More than 30 medical conditions -- including multiple types of cancer, cardio and heart disease and diabetes, to name a few -- await those who do not take care of it.
It affects quality of life, from range of motion to energy levels.
It is the second-leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
It is obesity.
And "it" is a big problem, not just in what it can cause, but also in the increasing number of people growing in waistband sizes.
According to the American Obesity Association, 64.5 percent of U.S. residents 20 years or older are overweight, and 30.5 percent are considered obese.
From 1991 to 2001, the rate of obesity in Colorado rose from 8.4 percent to 14.4 percent -- the lowest percentage in the U.S.
However, in Moffat County, the results are not as good.
According to the 2005-06 Community Indicators Project, the average person between 20 and 70 years old has a body mass index of more than 30.
In other words, the average Moffat County resident person is considered obese.
And that says nothing of the people who would be classified as overweight.
The editorial board encourages the public to focus on this weighty matter and to encourage each other to lose weight.
The Largest Loser contest -- a spin-off of the TV show, "The Biggest Loser" -- is one way to do just that. The event begins Friday. Then, on Aug. 30, we will see which individual or team has shed the most pounds.
It is an opportunity to join others who can encourage you with either a little smack talk, or to have someone who can pick you up if you should fall off the diet wagon and eat a brownie.
Even if you don't compete in this contest, the editorial board urges you to think about this matter. There is a plethora of research as to what leads to obesity, from genetics to psychological components. There is no one-size-fits-all silver bullet to take care of this problem.
But this much is true: If you are overweight, and you don't address it today, you likely will be forced to deal with it at a later point in life, either through a conscious choice when you are sick and tired of being fat, or from a doctor's order because you are sick and tired from being fat.
Come join us. It's one time when you lose and still win.