As many around the world face severe famine, and poor diet due to poverty, all too many other people in the West have a different problem. A more sedentary life added to a more affluent life-style, than that of years gone by, is steadily increasing people's overall weight. There is of course more to it than that, but those two factors are a good place to start. To understand obesity though you need to know its definition.
What is obesity?
Obesity is more than simply carrying around a few extra pounds of weight. That said you may surprised at the level of weight which can be classed as obese. In general these days medical professionals use a BMI, or Body Mass Index, to calculate whether a person is underweight, the correct weight, overweight, fat, obese or morbidly obese. That word morbid should tell you that too much weight is not good for you. It can shorten your lifespan and also ruin your quality of life.
A BMI calculates where you fall in those categories using your weight to height ratio. It takes into account the difference between men and women also. In general an obese person has so much fat accumulated around their body that it compromises their health.
Getting it into perspective.
Weight is just one factor of health and a good quality of life. It is important that you do not become over anxious about a few excess pounds. Under pressure some people find they diet to excess damaging their health, even becoming anorexic or bulimic. A sensible long term approach is the best way to reduce weight and ensure that the extra pounds stay off.
Natural body weight and genetics.
We may all be "what we eat" but we are also the product of our parents. Family failings such as fat thighs can be inherited. Luckily good family traits such as a slim waist could also be. However, remember not to simply blame genetics. They just mean that your natural healthy body weight could be a little more than another persons. We can always improve our weight and appearance with a little effort but if you have inherited short, stumpy legs you are stuck with them. Even those though will look better with less excess weight on them.
UK and US obesity Study
The results of a recent study into obesity have been revealed and they send out a stark warning. If we carry on as we are right now the levels of obesity by 2030 will be frightening. The figures estimate that the number of obese people will rise from 99 million in 2008 to 164 million in the US, by 2030, plus the number of obese people in the United Kingdom will increase from 15 million to 26 million. A nation of fatties on both sides of the Atlantic then.
Apart from a more sedentary life added to a more affluent life-style, as discussed earlier, other contributing factors in the increase in obesity include:
During the current economic downturn you may not feel more affluent but most people are compared to their parents. Poverty can lead to obesity though. Unhealthy foods are often cheap.
The increased incidence in overweight people in the UK and US has led to many other problems. Obese patients are more likely to develop diabetes, heart problems, joint and bone problems, cancer and so much more. This leads to a drain on resources as people require more medical intervention and become unable to work. All in all obesity, in a way similar to smoking and alcohol abuse, costs countries, such as the UK and the US, a small fortune. If they continue to increase it will be a large fortune.
Government involvement in tackling obesity
As the staggering figures sink in the government is looking at various means available to tackle this weighty problem. These include a "fat tax" on certain foods. However, that hits everyone and infringes on people's freedoms.
Fighting the Flab
Losing weight slowly and steadily is the best way. Lose too much too soon and it will return quickly. Plus this is about getting healthier. Plan a sensible diet which allows you a life also. Diets which are too restrictive can cause health problems. Include some regular exercises and the pounds will shift. With age it can be harder to lose weight. Hormones play havoc with a woman's weight and body shape. It is still possible to lose weight but requires more determination and time.
On the whole remember if you eat more than you burn off each day you will put on weight. The odd pound or two here and there can soon be moved but if you are not careful a few pounds may become a few stones. It is easier to keep on top of a weight problem than have lots of weight to lose.
Some people find though that to lose weight they simply need to change their lifestyle. It is all about finding the right balance for you. Alcohol is fattening but in moderation it is ok. We all need some pleasures in life. However, if you don't want to be part of the INCREASE IN OBESITY STATISTICS, heed the warning NOW.