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Global Overweight and Obesity Reach Alarming Levels

  • Published: 2010-10-03 : Author:
  • Synopsis: Number of people being overweight and obese reach alarming levels and are increasing among young people.

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Studies found that the numbers of people being overweight and obese reach alarming levels and are increasing among young people. A person's lifestyle and diet are known to increase the likelihood of people being overweight and obese.

According to a research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO). more than 50 per cent of the population is overweight in over 10 Pacific island countries, Obesity ranges from more than 30 per cent in Fiji to 80 per cent among women in American Samoa.

Meanwhile, in China, approximately 10 million city residents are growing obese every year, estimated by a Shanghai-based company. In five years, it is predicted that 15 percent of the total population will be overweight.

Not only this is a local phenomenon, globally, WHO estimated one billion adults are overweight and more than 300 million are obese.

If no further action is being taken, by 2015, 1.5 billion adults will be overweight.

More important, overweight and obesity are increasing among people in their young age in both low and high income countries. It is estimated over 42 million children under five years of age are now overweight.

Overweight and obesity among young people deserves more attention. Overweight young people are likely to become obese adults. And they are more likely than non-overweight young people to develop such non-communicable diseases as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at early age, which in turn are associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability. In fact, nearly two-thirds of premature deaths and one-third of the total disease burden in adults are associated with their behaviors such as lack of physical activity and unhealthy diet in their youths. Hence obesity controlled at a young age will help control the number of people suffering from these diseases as well.

As obesity and overweight are the major risk factors for the noncommunicable diseases, noncommunicable disease deaths correspondingly are increasing in all over the world. If trends continue unabated, deaths will rise to an estimated 41.2 million a year by 2015.

Currently, at least 2.6 million people each year die as a result of being overweight or obese.

A person's lifestyle and environment are known to increase the likelihood of people being overweight and obese, and hence the likelihood of suffering from certain non-communicable diseases.

Actually physical inactivity alone contributes to 1.9 million deaths each year globally. Regular physical activity such as walking, cycling, or dancing can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, help control weight, and promote psychological well-being.

As a result, WHO and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are teaming up to promote healthy lifestyle choices, including more physical activity at both the international and country level.

"Losing weight is actually about adjusting one's lifestyle," Chang Cuiqing, vice-secretary general of the Chinese Nutrition Society says.

Another factor contributed to overweight and obesity is unhealthy diet.

Dr Temo K Waqanivalu, technical officer for nutrition and physical activity in Suva, Fiji, partly blames poor diet for the region's health problems. "Promotion of traditional foods has fallen and unable to compete with the imported foods," he says.

Frank, YS, the director of says, "If we eat chemically processed foods with high calorie content, it would create a very thick layer of mucus on the intestines that our body cannot eliminate it. The immune system is not able to operate in this thick layer and fight against germs and bacteria. And so it is very detrimental to our body and is the seed of disease causing." Thus about 40 per cent of the Pacific island region's population has been diagnosed with non-communicable diseases. Actually, diabetes prevalence among adults in the Pacific region is among the highest in the world, for example, it is 47 per cent in American Samoa. provides healthy and natural solutions to human problems such as obesity. It is believed that the use of hypnosis together with healthy diet and regular exercises should help lose weight and maintain a healthy body with good shape.

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