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Obesity Epidemic: What You Need to Know About This Crisis

by | Apr 27, 2022 | Community, Dystopia




The expanding middle class constitutes the backbone of the modern consumer economy and its members lead very different lives than rural ones. The middle class tends to be interested in spending money on leisure and entertainment. They leave behind much bigger carbon and digital footprints.

Urban residents and their lifestyles shape the future of technology and consumption precisely because they have become the majority of the population. Companies develop new products and market gimmicks based on their behavior. As urban consumers expand, the more urban-style consumption becomes endless. And as cities grow, the phenomenon of the “urban couch potato” proliferates.

Causes of obesity

The prevalence of obesity in the world has more than doubled since 1980. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight and 650 million of them were obese. Taken together, that’s a fourth of the world’s total population. What’s worse is that 41 million preschool children were overweight or obese. That year, at least 2.8 million people of all ages died due to health problems related to obesity.

Fatness is a major cause of death worldwide. A new report released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) indicates that it accounts for 15% of deaths in developed nations. The World Health Organization defines overweight people as those with a body mass index between 25 and 30. Obesity is defined as a body mass index of more than 30.

Overweight and obesity affect every region of the world. It can be detrimental to a country’s economy, the productivity of sole wage earners, and the health system. Most obese people are unable to live a normal and productive life. Some lost their jobs, became socially ostracized, or suffered from other ailments.

Being overweight and obese affects the quality of life and reduces productivity. Furthermore, it causes discrimination, lower wages, and a higher risk for depression. Children and adolescents are less active and rely on food for emotional satisfaction. This often leads to overeating. In addition, adolescents are still growing and developing, so these problems are magnified even further.

It is estimated that the obese population will reach 1.1 billion by 2030. The escalation of obesity has been driven by the population explosion in cities, with their characteristically sedentary lifestyles. Changes in our diet and the consumption of processed foods are also to blame. Many of us have become obese due to a lack of physical activity.

One major factor in the rise of obesity is the calorie intake of people. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans consume 20% more calories per day than they did in 1983. The amount of meat consumed has exploded as well. Today, Americans put away 195 lbs of meat every year, compared to only 165 lbs in 1950.

man in blue shirt holding his fat belly
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Additive fat consumption has risen by nearly two-thirds and grain consumption is up by 45%. Obesity is largely a result of unhealthy eating habits. We all know that food is fuel and it is supposed to be burned off as we move throughout the day. When we eat too much of it, our bodies don’t get the chance to burn it off and the excess fuel sits in our bodies instead.

However, other lifestyle factors, like stress, can also increase your risk of developing it. Other contributing factors include lack of physical activity. Many people spend their days sitting at a desk, relying on cars or are unable to get out and walk frequently. In these circumstances, people don’t use the extra energy they obtain from food and store it as fat instead.

With more time spent in paid employment and a shrinking role for physical education in school curricula, it is easy to become overweight. Lifestyles in the city are also shaped by the hectic nature of the urban experience, especially when it comes to traffic. About a third of the time that people spend driving their cars through the downtown areas of major US cities is dedicated to finding a parking space.

Problem with obesity

As obesity rises, so will the number of people suffering from heart problems, diabetes and joint and muscle afflictions, among many other health issues. It also puts physical stress on your body. Extra weight puts strain on your bones and joints. Overweight children and teens have a higher risk of developing diabetes and other health problems.

Adults who are overweight also have a greater risk of heart disease and the risk of developing several types of cancers. Additionally, fatness is associated with breathing problems, making it difficult to exercise or walk. And is an enormous financial burden for the country. The costs of obesity are projected to rise if the situation remains unchanged.

By 2060, the costs of obesity are expected to be 3.57% of the global economy. This is far greater than the cost of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke combined. In India alone, obesity is estimated to cost USD 17 billion every year, which is almost twice the overall economic cost of diabetes.

According to the OECD, the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and Hungary has the highest adult obesity, while the lowest are in Japan and Korea. The obesity epidemic is particularly acute in the United States, a country that represents just about 4% of the world’s population but nearly 18% of total human body mass. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, a whopping 70% of Americans are either overweight (32%) or obese (38%).

Put another way, the excess weight of Americans is equivalent to about one billion average human beings on the planet. By 2030 nearly half of the American population is projected to be obese. There will be a higher demand for plus-size clothing and extra-room seating, gyms and dietary advice. Changing lifestyles and unhealthy habits are contributing to this epidemic.

Economic growth in China, India and other emerging economies in Asia and Africa has translated into higher protein and processed food consumption, more sedentary lifestyles and other unhealthy facts of urban living. Research also indicates that in those urban parts of the globe where the middle class has grown to prominence, people spend 20 to 30% of their awake time in traffic.

Traditional foods such as fresh fish, meat and local fruits and vegetables have been replaced by rice, sugar, flour, canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, soft drinks and beer. And urban lifestyles have become synonymous with the use of all sorts of smartphone apps, which further contribute to a bifurcation in behavior between urban and rural residents.

delicious juicy hamburger and fries
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Social media apps are the most frequently used. More than 80% of the population aged thirteen and above in the United States, Latin America and East Asia regularly engaged with social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WeChat. In Europe and the Middle East, the proportion is around 70%.

The impact of obesity on the future of Europe is staggering. It has been estimated that it is the second leading cause of death among adult citizens under 70 years of age and is expected to surpass smoking in the number of deaths. When viewed as a public health threat, being obese is comparable to cigarette smoking, which kills one out of every five people.

The costs of obesity-related diseases are considerable. Direct medical costs of obesity-related diseases are enormous. Being overweight also increases the risk of many health conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and asthma. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the problem of obesity in the United States costs $3 billion to $6.4 billion annually.

Solution for obesity

The world’s obesity problem is a slow-motion disaster whose causes are multifaceted. It has its roots in economics and the environment, but the solution must be universal. Luckily, the problem is not impossible to solve. While public policies and practices need to be put in place to reduce fatness and encourage healthy eating, we can begin by promoting awareness of the growing health crisis.

As a result, we should be aiming for a healthier society for everyone. By promoting a healthy lifestyle, we can improve the health of hundreds of millions of people and prevent the onset of a global obesity epidemic. However, to effectively combat the latter, the global food system must tackle the many determinants that lead to stoutness at the same time.

It’s no secret that eating a diet high in processed food and calories harms your health, including accumulating fat. Processed foods are high in sugar, fat and salt, which encourage overeating. The proposal to tax sugary drinks and food has been met in many countries. Moreover, narrow bans on food advertising might increase the use of food advertising in other programs.

To avoid accumulating fat, make sure to include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Moreover, you should replace sodas with water. Incorporate whole foods into your daily diet. As a counterforce to the increasing obesity rates, governments, and local organizations are taking action. One such initiative is the implementation of physical education.

However, this is not the only way to combat obesity. Health insurance companies can offer incentives for healthy eating and exercise, so this could be an effective way to encourage people to stay fit. And as for the future, this will help prevent the disease from becoming a problem. Hence, a healthy diet, regular exercise and a proper sleep routine are all essential to preventing fat accumulation and keeping a healthy weight.

In addition to diet and physical activity, children should be encouraged to engage in physical activity. Young children should play outdoors, take part in family games and engage in regular physical activities. Moreover, a child should have a safe place to play. Ultimately, obesity prevention starts with a child’s behavior and diet. It also helps parents identify the effects of emotional and psychological factors that affect a child’s weight.

The prevention of overweight in adults involves a healthy diet, increased physical activity, and decreased consumption of saturated fats and sugar. The prevention of obesity in children involves family involvement and school-based policies. However, to be effective, prevention must come from all parts of society: governments, schools, businesses and individuals. To prevent obesity, change must become the default mode of our lives.