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Obesity Rising – Global Health at Risk

ObesityAccording to a new study published the Lancet medical journal, one-fifth of the world’s adult population will be obese by 2025. As being overweight is a major risk for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and related problems, this epidemic of obesity is putting global health at risk. Chronic diseases such as arthritis also get worse with excessive weight.

Obesity is measured by Body Mass Index (BMI) and people with a BMI of over 30 are considered obese. The British led team based their analysis on the height and weight measurements of almost 20 million adults from 1975 to 2014 and found that:

  • The obesity rate could reach 20% by 2025
  • the number of men and women with obesity rose from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014
  • the number of people with obesity exceeded the number of those underweight in 2004 for women and in 2011 for men
  • A fifth of the world’s adults with obesity, or 118 million people, live in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.
  • If post-2000 trends continue, the global obesity prevalence will reach 18 per cent in men and surpass 21 per cent in women by 2025

An expert at the school of public health at Imperial College London recommends changing food policies to solve the problem with measures such as varying the pricing of healthy foods versus unhealthy foods, imposing a higher tax on sugar and highly processed foods, and improved health-care training.

Needless to say, prevention is better than cure. An earlier study by U.S. doctors titled “How Early Should Obesity Prevention Start” called pregnancy and infancy key times to begin obesity prevention. It’s high time that people realized that weight loss can reduce their risks of many potentially serious health problems.

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