Mr. Philip James, chairman of the British-based International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), alerts of an imminent world wide obesity epidemic. With the Western lifestyle spreading to the developing countries, obesity figures begin to explode all around the globe.
“An obesity epidemic is inevitable unless policies to reduce intakes substantially from fat and sugar with spontaneous increases in activity are introduced now.”
You might consider that less developed countries shouldn’t have obesity problems. However, more and more people in the poor countries switch to the urban lifestyle and to unhealthy eating habits. Obesity is not only linked with prosperity but also with hunger. People from 3rd world countries choose junk-food because of the low cost. The sad thing is that most of the Western people also vote for fast-food because of the busy lifestyle, and they prefer a 5 minute burger instead of a healthy self cooked dish.
Obesity is not the single health issue emerging in the 3rd world countries. Diabetes and heart disease cases multiply along with the changing diet and lifestyle. This is caused by the unhealthy urban diets, rich in high sugar and high calorie foods. More, living in the city means being more sedentary. This unfortunate lifestyle change leads to serious world-wide health problems.
IOTF claims that over 300 million people are considered obese, world wide. An individual is classified as obese if his or hers BMI (Body Mass Index) is over 30. Below is a world wide obesity prevalence map, which reflects the obesity density in 2006. I can only inform you that those figures are much higher nowadays!
One of the better news comes from Mr. Pekka Puska, general director of Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare. He ensures that the above mentioned illnesses are certainly preventable from the medical point of view. However, he and all other specialist urge that these health problems should be placed on the front page of each governments ‘to solve’ list.
News provided by AFP.