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:

  • Chronic respiratory tract diseases (bronchitis, bronchial asthma and laryngitis).
  • Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
  • Formation of gallstones and bladder stones.
  • Cardiovascular diseases (high blood pressure, angina, coronary artery disease, vascular disease, dyslipidemia, myocardial infarction, stroke, etc.).
  • Metabolic disorder.
  • Cancer of endometrium, cervix, ovaries, prostate gland, mammary gland, colon, rectum, kidneys and gallbladder.
  • Post-pregnancy and post-labor complications.
  • Osteoporosis, joint disease and gout.
  • Varicose veins and deep veins thrombosis.
  • Reproductive system dysfunction (inability to conceive, ovarian dysfunction and others).

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.

If the body mass index equals more than 25, it stands for overweight or pre-obesity. If the body mass index is over 30, then person is considered obese.

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:

  • It has been scientifically proven that people with excess body mass live for 7 years less than others do.
    Over 10% of world population is overweight.
  • Whereas previously it was believed that a childhood obesity is only typical for countries with high standard of living, nowadays this statement refers more to the countries with low and moderate incomes.
  • In developing countries, there are almost 35 million of overweight children under the age of 5, while in the developed countries – 8 million.
  • Overweight and obesity are on the fifth place among the major causes of death in the world.
  • About 2.9 million of people die because of obesity every year.
  • Such diseases as diabetes, various cancer tumors, coronary artery disease have a direct connection to the overweight.

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.

Overweight people have 30% higher insurance costs than people with normal weight have. Therefore, almost one-third of the budget of obese person comes on medications to treat obesity and to maintain the overall health.

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:

  1. All food producers are recommended to reconsider their marketing policy (advertising and sale).
  2. Government should create laws regulating the sales.
  3. A support should be created to provide measures and actions, aimed at prevention and fight against obesity.
  4. Consumer protection agency should actively inform the population about the problem of obesity and comorbidities.
  5. Anti-obesity strategy and management on an international level should be created.
  6. 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.

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