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Obesity is a worldwide problem and there is no sign of it getting any better very quickly. The UK, USA and Australia have the highest obesity rates in the world and something has to be done to lower those figures.

What is obesity?

The term obese means to have excessive amounts of fat tissue on the body and for a person to be clinically obese they must have 30% body fat or more, 40% plus presents morbid obesity and is life threatening. In the USA has the highest prevalence of obesity at 30.6% of the population being obese (15 years plus). The UK is not far behind with 23%  and Australia and New Zealand at 20%. Surprisingly enough Japan has the lowest rate at just 3.2%. Many of the links to obesity come from a change in technology but Japan is one of the worlds leading countries for technology so how is it possible to make that link? The governments across the world are trying to find ways to prevent the population waist size from increasing further but with many changes in the way we live it is a constant battle.

Obesity is not just a problem that stands alone, it leads to many life threatening medical problems that started with just being a bit overweight.

Most commonly, obese people are at a higher risk of:

  • coronary heart disease (angina, heart attack or stroke)
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • osteoporosis and joint problems

What can cause obesity?

There is a very simple cause of obesity which is an imbalance in the amount of calories taken in compared to the ones that are burned. if you eat more than you exercise then you will gain weight. If only it was that simple, although on the physiological side of things it is that simple but that isn't the reason people become obese alone. Depression and stress are often linked to obesity because they lower their confidence and motivation of people and in turn means they are less likely to exercise and more likely to eat for comfort. This then puts them in a worse situation and becomes a vicious circle.

Another major cause of obesity is the current lifestyle that people are living. There is much more reliance on technology that make our lives easier and quicker so we don't have to manually do things. Simple things such as dishwashers because its a 5 minute job to fill it and walk away whereas washing and drying the dishes burns calories for 15-20 minutes. Count this up over a week and its quite a bit of time you could be active. Also, many people, especially children are staying in watching TV or playing computer games instead of getting outside and doing some physical activity. This leads to the biggest cause of obesity being inactivity.

Inactivity is the major reason more people are becoming obese.

There is a lot less people living healthy and active lifestyles in the current climate. With many more sedentary jobs involving sitting at a desk all day rapidly decreases the amount of energy that is burnt on a day to day basis so it becomes an added effort to be active in the evenings. Many years ago there were hardly any sedentary jobs so people were burning calories all day and had the evenings to rest. When exercise becomes a chore people avoid it just like doing the washing up or cleaning and slowly but surely you gain weight just like the dishes rack up.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • www.healthyamericans.org.uk www.who.int www.webmd.com

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