Obesity is now a bigger health problem than world hunger according to a new report that was published in The Lancet. Data was gathered from the World Health Organizations Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 to determine this surprising fact.
The report revealed disturbing figures that showed that every country (except those in sub-Saharan Africa) have seen alarming increases in obesity rates. Globally, obesity rates have increased 82% in the past 20 years. The obesity levels in Middle Eastern countries are higher than ever before, with a 100% increase being seen since 1990.
While the research shows that people are living longer than they did in 1970 (10.7 years longer for men and 12.6 years longer for women), the quality of life that they live during their last years is often poor due to illness and disability. The researchers state that medical technology has advanced and this is the reason that people are living longer lives.
The researchers discovered that there has been a shift in mortality. They report that infectious disease, maternal and child illness, and malnutrition now cause less illness and fewer deaths than they did 20 years ago. Because of this fewer children are dying each year. However, there has been a significant increase in the number of young and middle-aged adults that are suffering and dying from disease and injury. The researchers found that the health burden from obesity now tops hunger as the biggest problem worldwide.
Non-communicable diseases such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease are the leading causes of sick or injured years. There are also higher rates of low back pain being reported in recent years. These diseases are all linked to obesity; therefore it is safe to say that if obesity levels decreased it would also lower the levels of these diseases.
Obesity leads to a number of health concerns including an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Additionally, obesity can cause significant wear and tear on the body and lead to degenerative changes within the joints of the body. Obesity can ultimately lead to premature death because of the complications that can arise because of the extra weight being carried.
With obesity becoming a crisis worldwide it is important that we take a look at our diets and make appropriate changes in order to achieve weight loss. Diets that are high in fats and sugars are loaded with calories and can lead to obesity. These high caloric diets should be modified for weight loss. Healthy diets consisting of fruits and veggies, lean meats, whole grains and low fat diary are essential for healthy weight loss. Another important component of our diets that needs attention for weight loss is appropriate calorie consumption in our diets. A major problem in the Western world is over consumption by way of massive portion sizes. Proper portion control will help to reach weight loss goals.
Along with changes to our diets, changes to our physical activity levels are also needed to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and to decrease the obesity levels that are seen in society. Adding a moderate amount of physical activity to your routine is essential for weight loss. It doesn’t have to be vigorous activity, just enough to get your blood flowing and your heart pumping.
Making simple changes to our diets and exercise routines will help to cut obesity rates and all of the complications that can arise from obesity.