Obesity Now A Bigger Threat Than Smoking

Lou Ryan, SelfHelpWorks Founder & CEO

Lou Ryan, SelfHelpWorks Founder & CEO

Generationally, obesity is passed down like an heirloom that nobody wants

A well-referenced educational article published on the popular website of renowned health educator, Dr. Mercola, has proclaimed obesity to now be a greater health threat than smoking. Lou Ryan, behavior expert and founder of online behavioral change company SelfHelpWorks, agrees with the statement and offers a solution.

The obesity epidemic is occurring on a global scale, and while it has been acknowledged as a serious problem, it continues to worsen. According to Mercola’s article, 1 in 5 deaths in America is associated with obesity, and as of 2014, 38% of Americans were obese. But the most ominous statistic is the trend of the youth: Childhood obesity has tripled since 1980, and it is well-known that the earlier obesity is reached in life, the more health problems it will cause.

Ryan explains the rise in childhood obesity rates: “Obesity within families is a pattern, a contagion, and this is because children learn their habits from their parents, especially their eating habits. Generationally, obesity is passed down like an heirloom that nobody wants.”

Ryan has decades of experience developing behavioral change programs (including LivingLean, an online course targeting weight loss and the elimination of unhealthy eating habits), and he has challenged traditional weight loss methodology throughout his career. “As a global community we’ve known about the obesity epidemic and its consequences for a long time, but the strategies to combat it have been largely unsuccessful,” says Ryan. “This is because most weight loss programs see obesity solely as a physical problem and they wind up trying to…

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