The World Is Getting More Obese
Since 1975 global obesity has almost tripled. In 2016, the amount of obesity in adults aged 18 and over was 39%. And these numbers are expected to keep growing.
As the World Health Organisation puts it:
“Most of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.”
Am I Overweight?
Being overweight is defined as having excessive body fat that can impair health. The general consensus is that being obese is having a BMI over 30. Generally being overweight or obese is due to a combination of lifestyle and diet.
An interesting thing to note is that countries in Africa and South East Asia are among those with the least obese populations. This initially points to western diets and lifestyles as a probable cause for fat gain.
In recent decades obesity has been rising throughout the world. Overweight and obesity can lead to a plethora of health problems which is why it is important to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
In the UK obesity is a rising epidemic and shows no signs of slowing down.
The health risks of being overweight or obese are high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, gallbladder disease and gallstones, gout, osteoarthritis and breathing problems such as sleep apnea and asthma.
The UK is the most obese nation in Europe
The UK has become the most obese nation in Western Europe with 63% of adults either overweight or obese. This causes more stress on our health care services such as the NHS, and not to mention long term mental and health issues for those affected.
Unfortunately governments are not taking enough initiatives to help tackle this issue. As there are no restrictions in place for the marketing and advertising of junk foods, it is up to us to control our cravings and resist those foods that have no nutritional benefit.
We are going to get more obese:
What's more is the UK’s obesity is growing faster than that of the US. A report from the National Obesity Forum warns that over half the UK population could be obese by 2050, and that if current trends continue we will be lucky if the figure is only this amount:
“The total cost of this problem could reach £50 billion a year.”
It is estimated that the NHS spent £6.1 billion on overweight and obesity related illnesses from 2014-2015. With the UK population estimated to be over 70 million by 2030 and populations growing at an exponential rate, it is easy to see how a more obese population would put more stress on our healthcare systems.
Obesity in Asia
Asian countries have some of the lowest rates of obesity. The highest rate of obesity is in Malaysia with a 14% prevalence, whereas the country with the lowest rate is Vietnam with 1.7%. Now compare that to the UK where 25% of adults are obese.
The percentage of people living in rural areas in South Asia is 66.97%. In contrast, the population of the UK living in rural areas in 2016 was 17.16%. This implies that people lead healthier and more active lifestyles away from cities, which in Western countries is where the majority of people live.
Obesity in Asia is rising, and a major reason behind this could be the growth of urban areas. They promote less healthy lifestyles, and lifestyles dictate our health.
Clearly we need to take issues into our own hands to control our health. There are a number of reasons why obesity is growing, and understanding these will help you to manage your own weight or even lose weight and that annoying belly fat.