Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. The global population is expanding in numbers, but also in weight. Rates of obesity worldwide have more than doubled since And the obesity epidemic is not just an adult problem; 42 million children under the age of 5 worldwide were overweight or obese in
Introduction Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world. Today it is estimated that there are more than million obese people world-wide.
Consistent with this, the World Health Organization WHO has recently International obesity epidemic international standards for classifying overweight and obesity in adults Table 1. Although BMI provides a simple, convenient measurement of obesity, a more important aspect of obesity is the regional distribution of excess body fat.
The importance of central obesity is clear in populations e. Additional International obesity epidemic to measure abdominal fat exist, such as waist circumference and waist to hip ratios WHR but unlike BMI these tend not to be taken routinely.
Changes in waist circumference reflect changes in risk for CVD and other chronic diseases. As with BMI cut-off values have been set to identified increased risk, but for waist circumference these need to be sex and population specific see Table 2.
As the risk varies single global values can not be used. The global epidemic of obesity The prevalence of obesity is increasing in most part of the world, affecting men, women and children.
Furthermore, obesity is no longer just a concern for developed countries, but it is becoming an increasing problem in many developing countries. Prevalence of obesity It should be noted that it is often difficult to make a direct comparison of the prevalence of obesity between countries due to the inconsistent classifications used for obesity.
This problem may be overcome with the adoption of the WHO standardised classification for obesity, in future surveys. Figure 1 provides examples of the varying prevalence of obesity within different countries. Obesity levels also vary depending on ethnic origin.
In the USA, particularly among women, there are large differences in the prevalence of obesity between populations of the different ethnic origins within the same country. The growing prevalence of obesity among children is also a major concern Table 3.
The lack of agreement in defining obesity in children and adolescents has made it difficult to estimate the true prevalence.
The International Obesity Task Force IOTF developed a new approach to defining childhood overweight and obesity to make it consistent with the adult definition. Trends and projections Many countries have experienced a startling increase in obesity rates over the last years Figure 2.
In England the prevalence of obesity has doubled since Based on current trends, it is predicted that the levels of obesity will continue to rise unless action is taken now. Key patterns associated with obesity A number of factors have been linked to obesity, including age, gender and socio-economic status.
In developed countries the natural pattern with age is an increase in body weight with ageing, at least up to years old in both men and women. The relationship between obesity and age is similar in developing countries, but the maximum rates of obesity tend to be reached at an earlier age e.
The decline in prevalence after this peak is thought to be partly attributed to lower survival rate of obese individuals. In contrast, the proportion of men who are overweight BMI Patterns have also emerged across socio-economic groups. In developed countries levels of obesity are higher in the lower socio-economic groups.
In developing countries this relationship is reversed. The transition from a rural to an urban lifestyle is associated with increased levels of obesity, which has been linked with dramatic changes in lifestyles e.
As stated in section 3. Health, social and economic costs of obesity Obesity has a great number of negative health, social and economic consequences. Mortality and morbidity rates are higher among overweight and obese individuals than lean people. Furthermore, obesity has been recently identified as a major independent risk factor for CHD by the American Heart Association Modest weight reduction can significantly reduce the risk of these serious health conditions.
In addition to the physical consequences on health, obesity creates a massive social burden. This prejudice does not only exist among the general public but also among the majority of health care professionals.
Negative attitudes of health care professionals can seriously impede the treatment of overweight and obese patients. Often over shadowed by the health and social consequences of obesity is the economic cost to society and to the individual.
In addition to the direct costs of obesity are costs in terms of the individuals including ill health and reduced quality of life intangible costs and society in terms of loss of productivity due to sick-leave and premature pensions indirect costs.
Prevention is clearly more cost effective than treatment, both in terms of economic and personal costs.This is a very interesting read – thank you. My question is simply, then what does cause heart disease?
You allude to carbs and wheat as possible causative factors and I have recently read about the suspected relationship between heart disease and stress in our modern world. Paradoxically coexisting with undernutrition, an escalating global epidemic of overweight and obesity – “globesity” – is taking over many parts of the world.
If immediate action is not taken, millions will suffer from an array of serious health disorders. Note: Age- and gender-adjusted rates of obesity, using the OECD standard population.
Definition of obesity based on the WHO BMI-for-age cut-offs. Some have speculated that the rising prevalence of obesity may explain why the rate of mortality improvement in the United States has declined relative to other wealthy countries.
This paper estimates that rising body mass index (BMI) has reduced the annual rate of improvement in US death rates. Oct 12, · I am frequently asked, “What is the one thing that can be done to stop the global obesity epidemic?” My answer: the one thing everyone can do is stop asking that question.
“Obesity is the new smoking”, said Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England.“It is a slow-motion car crash in terms of avoidable illness and rising health care costs.” Is he right? And if so, can the NHS help work towards solutions, or only tackle the associated health need?