Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is Obesity an Epidemic?

Ok let's get down to the nitty gritties of weight loss. Let's start the very beginning, the very best place to start!: as Julie Andrews would sing.

Did you know that obesity is THE greatest public health problem of the 21st century. The GREATEST! It causes any number of long term medical conditions, an inability to work so therefore increasing poverty and increases the burden on taxpayers to pay for those who are unable to pay for themselves. It also reduces the length of one's life by an average amount of nine years. Nine years! That is a whole lot of time that could be spent enjoying life with family, friends, seeing the world etc. For parents particularly, this is also affecting our children. Surely we need to take control of this aspect of our lives.

Now I recognize that some of you readers have a Body Mass Index of 19.5 - 24.5kg/m2 and so you may look on with self-righteous pity at the rest of us poor folk that struggle with our weight. I suppose you have a right to that (not that I have to like you for it), unless you are one of those that can eat whatever you like and not see any change in your weight, If you are - beware! It may yet catch up with you.

How common is it?

An organisation called Worldwatch did some research recently and found that more than 1.9 billion people worldwide were overweight. They also figured out that about 75% of all adults in rich countries (like ours!) were overweight or obese. I have to repeat that for emphasis - SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT! 3 out of every 4 people! That is astounding really. We defeat other epidemics like smallpox and then gain new ones, it would seem.

In the UK, the percentage of women who are obese has more than doubled in the time from 1980 - 1997. In 2009, almost a quarter of all adults in the UK were obese and a third of all women were overweight. 44% of men were overweight as well so they seem to even be worse off than we women are. I mean, being male is considered a risk factor in some diseases such as heart disease without adding an excess of fat into the mix.

What of our children? 30% of children aged between two and fifteen are overweight. 10% of those in reception year were obese! That is terrible! What chance do these littles have if they are already OBESE! Gosh we parents really need to pay a lot more attention to what we are exposing our little ones too. I definitely need this reminder so I KNOW I am far from perfect.

In the US, 33.8% of adults were obese in 2008 while a whopping 68% fell within the overweight and obese category! It is shocking really. The better off a nation is, the worse their eating habits tend to be.

Just to finish off on a positive note, this does not have to carry on, we are all masters of our ship and we can take the weight management steps required to change the path of humanity. Remember, every little helps!

So what is causing this epidemic of fat? How can we defeat it? Is it really as simple as 'eat less, do more'? What do you all think?

Nonny Knight is passionate about inspiring women.

A pharmacist, business owner and property investor, she shares her journey at http://mum-in-business.com/.

View the original article here

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