The Obesity Problem Is Growing Globally

Mark Skousen
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Posted: Oct 16, 2015 12:01 AM
The Obesity Problem Is Growing Globally

I wrote about the growing problem of obesity in America in December 2013 but the sad reality is that people in many other countries around the world are packing on the pounds, too.

More than 1.9 billion adults are overweight, according to the World Health Organization’s 2014 Global Status Report. Unfortunately, worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980, with more than 600 million adults officially considered obese while nearly two billion people are overweight, the report found.

The number of obese adults in the United States totals 78.9 million Americans and accounts for 34.9 percent of people age 18 and above, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The World Health Organization defines obesity as a Body Mass Index measurement greater than or equal to 30, whereas an overweight person has a BMI greater than or equal to 25. The latter category in 2014 included 39 percent of the world’s adults aged 18 years and above.

To combat obesity, the WHO advises people to:

  • limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
  • increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
  • engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults).

I sometimes wonder if people who are extremely overweight feel embarrassed to go out in public, especially if their excess weight makes them think of themselves as grotesque. If so, I recommend taking positive steps toward a healthy lifestyle.

With Americans ranking among the most overweight people in the world, improvement is needed to avoid incurring massive healthcare costs due to such overindulgence. Maybe ObamaCare will scare people into losing weight to avoid using the medical system in America.

I could probably lose 10 pounds myself — which is what I wrote back in 2013. I plan to keep trying to live more healthfully and it would be great if all of us attempted to do so, too.