What’s better than a juicy steak? Or some chips and coke? Imagine all your favorite food in as much as your stomach allows it and never getting fat. I know, never gonna happen.
However, there is nothing worse than feeling so bloated and being so heavy that you can no longer bend to touch your toes – let alone see them. This very alarming medical condition is called Obesity. Defined as the accumulation of excess body fat to the extent of causing negative effects on your health, obesity is one of the leading medical conditions in our world today. Aside from lowering life expectancy, obesity increases the likelihood of contracting other diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Here are 10 facts about obesity. Enjoy!
Fact 1: Traveling back to 1990, if you were a little overweight back in the day, it wouldn’t be something society would be looking down upon. In fact, it would have been celebrated! Being on the heavy side meant that you were of high social status, and some parts of the world even celebrated obesity as a mark of true beauty and fertility.
Fact 2: Throughout recent history, the world has taken the steps in preventing the disease from spreading. In 2011, after the largest obesity boom known to man, schools and city districts implemented the practice of more physical activity and less calorie intake. The facilities would ban soft drinks and junk food from being sold in schools.
Fact 3: Obesity has become the leading cause of death worldwide, affecting not only adults but children as well, with numbers rising annually. Authorities now view it as the 21st century’s most alarming public health problem to date. In 2013, obesity had been declared as a disease by the American Medical Association, and has been traced in most parts of the Western world. America stigmatized as the Obesity Capital of the world.
Fact 4: According to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, obesity grew at an alarming rate between the years 1980 till 2009, with Southeastern and Midwestern countries going from a 10% obesity rate to a an alarming 30%. According to the New York Times, 2010 marked the year with the highest rate of people diagnosed with obesity all throughout the world.
Fact 5: In 2019, an estimated 38.2 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. In Africa, the number of overweight children under 5 has increased by nearly 24% percent since 2000. Almost half of the children under 5 who were overweight or obese in 2019 lived in Asia.
Fact 6: During the years 1957 up to 1997, the amount of meat found in hamburgers grew significantly. The beef patties which were originally 1 ounce became 6 ounces in the span of 40 years, which played a large part in contributing towards the rising percentage of obesity.
Fact 7: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from just 4% in 1975 to just over 18% in 2016. The rise has occurred similarly among both boys and girls: in 2016 18% of girls and 19% of boys were overweight.
Fact 8: Children in low- and middle-income countries are more vulnerable to inadequate pre-natal, infant, and young child nutrition. At the same time, these children are exposed to high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense, and micronutrient-poor foods, which tend to be lower in cost but also lower in nutrient quality. These dietary patterns, in conjunction with lower levels of physical activity, result in sharp increases in childhood obesity while undernutrition issues remain unsolved.
Fact 9: Reports indicated that over 83% of those who are overweight or who are suffering from obesity suffer from a mental illness as well. Because a person suffering from a mental disorder is more than likely to become socially isolated, physically inactive, and live a sedentary lifestyle, obesity is highly possible and the two go hand in hand.
Fact 10: Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for early death. Obesity is responsible for 4.7 million premature deaths each year. Obesity is one of the world’s largest health problems – one that has shifted from being a problem in rich countries to one that spans all income levels.