World Obesity Day : Unhealthy Lifestyle at the Centre of Health Problem

Health experts say an unhealthy lifestyle is one of the key causes of obesity, a growing global health concern.

World Obesity Day was observed on March 4 on the theme, “Every Body Needs Everybody”. This year’s campaign is designed to collectively address the global crisis.The global campaign is organised by the World Obesity Federation.

According to the World Health Organization, obesity is “ abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health”.

Obesity is a health concern that affects people of all age groups. WHO says “worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975” , with over 650 million people worldwide, obese.

Why are more people obese ?

Health experts say a good number of diseases can be due to genes, while others like obesity largely depend on lifestyle.

Among the main reasons that account for the rise in figures of obese people worldwide is poor feeding habits. Some people feed a lot , others are encouraged to eat a lot because of the growing number of fast food outlets.

Another key reason why obesity is on the rise is sedentary lifestyle. The digital revolution has made it easier for more people to work from home. People would now sit in front of their computer screens for longer than they would, if they were working out of home. Some just get stuck in their cars all day, and end up doing little or no physical exercise.

Technology has facilitated so many jobs. Machines have been created to facilitate work, leading to a decline in manual labor which serves as a form of physical exercise.

Health problems

Obesity is known to come with several health problems. Studies have shown that obesity affects 1 in 5 women of child bearing age. PCOS, a common endocrine (hormonal) disorder is known to affect most obese women of childbearing age.

Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), musculoskeletal disorders, some cancers like endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon are also associated with obesity.

Children suffering from obesity are at high risk of premature deaths.

Prevention tips

Health experts say the most effective way of preventing obesity is to adopt healthy lifestyle practices.

A balanced diet comprising adequate quantities of proteins, unsaturated fats, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and good quantities of potable water is important to keep obesity at bay.

Regular physical activities will also help burn off excess calories and shed extra kilos.

Kathy Neba Sina

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