OBESITY is a chronic metabolic disease in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a detrimental effect on human life expectancy, leading to multiple health problems: metabolic syndrome, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, gout, kidney disease, and even cancer. Today the disease is reaching epidemic proportions around the world, being specifically reinforced in the Western industrialized world.
With the recent downturn of the economy, increasing rate of unemployment, malnutrition, soil depletion, chronic stress and depression, daily over-consumption of fast food and unhealthy lifestyle, everyone will be able to understand the reasons behind the newest obesity pandemic.
A new worldwide study on worldwide obesity, published in The Lancet (Feb 3, 2011) done by a global scientific team of researchers from Harvard, Imperial College London, and the World Health Organization (WHO) was just released in the news. More than half a billion adults are found clinically obese and there are near-doubling numbers of dangerously overweight adults since 1980.
According to study data, more than half a billion men and women (nearly one in nine adults) are clinically obese, while according to 2008 statistics, nearly one woman in seven and one man in 10 were found obese. The Lancet reported, “It is expected to cost tens of millions of preventable deaths unless rapid and widespread actions are taken by governments and health-care systems worldwide.”
The number of dangerously overweight adults since 1980 is also near-doubling. In an article written by Winne Andrews a situation, described as “population emergency” or “tsunami of obesity” is attacking the Globe.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Being fat causes three million premature deaths each year from heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other disorders.”It is also the reason behind a plethora of chronic degenerative diseases- metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gout, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease and many cancers.
The standard for assessing weigh today is the Body Mass Index (BMI). Body Mass Index is a health indicator that can be used to compare a persons’ weight, relative to their age and height, according to the guidelines for a healthy weight. A BMI of 25-30 – is a synonym of being overweight while above 30- obese.
The study showed that between all Western European countries — Iceland, Andorra and Germany – are the ones to have the highest cholesterol levels in the world, while African nations have the lowest.
Although commonly considered a “Western” issue, the obesity pandemic is also becoming to catch up on newly developed and urbanizing nations, like countries of the Middle East and many others. As expected, United States is keeping the first place, followed by New Zealand, Australia for women and Britain and Australia for men.
The United States, in particular, saw reductions in high blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as a slowdown in tobacco use, according to the study. It is becoming obvious that by following correct and balanced diet, limiting chronic overeating, consuming less meats, sugars and sodium, and leading an active lifestyle with daily exercise is the only way to go in order to stop and even reverse the damage done through the years.
By: Antoaneta Sawyer MD, ND, PhD is an internationally-recognized specialist in conventional and alternative medicine.
Antoaneta is the CEO of the NH-WC “Beyond Holistic” LLC (Twin Ports, WI) she also works as a writer, public speaker, editor and lecturer. An enthusiastic believer in the power of integrative healing, she spent virtually her entire career as a physician in internal diseases, microbiology, virology and holistic medicine. As a PhD in metabolic syndrome she advocates its healing principles to be based on integrative practice, as an inclusive resource for prevention and wellness.
250 – 16 RENAULT CRESCENT, ST.ALBERT, AB T8N 4B8 | 780.459.6684