorders,” a report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University)
Inactive hobbies may be yet another reason why Americans are overweight. Eight years ago, 38 percent of adults’ two or three favorite leisure-time activities involved exercise. In 2003 only 29 percent of the activities included exercise. (Source: Harris Interactive® survey)
Female obstetrician-gynecologists name obesity as the leading health problem confronting women younger than 50, according to a Gallup Organization survey conducted for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). When women ob-gyns were asked how concerned they were about specific health issues affecting their patients, 78 percent responded that obesity is of great concern to them, while an additional 22 percent said it is of some concern.
Most Americans over 40 greatly underestimate their risk for heart disease. A recent American Heart Association (AHA) survey found that 87 percent of people interviewed reported having more than one heart disease risk factor, yet less than one-third knew how much this multiplied their overall risk for the disease. Common modifiable risk factors include high blood cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. (Clients can get more information by checking out the AHA’s Cholesterol Low Down education program at www.americanheart.org/cld.)