The Obesity Issue!!!

Obesity is an epidemic. More and more people are now heavily overweight and classed as obese. But what exactly are the health risks and implications of obesity, and how can we prevent, or reverse the difficulties it brings?

Obesity among adults increased sharply during the 1990s and early 2000s. The amount of people who were categorised as obese increased from 13% of men in 1993 to 24% in 2014 and from 16.5% of women in 1993 to 27% in 2014. By 2050 IT is predicted that 60% of adult men and 50% of adult women will be obese.

As the prevalence of obesity in England is on the rise, it has become a major public health concern due to its association with serious chronic diseases and related morbidly and mortality.

Health Risks

There are some massive health risks associated with obesity. Here are some of the many below:

An Obese man is:

  • five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes
  • three times more likely to develop cancer of the colon
  • more than two and a half times more likely to develop high blood pressure – a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.

An obese woman is:

  • almost thirteen times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes
  • more than four times more likely to develop high blood pressure
  • more than three times more likely to have a heart attack.

Risks of cancer of the liver and other major organs is also increased.

Child Obesity

Childhood obesity is one of the most worrying health epidemics of modern times. More and more children are becoming increasingly overweight, and therefore carry far more health brisks than a non obese child.

Below are some truly remarkable stats:

Figures, for 2014/15, show that 19.1% of children in Year 6 (aged 10-11) were obese and a further 14.2% were overweight. Of children in Reception (aged 4-5), 9.1% were obese and another 12.8% were overweight. This means a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds were overweight or obese. Results from 2014 show that 31.2% of children aged 2 to 15 were classed as either overweight or obese.

Being overweight or obese in childhood has both short and long term health problems. Once established, obesity is very difficult to treat, so to prevent it is key.

One issue is the emotional problems obese children can face. This includes low self esteem, and even depression caused by teasing by other children. Obese children may also suffer disturbed sleep and fatigue.

Obese children have a higher risk of morbidity, disability and premature mortality in adulthood. Some of the most serious consequences of childhood obesity may not become apparent until adulthood, such as raised cholesterol, raised blood pressure and fatty changes to the arterial linings.

Type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically in overweight children as young as five. Other health risks of childhood obesity are eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, skin infections, asthma and other respiratory problems.

Cure and Prevention

While there is no easy cure for obesity, you can reduce your body fat by eating a more healthy balanced diet, and by taking part in regular exercise. Other, far less safe ways to treat obesity, are by taking weight loss medication or talking to your doctor about weight loss surgery. But by far the best option is to exercise and eat well, and doing so one small step at a time. This way you are far more likely to continue with your weight loss journey than if you go into your new regime full on.