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Obesity File: 1 Of Every 8 Humans Is Now Obese

Obesity is on a world-wide rampage in the 2020s. A new survey published last week in the British medical journal, Lancet, revealed shocking new statistics. And it’s not just obesity that’s at issue, here: It’s all the other health issues it aids and abets…

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The Lancet survey brought together data from hundreds of contributors around the world. And the resulting global portrait of ‘The State of Obesity’ is both shocking and alarming.

The survey analysed data on height and weight for 220 million people, aged 5 years and up, from 190 countries.

Among the major findings…

Obesity is exploding

Obesity has quadrupled between 1990 and 2022. And the balance between men and women has tipped: The incidence of obesity has doubled among adult women and tripled among adult men.

The world’s population is perilously close to 8 billion souls. An estimated 1 billion of us are obese. And that doesn’t count all the folks who are merely overweight, but below the obesity threshold.

Obesity has grabbed hold of the young

“It is very concerning that the epidemic of obesity that was evident among adults in much of the world in 1990 is now mirrored in school-aged children and adolescents,” Majid Ezzati, senior author and professor at Imperial College London’s School of Public Health, told Global News.

An estimated 159 million children and adolescents (65 million girls and 94 million boys) were living with obesity in 2022. Compared to just 31 million children and adolescents in 1990.

The implications…

“This new study highlights the importance of preventing and managing obesity from early life to adulthood, through diet, physical activity, and adequate care, as needed,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, said in a news release.

“Getting back on track to meet the global targets for curbing obesity will take the work of governments and communities, supported by evidence-based policies from WHO and national public health agencies. Importantly, it requires the cooperation of the private sector, which must be accountable for the health impacts of their products.”

My take

It’s fine to focus on obesity, in a clinical study like the WHO survey.

But, as I hinted earlier in this post, there’s now overwhelming evidence that obesity can trigger or exacerbate a wide range of diseases and conditions, some of which, in turn, can cause or trigger other diseases…

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list more than a dozen:

  • All causes of death (mortality).
  • High blood pressure (hypertension).
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia).
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Coronary heart disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Gallbladder disease.
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint).
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems.
  • Many types of cancer.
  • Low quality of life.
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning.

The direct and spin-off effects of obesity are costing world-wide health care systems hundreds of billions of dollars a year. And the cost is rising with every percent increase in global obesity. Fat or thin, short or tall, we’re all paying an outrageous amount to ‘support’ this entirely preventable affliction.

It’s up to us – each and every one of us – to do our bit to fight obesity.

~ Maggie J.