Experts: obesity is a bigger threat than AIDS or bird flu Friday,
September 8, 2006
From September 3 to 8, experts gathered at the 10th International Congress on Obesity in Sydney, Australia, to discuss what they call the worldwide "obesityepidemic". According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 billion people in the world today are overweight, and 300 million of those are obese. "Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for serious diet-related chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer", a WHO fact sheet states. According to AP, experts at the conference "have warned that obesity is a bigger threat than AIDS or bird flu, and will easily overwhelm the world's health care systems if urgent action is not taken".
Of particular concern is the large number of overweight children. Dr. Stephan Rossner from Sweden's Karolinska University Hospital, a leading obesity expert who was present at the conference, has warned that as a result of the increasing number of overweight children, "we will have, within a decade or two, a number of young people who are on kidney dialysis. There will not be organs for everybody". UK-based International Obesity Task Force has said that junk food manufacturers target children, for example, through Internet advertising, chat rooms, text messages, and "advergames" on websites. Politicians are not doing enough to address the problem of obesity, including childhood obesity, the experts said.
Big Mac hamburger, a well-known piece of junk food.
According to Wikipedia, examples of junk food include, but are not limited to: hamburgers, pizza, candy, soda, and salty foods like potato chips and french fries. A well-known piece of junk food is the Big Mac. The US version of just one Big Mac burger contains 48% of calories from fat, 47% US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of fat, 52% RDA of saturated fat, 26% RDA of cholesterol, 42% RDA of sodium, and little nutritional value. It also has 18% of calories from protein. According to WHO, most people need only about 5% calories from protein. Staples such as rice, corn, baked potatoes, pinto beans, as well as fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, oranges, and strawberries, provide more than this required amount of protein without the unhealthy amounts of fats or sodium, without cholesterol, and with plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Both WHO and the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define overweight in adults as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or above, and obese as a BMI of 30 or above. To combat overweight and obesity, WHO recommends that, among other things, people should be taking the following steps
Obesity is the national epidemic, causing higher medical costs and a lower quality of life.
1. Obesity is the national epidemic, causing higher medical costs and a lower quality of life.
• Obesity maens having excess of body fat. Obesity is defined by body mass index, or BMI, which is calculated from your height and weight.
• BMI greater than or equal to 30 means you are obese.
• Non-Hispanic black women and Hispanics have the highest rate of obesity (41.9% and 30.7%).
• Obesity is a contributing cause of many other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some type of cancer. These are some of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Obesity can cause sleep apnea and breathing problems and make activity more difficult. Obesity can also cause problem during pregnancy or make it more difficult for a women to become pregnant.
• Obese person require more costly medical care. This places a huge financial burden on our medical care system.
2. Why is this epidemic happening?
• Weight gain occurs when people eat too much food and get too little physical activity.
• Societal and community charges have accompanied the raise in obesity.
• People eat differently:
Some Americans have less access to stores and markets that provide healthy, affordable food .
Such as fruits and vegetables, especially in rural, minority and lower-income neighborhoods. Restaurants, snacks shops, and vending machines provide food that is often higher in calories and fat than food made at home.
There is too much sugar in our diet. Six out of 10 adults drink at least 1 sugary drink per day. .It is often easier and cheaper to get less healthy foods and beverages.
Foods high in sugar, fat, and salt are frequently advertised and marketed.
• Many communities are built in ways that make it difficult or unsafe to be physically active:
Access to parks and recreation centers may be difficult or lacking and public transportation may not be available.
Safe routes for walking or biking to school, work, or play may not exist.
Too few students get quality, daily physical education in school.
Americans are getting fatter, not-for-profit's report finds
Thursday, August 25, 2005
An American not-for-profit organization has released statistics that show that obesity rates rose last year in all but one state.
According to the Trust for America’s Health the only state not to see a rise was Oregon, which remained at the same level. In ten states more than a quarter of adults are defined as being obese: Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, and South Carolina. Mississippi is the heaviest state, while Colorado is the lightest.
In total 119 million Americans - some 65% of the population - now have a body weight that rates them as being overweight or heavier. In 2004 24.5% of the population was rated as being obese - up from 23.7% the year before. Even in the military, 16% of personnel are obese.
The U.S. Department of Health has a target of reducing obesity in adults to 15% or less by 2010. Critics say federal programs to combat the issue are too limited and that urban planning is not helping.
A fifth of American kids projected to become obese
Saturday, September 16, 2006
A report released on September 13 called "Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?" states that if strict measures are not implemented, in just four years, over 20 percent of American children will be obese. The report called current measures aimed at tackling childhood obesity "fragmented and small-scale".
The report was released by the Institute of Medicine, but including an explicit disclaimer that 'Any opinions, findings, conclusions, are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization [Institute of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation] that provided support for the project.
' A McDonald 's patron in 2006. A recent report predicts that by 2010, over 20% of American children will be obese.
Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the organization that funded the report, said "if we do not reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity, millions of kids and our society will be robbed of a healthy and hopeful future". The percentage of children who are overweight or obese has been increasing worldwide in recent years. Food Consumer reports that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), childhood overweight and obesity is a "global pandemic".
According to an estimate based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 34 percent of American children were overweight in 2003-2004, compared to 28 percent in 1999-2000. In 2002, 16 percent of American children and teens were obese. In 2004, the rate was 17 percent. The rate is expected to rise to 20 percent, according to the report.
Childhood obesity increases risk of several chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, heart disease, poor self-esteem, and a lower health-related quality of life. Type 2 diabetes is at an all-time high in American children. According to WHO, obesity also increases the risk of stroke and certain forms of cancer.
While there is no single cause of childhood obesity, experts cite sedentary lifestyle, labor-saving technology, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, calorie-dense fast foods, and deceptive advertising as some of the main causes. A recent report by International Obesity Task Force has said that junk food manufacturers target children, for example, through Internet advertising, chat rooms, text messages, and "advergames" on websites.
The article also mentions the greater prevalence of obesity among two minority populations, African-Americans and Hispanic/Latino, but does not consider in its analysis of the increase in obesity the increase of these populations as a proportion of the United States population.
African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos have a higher rates of obesity than White Americans, while Asian-Americans have a relatively low rate of obesity. Despite only representing one third of the U.S. population, African-Americans and Hispanic/Latinos represent about one half of the population growth.