Why is obesity always in the news?
Because it is a big and rapidly growing problem – worldwide obesity rates have doubled since 1980.
Some of the adverse health consequences of obesity:
• Cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke were the leading causes of death worldwide in 2011)
• Type 2 Diabetes.
• Certain cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon).
• Musculoskeletal disorders.
A few facts and figures from the World Health Organisation:
More than 1.9 billion people worldwide were overweight (BMI > 25) in 2010.
More than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2011.
Percentage of people overweight in various countries in 2010:
Micronesia and Polynesia 88% (highest in the world)
India 19% (up from 15% in 2002)
Overall more than 10% of the world’s population is now obese.
26% of adult Americans are obese
25% of UK adults are obese
65% of the world’s population live in countries where obesity and being overweight kill more people than underweight.
Many low- and middle-income countries are now facing a “double burden” of disease.
It is not uncommon to find under-nutrition and obesity existing side-by-side within the same country, the same community and even the same household.
Surely the way forward in restraining the obesity epidemic is to focus on obesity prevention rather than on its treatment?
BMI = Body Mass Index = an indicator of whether you are overweight or not
Definition of overweight = BMI >25
Definition of obesity = BMI >30