Important Facts about Obesity
Introduction – Important Facts about Obesity
Obesity is the accumulation of excess or abnormal fat that can impair health. In adults, BMI (body mass index) is a commonly used index for classification of weight and height. A person’s BMI is measured by dividing his weight in kilograms against his height in meters squared. Obesity in adults is defined by WHO as follows;
• BMI greater than or equal to 25 as overweight
• BMI is equal to 30 or more as obesity
Age in children plays an important role in the definition of obesity. Children under five years of age are considered obese if their weight-to-height exceeds 3 standard deviations in the WHO child development standard. The WHO Growth Reference considers children between the ages of 5–19 if their weight-to-height is above 2 standard deviations.
Facts about obesity
In 2016, about 13% of the world’s population was considered obese, where 11% of these figures were males while 15% were females. In the same year, about 41 million, children under 15 were obese, while 340 million children aged 5–19 were obese. Obesity has long been considered a problem in high-income countries, although things are changing now as obesity has increased recently in middle and low-income countries as well. For example since 2000, obesity-related cases have increased in Africa, where the number is increasing with an estimated value of 50% in children. In Asia, nearly half of children under the age of 5 were considered obese in data collected in 2016. More deaths are also associated with obesity and overweight, compared to deaths from lower weight issues.
Due to obesity
Obesity is mainly due to the disparity in energy levels between calories that are consumed and consumed. Has grown globally; (A) Consumption of foods that are dense in energy and high in fat. (B) Increase in physical inactivity due to the desk-bound nature of work structure, urbanization and various forms of transport. Environmental and social changes have brought changes in both physical patterns and diet. Lack of support for works in the health sectors, agriculture, education and transport have also seen some changes.
An increase in BMI levels can result in many communicable diseases;
• Cardiovascular disease (stroke and heart attack).
• Cancer (kidney and colon)
• Musculoskeletal disorders (osteoarthritis)
With increased BMI levels, the risk of diseases also increased. Some disabilities and premature deaths have been linked to childhood obesity where children become adults with the condition. Obese children have trouble breathing, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance, fractures increase and have psychological effects. Obesity, overweight and other non-communicable diseases can be prevented. A community and an environment that is supportive are important in shaping people’s choices. People can make the best choice in terms of eating healthy foods and regular physical exercise, which will end up reducing and preventing the issue related to obesity and overweight. At the individual level, limiting the intake of fat and sugar-rich foods increases the intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. Individuals should also engage in regular physical activities. In the case of promoting a healthy diet, the food industry can also play an important role;
• Processed food has low content of fat and sugar levels
• All consumers can buy healthy foods.
• Foods for children and adolescents have reduced sugar, fat and salts.
• Support of regular physical activities.