Just A Little Overweight? You’re Still At Risk
The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, based in Seattle at the University of Washington, together with a team of 2,300 experts, says that 2.2 billion adults and children, or around 30% of the world’s population, are currently suffering from health problems due to their weight.
The study says that just being overweight, not even obese, could be enough to give you problems of some sort related to your weight. It is one of the most extensive studies about the impact and effects of weight ever undertaken and uses data from 195 countries spanning a total of 35 years, from 1980 to 1995 and the results are quite startling.
A fifth of all UK 5 year-olds are overweight and by the time they reach 11, that figure has risen to a third.
In the UK, 12 million adults, almost a quarter of the adult population, is obese and on top of that another 1 million children are also obese. When you factor in overweight adults as well we get to almost two-thirds, 61.7%, of the adult population. The story doesn’t brighten up with children either with their totals rising to around a third of all 10-11 year-olds being overweight or obese.
Almost 70% of Adults in the USA are overweight or obese.
In the United States the story is even worse with an estimated 78 million adults and 13 million children qualifying as obese or 35% of the total population and when overweight adults are factored in that total rises to over two-thirds, or 68.8% of the adult population.
The lead author of the study, Dr Ashkan Afshin, said that “Excess body weight is one of the most challenging public health problems of our time.” The report went on to say that the “increased availability, accessibility and affordability of energy-dense foods” was one of the main contributors to the growing epidemic of weight gain, an epidemic that has seen obesity rates double in more that 70 countries since 1980.
According to the study, by being overweight, you are increasing your risk of numerous health problems including heart disease and stroke and a multitude of cancers including of the colon, rectum, pancreas, kidney, breast, liver, thyroid, womb and leukemia.
The study also stressed that governments have to do a lot more about this problem than is currently being done although it didn’t give any answers as to how governments could help stop this problem. One thing is clear however, our health is under the microscope more now than it has ever been and with the constant barrage of cheap, easily accessible but very unhealthy food, we as a population have to try to show a little bit of restraint and common sense and sometimes just choose the more work but much healthier option.