Obesity increases the risk for chronic diseases such as adult onset diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and some cancers and obesity also increases the chances of complications related to many of these diseases. Obesity affects approximately 34.9% of all adults in the United States and costs each obese individual an additional $1,429 in medical costs per year over those of normal weight. Obesity rates vary within the nation by race, culture, income and education.
Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the United States. It affects not only the smoker but also bystanders through secondhand smoke inhalation. Tobacco inhalation can lead to increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cigar smoke and chewing tobacco also pose significant health risks. New studies are starting to reveal risks associated with electronic cigarettes or vapor inhalants. These products contain nicotine and harmful chemicals that are in nanoparticle size allowing the harmful substances to reach further into the lung tissue. Substituting vaporized nicotine for tobacco may not assist in preventing further addiction and/or disease, despite marketing claims.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. In the year 2013, 30.8% of all driving fatalities were alcohol related. Alcohol consumption is related to increased risk of fatal alcohol poisoning, alcohol addiction, alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, and personal injury. If consumed during pregnancy, the infant may be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a set of problems that occurs in the infant of a mother who drank during pregnancy and may include behavioral, physical, and cognitive issues.