Alarming epidemic of obesity

ObesityObesity, today, is now regarded by many as “silent killer”

The global number of people who is suffering from overweight in adult population is approximately 1.6 billion people (age more than 15 years) and at least 400 million of that are obese. Similarly, with respect to global childhood obesity, there are at least 20 million children under 5 that either have overweight or, that can turn into obesity if their parents don’t take the necessary measures. The projection of the WHO by the year 2015 is that approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese.

While globally, there have been significant increases in obesity prevalence rates over the last 20 years, the following statistics indicate the alarming threat of obesity with respect to specific North American & European countries.


Obesity in USA

Obesity in USAOver two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and over one-third are obese, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2006and 2007–2008. According to the same estimate:

  • 68 percent of all adults in US are overweight
  • 64.1 percent of all women in US are overweight
  • 72.3 percent of all men in US are overweight

Similarly, according to the same statistics, over one-third of U.S. adults are obese which means:

  • 33.8 percent of all adults in US are obese
  • 35.5 percent of all women in US are obese
  • 32.2 percent of all men in US are obese


Obesity in UK

Obesity in UKWithin the UK, English obesity prevalence rates in adults have increased by three- to four-fold since the 1980s. The most recent available data from England and Scotland indicate obesity prevalence rates are similar in men and boys at 22 percent and 18 percent respectively. The obesity prevalence rate in Scottish women is 19 percent higher than in English women (26 percent compared to 21.9 percent). Among girls, the prevalence rate of obesity is 30 percent higher in England (18.1 percent) than in Scotland (13.8 percent).


Some of the biggest causes of the increasing obese population in high-income countries and nations include:

  • The global shift in diet towards increased intake of energy-dense-foods
  • The decreasing physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many types of work
  • Changing ways of transportation and increasingly urbanization
  • More dependency on fast food as daily meals

fast food as daily mealsIn addition, these days is also dramatically changing the situation in low and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings, lead to the tendency to consume more food rich in fat and sugar and to the insufficient access to sport and fitness facilities.

In short, it is clear from the above discussion that obesity is now growing almost as an epidemic with rapidly growing rates especially among developed nations. Unfortunately, medical drug treatment or surgery has been unable to address the underlying causes of obesity even among affordable population. 

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