Obesity is among the gravest problem of our time

Posted on December 26, 2015 12:41 am

According to experts, overweight and obesity are health concepts in which weight and height are used to calculate a number called the Body Mass Index. Body Mass Index is a good estimate of body fatness where 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight and that of 30 or higher is categorised as obese.Your blogger belong to 21 thanks to a well crafted eating habits.The overweight and obesity epidemics have increased significantly in the last three decades both in the developed and developing worlds.The obesity pandemic frequently coexists with undernutrition and creates a double burden in many parts of the world.A new report that I read published in the journal Obesity, analyses what scientists currently know about factors that influence weight loss and weight regain, and identifies how genetic information and data collection from noninvasive, portable devices may soon be incorporated into research and weight loss treatment.The unhealthy eating habits partly explain why the number of people suffering from obesity and being overweight is increasing. According to a geneticist and professor of nutritional sciences, within five years we’ll see people start to use a combination of genetic, behavioral, and other sophisticated data to develop individualised weight management plans.Abundant studies that I have read on this topic have shown that obesity and being overweight increase people’s susceptibility to various health problems, including coronary heart disease, hypertension and stroke, certain types of cancer, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis and gout, pulmonary diseases and sleep apnea.

Experts have repeatedly warned that obesity and being overweight pose a rapidly growing challenge to people’s health. Indeed they are replacing more traditional health problems, such as undernutrition and infectious diseases, as the most important causes of ill-health.In the past, experts have reminds us that obesity is one of the most blatantly visible, but unfortunately neglected, public health problems in our modern world.The real challenge now is to develop the tools to analyze this flood of data.Some people are pretty good at helping others lose weight in the short term. But the stats on long-term weight loss are pretty dismal. People still don’t understand the process of weight regain very well, either from a behavioral or a biological standpoint.Scientists have uncovered some of the genetic basis for weight-related diseases, such as the discovery of a gene that appears to cause energy from food to be stored as fat rather than be burned. Some reporters have dubbed it the “obesity gene,” but experts cautions that it’s not so simple.When you go back and see how much of the variation in this gene accounts for the variation in body size in the general population, it’s really small.So that highlights that there are going to be several genes involved with obesity, and they’re going to interact with each other in complicated ways. And that’s certainly true of weight loss and maintenance too.Obesity is one of the gravest problems of our times. Obviously prevention would be the best approach, but there are literally millions of individuals who are currently obese and are in dire need of more effective strategies for long-term weight loss that will ultimately improve overall health.When people hear that genes may be playing a role in their weight loss success, they don’t say, ‘Oh great, I just won’t exercise any more.’

There are two contradictory scenes related to health that I commonly see in our urban nowadays. A healthy habit in the form of the increasing number of people doing physical exercise like jogging or riding bicycles and not-so-healthy scenes, such as the growing popularity and frequency of fast-food consumption. Sometimes back I saw a birthday party of someone I know at a local KFC fast-food restaurant. The bloke is highly educated person who surely knows the negative effects of fast food on health but for several reasons, such as practicality and his girlfriend preference for fast food, the party was held at the KFC chain restaurant.The birthday bloke is a visibly overweighed adult and he is apparently known for his reluctance to consume vegetables and fruit and his lack of physical exercise according to his sister who happens to be a great friends of mine. Numerous studies indicate the escalating global epidemic of obesity and if no immediate actions are taken by individuals, millions of people will continue to suffer from various health problems.New data in my possession indicate that non-communicable diseases such as stroke, hypertension and diabetes will replaced communicable diseases as the leading cause of death in Africa from 2016. Data collected from more than 30 Health Ministries in Sub Saharan Africa in 2014 showed that deaths from non-communicable diseases accounted for nearly 49 percent of all adult deaths in 2013.There are many factors contributing to the significant rise in overweight and obesity cases in Africa and among them is the frequent consumption of high-fat foods, imbalanced diets and a lack of physical activity as a result of the increasingly sedentary lifestyle among many of us are of course the main culprits. Also, the rapid social changes in the last few decades which also changed African’s eating habits.

For example, in the past Africans used to eat at home, but now they frequently eat out and often tend to consume unbalanced or junk food. The increasing popularity and prestige of fast-food restaurants like KFC, MacDonald is contributing to this phenomenon. It is worth noting that Africa’s relatively high economic growth is enabling millions of Africans to eat fast food and to reduce physical activity due to their growing sedentary lifestyles. It is clear from the new report that obesity is more prevalent in households that spend more per capita, including those with higher education and those who live in cities like Johannesburg, Nairobi, Cairo, Luanda, Lagos, Calabar, Abuja, Accra, Kampala, Dar Es Salaam and Tunis, the major cities that were included in the research. Obesity in Africa is also affecting the poor and frequently more severely including those in rural areas largely due to wide availability of cheaper version of fast foods and the lack of access to nutrition information and services may explain this phenomenon. Unfortunately, African government’s responses to overweight and obesity are insufficient, sporadic and ceremonial. So far there are only small-scale initiatives from several cities across Africa in promoting higher consumption of local fruit and vegetables in schools and exploiting multimedia to lure children to consume only healthy food with Kenyan government being the best educator on healthy eating habits in Sub Saharan Africa.At the household and individual levels, educating children and leading by example on having a healthy diet and on the daily consumption of healthy foods serve as the greatest investment for their future. Children also need praise for choosing healthy foods.Those are all things we can do to combat the obesity and overweight epidemics in Africa and around the world.

Contador Harrison