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Obesity robbing people of joy and freedom, doctor says

PROVO, Utah — Obese people survive but are denied the basic joys of life, said a physician speaking at BYU Campus Education Week on Wednesday, Aug. 19.They have difficulty going places, catching their breath, sleeping well and finding seats at public venues. They risk death and disability at every turn, said Dr. Steven Tersigni, medical director of Bariatric Surgey at Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay, Ore.Some are denied promotions or jobs, decisions they perceive as being based on their weight.Many lead isolated lives because they are embarrassed or harassed in public.Their obesity limits dating and friendships, and they have a drastically reduced life expectancy.The challenges include having to deal with all kinds of major medical conditions largely brought on by being overweight, including more cancers, heart problems and diabetes.But only 3-5 percent can lose the weight and keep it off with diet changes and drugs."Obesity is a chronic disease that has to be treated for life," Tersigni said.He said soda, super-size fries, fried foods and a lack of physical activity are the prime culprits in creating so many overweight people.Currently there are 1 billion people in the world who are overweight and 300 million who are obese.Children are joining the ranks of the obese, something parents and grandparents should try and head off when they can.There are more people becoming "super obese" than morbidly obese, a new degree of obesity that includes people who are literally off the weight charts.The economic impact from obesity is estimated to cost $200 billion a year.Tersigni said there is a parallel to the gospel. What we put into our bodies makes us what we are. What we put into our spiritual body makes us spiritually strong."The human body is the tabernacle of the spirit and God expects that it be kept clean and unimpaired," he said.