Obesity: A Weighty Topic
As with the more affluent members of society, the richer countries do not always face the same problems as those with less wealth. Access to medicine and to basic medical treatment can be a struggle for people living in poorer countries. Unfortunately, conditions such as obesity and excess weight are not confined to high-income countries. Instead, the number of people with these conditions is increasing worldwide, and low-income and middle-income countries are now recognizing the impact of obesity on their citizens.
Obesity refers to an accumulation of fat that is excessive or abnormal and puts an individual’s health at risk. A person’s body mass index (BMI), which is weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters, can be calculated and used as a screening tool; a BMI of 30 or higher is considered to be in the obesity range. For children and teenagers, BMI levels are expressed relative to others of the same sex and age. For example, a percentile range of the 95th percentile or greater would indicate obesity. Unless there is an intervention, childhood obesity will likely persist and become adult obesity.
Stroke and heart disease, which are cardiovascular diseases and two of the leading causes of death throughout the world, can develop due to obesity. Someone who is obese is also at risk for developing diabetes and musculoskeletal disorders. As well, the occurrence of several types of cancer has been associated with obesity. Excess weight can strain the lower back to the extent that individuals become motivated to seek back pain treatment Orange Park FL
In addition to leaving individuals vulnerable to non-communicable diseases, obesity can put society at an increased risk of being unable to defend itself. For instance, across the nation, 71% of people aged 17 to 24 do not qualify for service in the military; 31% of them are disqualified due to obesity.
This information might sound discouraging, but one positive aspect is that obesity can be prevented. If someone is already obese, the condition can be reversed, but prevention is the better goal. For children, healthy eating habits, such as substituting water for sugar-laden drinks, can be encouraged. Children who typically engage in sedentary activities during their free time can be given suggestions of physical activities to try.
Fortunately, children are usually quick to imitate adult behavior, so adults who adopt these preventative strategies will benefit themselves as well as the children.