Overweight and Obesity
Facts about Overweight and Obesity
- Around the world, the number of overweight adults totals more than one billion. Among them, about 300 million are obese.
- Obese and overweight individuals risk contracting various type of cancers, stroke, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Obesity is an Epidemic
The main reasons for overweight and obesity are consuming fatty foods and leading a sedentary life, without much physical activity. Since 1980, obesity has risen three-fold around the world. The obesity epidemic is increasing fast in both industrialized and developing countries. Obesity affects the sufferer’s quality of life and increases the risk of early death. The increase in the rate of child obesity is especially alarming.
Causes for the Obesity Epidemic
The increasing rates of the obesity epidemic are an indicator of social and behavioral changes around the world. Physical activity and calorie intake dictate weight gain. Globalization, urbanization, modernization and economic growth are some factors behind the obesity epidemic.
Around the world, incomes are rising and more people are migrating to cities. Diet is also changing with people eating more foods with sugar and saturated fats. The work environment is changing with more emphasis on sedentary office work. Physical activity is becoming less with people using automated transport and pursuing passive leisure activities.
How Excess Body Fat Affects Health
Obesity and overweight have adverse effects on insulin resistance, triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure. They can cause infertility, skin problems, musculoskeletal problems and breathing difficulties. They can also lead to certain types of cancers such as gallbladder, kidney, prostate, colon and breast cancers. Chronic obesity and overweight can also lead to osteoarthritis, which disables many adults.
How to Combat Overweight and Obesity
- Eat more high-fiber, low-fat foods.
- Include more whole grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits in your diet.
- Engage in physical activity for at least half an hour each day.
- Reduce the consumption of sugary, fatty foods.