Why Does World Obesity Concern Us and DrSocial's Healthy Tips

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Obesity costs the global economy $2TRILLION each year. Why do we need to care and what is in our power to do to avoid it?

Statistics published by the World Health Organization report over 1 billion overweight individuals globally, from which at least 300,000 clinically obese. USA is leading with nearly 1/3 of Americans over age of 20. More than two out of three people will be overweight or obese by 2020, while projected health care costs has revealed that by the year 2018, obesity-related medical expenses will top $344 billion in the US, double the current expenditure level.

In what ways does the future of obesity affect all of us?

· Health Conditions – Obesity can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep disorders, liver disease, orthopedic complications, and mental health problems.
· Economics
1.    Work - Obesity is associated with lower productivity while at work, which costs employers $506 per obese worker per year, as published in Gates D, Succop P, Brehm B, et al. Obesity and Presenteeism: The Impact of Body Mass Index on Workplace Productivity. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 50(1):39-45, 2008.
2.    Transport - Increases in body weight among Americans mean that more fuel and, potentially, larger vehicles are needed to transport the same number of commuters and travelers each year. This produces a direct cost as well as potential indirect costs in the form of greater greenhouse gas emissions.
3.    Education - Effects of obesity and overweight on educational attainment represent a potential economic impact, one that may become increasingly significant as rates of childhood and adolescent obesity climb.
· The future of our children - Many obese children today are developing health problems that once afflicted only adults. These children have to cope with chronic illnesses for an unusually extended period of time. Even if the disease is not diagnosed until adulthood, it begins taking its physical toll sooner, perhaps resulting in more complications and a less healthy life.

A substantial change in the governance of food supplies is needed to control on commercial competition and measures to promote and protect healthy food supplies, however we can do small steps that are in our hands. Here are few suggestions:

· Inspire others – The power of influence should never be underestimated. The healthier look a person projects, the more his or her friends would enquire about and take notes from, which results in a mutual motivation.
· Prepare kids' lunches - If schools are being fuelled by unhealthy options, parents can choose a healthier option to send their kids to school with.
· Supermarket choices – Sometimes it is difficult to maintain healthy eating habits if the right supermarket is closed late at night or it is out of reach during lunch time. It is best to do a big shopping weekly/monthly to have an accessible healthy supply. All we need to do is keep opposing to all the junk we are being offered around every corner and make the extra mile to a healthier future for us and for our children.

References:

http://www.who.int/topics/obesity
http://futureofchildren.org
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
http://www.worldometers.info/obesity/

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Claudio Teri
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