Obesity is an accumulation of fat and as a result an increase in body mass because of that fat. Obesity has been a health problem of the population since ancient times and it still damages health and wealth of a significant part of world population. This disorder worsens people’s state, changes for the worst the quality of life and can even deteriorate the course of other diseases.Such international organizations as World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, American Medical Association and many others agreed with the fact that obesity is a disease.
Obesity provokes such serious illnesses as:
If a future mother is obese during pregnancy, it means she can give birth to an overweight baby.
Note that overweight child gets sick more often and recovers much longer than children with normal weight do.
In addition, obesity may cause a low self-esteem of your child, followed by poor performance and diffidence. Often obesity is accompanied by depression and even mental disorders. Overweight children feel social alienation and isolation most of the time.
In order to define the severity of obesity in children and adults, various diagnostic tests, methods and means are used. Most often, to diagnose obesity, the body mass index is calculated (BMI).
The BMI is the main index, testifying of overweight or obesity in the human body. To determine the BMI, you can use a special formula or online calculator.
Both men and women suffer from obesity. But women get obese more often than men do. This happens because of many reasons, one of which is hormonal imbalance during pregnancy, as well as post-partum and climax periods.
Male obesity differs from female obesity.
- Female obesity is characterized by accumulation of fat in thighs, buttocks, breast and arms.
- Male obesity occurs mainly in the abdominal area.
Besides the fact women struggle with health problems because of obesity, they suffer a lot about their physical state. With age, the female body loses its attractive and slim shapes, which often leads to problems with new clothes and the desire to look attractive again. Thus, mental disorders, low self-esteem and depression may occur.
- The main thing both men and women must understand is that obesity can be prevented and defeated. A strong belief in yourself and your strength is the main helper in this hard struggle.
The fact that this fight is indeed a struggle for life becomes evident from the following facts:
The most disturbing fact is that the number of obese children is growing annually. By 2011, it was recorded over 40 million of overweight children. This index is 10 times higher than that in 1970.
Special studies demonstrate that along with the spread of obesity epidemic, the number of patients suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies and cancer is steadily increasing.
Common medical expenses on the treatment of obesity complications often exceed the costs on the struggle with excess weight. At the same time, promotion of healthy lifestyle and national anti-obesity programs provide serious economic benefits for the whole society.
- Obesity negatively affects the human health and other aspects. Because this disease is progressing, medical costs are increasing as well. The truth is that all obesity comorbidities lower the level of human performance.
Employers do not want to sign long-term contracts with overweight employees because these people often need more sick-lists than others.
Due to this, such people have small wages and low incomes, resulting in poor quality of life.
Western researchers calculated that medical insurance costs of obesity are 0.7 to 2.8% of total health care insurance costs.
Causes of overweight are plain and simple. The main ones are:
Increased amount of consumed food
Components and quality of foods
Reduced physical activity of a person
It is believed that social and economic disparities of the society affect the prevalence of obesity. People with low income and education have less access to information on healthy diet and purchasing orientation as well.
Usually, these people purchase cheap and high-calorie foods.
So, how do we lose weight and avoid the progression of obesity epidemic in the developing and developed countries?
In the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health, the World Health Organization presented common recommendations on how to solve the obesity problem.
This strategy involved the following aspects:
- All food producers are recommended to reconsider their marketing policy (advertising and sale).
- Government should create laws regulating the sales.
- A support should be created to provide measures and actions, aimed at prevention and fight against obesity.
- Consumer protection agency should actively inform the population about the problem of obesity and comorbidities.
- Anti-obesity strategy and management on an international level should be created.
- Intergovernmental organizations should monitor the implementation of these strategies.
If we follow the recommendations listed above, the growth of obese patients can be stopped and taken under control.
Today, mass media play a great role in dissemination of information on methods of obesity prevention. In the age of technological development, the mass media have all levers of influence on the lifestyle of modern people.
Therefore, their role is priceless in the prevention of obesity.
Moreover, food manufacturers themselves must think over the impact of their aggressive marketing on consumers’ health. If they realize this and take the necessary measures, then the number of obese people will decrease.