The Alarming Rise of Obesity Levels Globally
According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. 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). Obesity levels were rising globally at an alarming rate and it was estimated that by 2025, about 1. 2 billion adults would be obese. The problem of obesity and overweight is not only restricted to developed nations but is also seen in developing nations. Studies show that obesity levels among women in the North African and Eastern European regions surpass those in the United States. Obesity and overweight are associated with various chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and certain types of cancer.
2. Literature Review
2.1 Obesity and overweight in North African and Eastern European regions
The high prevalence of obesity and overweight in the North African and Eastern European regions is due to several factors like economic transition, urbanization, changes in dietary habits, and sedentary lifestyles. The economic transition has led to an increased availability of energy-dense foods and a decrease in the cost of these foods. This, coupled with the increased advertising of these foods, has resulted in changes in dietary habits. People in these regions are now consuming more fast food and processed foods which are high in fat and sugar. Sedentary lifestyles are another contributing factor to the high prevalence of obesity and overweight in these regions. With the advent of technology, people are now spending more time indoors engaged in sedentary activities like watching television and working on the computer. This lack of physical activity has led to an increase in obesity levels.
2. 2 Obesity and overweight in the United States
In the United States, the prevalence of obesity and overweight has been increasing at a steady rate over the past few decades. Currently, about 35% of adults are obese and about 34% are overweight. The main reasons for this increase are similar to those seen in other parts of the world like changes in diet and lifestyle habits. In the US, people are now consuming more fast food and processed foods which are high in calories but low in nutrients. This change in diet coupled with a decrease in physical activity has resulted in an increase in obesity levels.
2. 3 School going children
The problem of obesity is not restricted to adults but is also seen in school going children. In the United States, about 17% of children aged 6-11 years are obese while 18% are overweight. Childhood obesity is associated with various health problems like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, respiratory problems, etc. The main reasons for childhood obesity are similar to those seen in adults like changes in diet and lifestyle habits. Children nowadays consume more fast food and sugary drinks which lead to weight gain. Furthermore, they spend more time indoors engaged in sedentary activities like playing video games or watching television instead of being physically active outdoors.
2. environmental change
3 Environmental change
3 Marketing techniques of large corporations
4. Advertising and promotion
7.1 Appendix A: Data on obesity levels in North African and Eastern European regions
7. 2 Appendix B: Data on obesity levels in the United States
7.3 Appendix C: Data on obesity levels among school going children
10 Author information
10.2 Declaration of interest
14 Copyright information
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