Kelvinwright's Blog

postmodern thoughts

The world is getting bigger

The growth of the world’s population has been well documented, especially during a year in which it passed the seven billion mark. However, it is not just the population that is growing; people themselves are getting bigger, much bigger. Waistlines are increasing, as are the number of people with weight problems. This simple and short video on the BBC website looks at why putting on weight has become a problem, and not just for the western world.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) website explains what many already know: that being overweight or obese increases risk factors for a number of chronic and serious diseases and illnesses, including diabetes, heart problems and cancer. Obesity was once considered to be a problem only in high income western countries, however it now presents a serious threat in low- and middle-income countries, especially in urban settings.


According to the WHO, worldwide obesity levels have more than doubled since 1980. In 2008, 1.5 billion adults, over 20 years of age, were overweight. Of these, more than 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were clasified as obese. As the video mentions, 65% of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than being underweight. The danger is not just an adult one either: nearly 43 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010. Overweight and obesity are now the fifth leading risk for global deaths.


The WHO’s website makes no reference to the fat-gene; it states that the principal reasons for the massive rise in obesity levels have been twofold. On the one hand, an increase in the consumption of energy-rich foods that are high in fat, salt and sugars, and low in vitamins, minerals and nutrients; and on the other hand, a massive decrease in physical activity. This latter decrease has been due principally to the increasingly sedentary nature of work, the increasing reliance on the use of the car for even small trips, and a general lack of regular exercise.


As the WHO state, obesity is preventable.


April 15, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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