Obesity: Why its a serious global concern

Obesity: Why its a serious global concern

In a fast-moving world of today, the list of our health concerns keep growing by the day. Gone are the days when there was sufficient time in a day to dedicate towards eating right and living healthy. Our priorities now have changed and personal health has taken a backseat in that list.

It is therefore a serious issue that the major health concerns of today sprout not from monumental mistakes but from very tiny missteps that we take every day in an increasingly unhealthy lifestyle we lead today.

And one of the most significant of those concerns is obesity.

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. The WHO defines it as:

  • A BMI greater than or equal to 25 is overweight
  • A BMI greater than or equal to 30 is obesity.

Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).

Here are some statistics as revealed by WHO that sheds some light on the appalling nature of this condition:

  • Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
  • In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these, over 600 million were obese.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese. Overall, about 13% of the world’s adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in 2014.
  • 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013.
Photo credit: Robin Stickel from Pexels

So what causes obesity?

Like mentioned earlier, the most threatening part of the problem is that it has its source embedded right into the most basic of activities that we do or fail to do in our daily lives. Technically, it can be said that the fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally the general trend in the present lifestyle has been:

  • An increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat; and
  • An increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.

Why obesity is different from ‘being fat’

While being of a slightly overweight body type isn’t a matter of concern, being obese goes way beyond just looking fat. It brings with it serious threats to health. Risk factors associated are cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders,some cancers(breast and colon).

Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. But in addition to increased future risks, obese children experience breathing difficulties, increased risk of fractures, hypertension, early markers of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.

Cures and preventive measures

However, all is not lost and overweight and obesity are curable with diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some of the ways in which you can cure yourself out of overweight and obesity issues:

  • Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
  • Increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
  • Engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults).

Nevertheless, when obesity goes beyond the control of home remedies or serious health issues crop up as a result, it is always important to take expert help instead of experimenting with one’s health. Food n Wellness advises clients on how overweight and obesity can be controlled.

Please contact our expert, Mrs. Meenu Agarwal @+65 96479240 or [email protected].

To end on a positive note, it is not humongous a task to prevent or cure obesity. A slight change in our daily activities and a disciplined commitment towards our health and wellbeing goes a very long way. And we believe that it is certainly more rewarding to be responsible in our choice of lifestyle than to fight endless battles with health issues all our life!

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