Obesity is undeniably a global epidemic.
Not only is the
global population expanding in figures, but apparently also in weight! Since
1980, statistics indicate that obesity rates have more than doubled and are
A WHO (World
Health Organization) global report outlines that in 2014; about 600 million
individuals were obese with about 1.9 billion adults being overweight.
industrialised nations featured among the affected with countries such as Qatar
having 42 % of its population (adult) being obese, Kuwait (40 %), Northern
Ireland (28 %), England (28 %), USA (38 %), and France (24 %). Astoundingly,
the obesity issue is not just with adults, but with children too.
This is predominantly evidenced by the 2013 figures where about 42
million youngsters aged 5 and below tested positive for obesity/overweight.
What’s even more shocking is that it is not industrialised nations that lead
the group anymore. Compared to high-income nations, developing ones have a rise
of over 30% in child obesity rates.
In fact, between 1990 and 2014, the number of obese and overweight
kids below five years shot up from 5.4 million to 10.3 million. And according
to the WHO, if the trend remains as is, over 70 million infants will either be
obese or overweight by 2025.
Reasons behind the escalating Obesity figures:
One primary reason for the surging numbers is the rapidly changing
lifestyles across the globe further fueled by the easier accessibility of
unhealthy food options. Currently, there are over 700,000 fast food joints
globally. Moreover, the improvement of technology and the ensuing reliance on
its products like computers and cars have inspired a typically sedentary
lifestyle. Additionally, lack of education also contributes to the high numbers
both in industrialized and developing countries.
Consequences of Obesity:
Obesity is a key contributor to chronic cardiovascular diseases,
stroke, Type 2 diabetes as well as some cancers. Obesity results in the
build-up of fat in the body arteries, and narrowing of vessels, therefore
leading to minimized blood flow to the heart – a condition usually associated
with heart attacks.
An increase in diabetes mortality rate was witnessed rising from a
million deaths (2000) to about 1.5 million (2012). Isn’t diabetes among the
consequence of obesity?
What measures are nations taking to manage Obesity?
obesity is a major issue affecting all nations of the world. Nonetheless, with
proper strategies and policies, the trend can change. Most nations have come up
with a national strategy to regulate obesity following WHO recommendations.
These plans are designed to promote healthier dieting and food production and
include appropriate and targeted domestic subsidies.
The UK, for
instance, has imposed a sugar tax in 2018 to help tackle the obesity issue. Similarly,
in the U.S for instance, in 2010, former President Obama set up an exclusive
taskforce for Childhood Obesity Prevention which brought about an actionable
strategy to reverse Obesity. In extension, he also signed the ‘Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’ into law
which included healthier school meals standards.
In Mexico, the Congress passed into law a tax on high-calorie
foods and soft drinks, while Ecuador’s Health Ministry produced processed foods
labelling regulations. Most notably, Norway used a combination of price
manipulations, food subsidies, public education targeting individuals, and
retail regulations to successfully turn its population to relying on energy
dense, high-fat diets.
rapidly spreading globally, there is a need to find actionable strategies aimed
at reducing and ultimately eradicating this otherwise preventable condition.
Each sector in the society plays a significant part in not only promoting
healthier lifestyles but also establishing an atmosphere for sustained change
where optimistically, ‘Globesity’ will
someday be controlled.
Mayfair, we care