While not all obese people suffer from sleep apnea, and while not all sleep apnea patients are obese, there is a connection between obesity and sleep apnea. When a person is overweight, fat deposits in their neck and throat can put pressure on the airway and contribute to sleep apnea and snoring. The most basic way to treat obesity-related sleep apnea is a combination of healthier living and oral sleep apnea appliance therapy or CPAP, but prevention is a far better long-term solution to society’s obesity problem.
To that end, and in order to help counteract the effects of childhood obesity, San Francisco has passed a law banning the sale of child-friendly McDonald’s products “Happy Meals.” The new ordinance that will be enforced in December 2011 will not completely prohibit Happy Meals but will require guidelines as to which meals a toy may be included. The food and drink have to be under a 600 calorie limit and no more than 35% of the meal can come from fat. This has been enacted in hopes of providing healthier food choices for our younger generation.
No matter if you agree with the bill or not, it is indicative of society’s growing concern with the importance of eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. If this mindset continues to spread, perhaps our future will see fewer sleep apnea patients.