Americans are some of the largest people in the world and data collected from Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development have shown that our nation has the highest obesity rate of developed nations worldwide. Aside from being an issue of vanity, being overweight can cause a slew of medical conditions including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes and can negatively impact dental health too.
For more than two decades “America’s Health Rankings” (http://www.americashealthrankings.org/) has collected data in regards to behaviors such as smoking, drinking, eating and average weight; their research shows that Americans have gotten larger. Compared to their ancestors, the average American male is 17.1 pounds heavier and the average female is 15.4 pounds larger than previous generations. The group estimates that if the pattern continues 43 percent (or 103 million American adults) will be clinically obese by 2018 and will suffer the dental problems associated with the condition.
Tooth Decay and Obesity
The Center for Disease Control and prevention has called tooth decay an “epidemic” affecting the nation’s children. Along with lack of oral hygiene and regular dental checkups, obesity is cited as one cause for the condition.
According to a study published by the Endocrine Society, 28 percent of children with tooth decay also were tipping the scales with an excess of body weight. The research gauged the association between unhealthy body weight and dental health in a group of 65 children ranging in age from two to five. The kids carrying the excess weight had a higher rate of tooth decay and dental issues than those who had healthy body mass index (BMI) measurements.