Archive for category Obesity
Posted by in Obesity on June 23, 2011
Obesity is responsible for an increasing number of deaths worldwide each year and the sad thing is that it is, in most cases, preventable. In europe for example it is estimated that over one million deaths per year can be attributed to obesity. You are considered to be obese if your BMI (body mass index) is 25.0 or above. The more obese you are the more likely you are to shorten your life expectancy. If your BMI is between 30-35 you can expect your life expectancy to be reduced by two to four years and if you are extremely obese with a BMI over 40 you are likely to reduce your life expectancy by as much as ten years.
People who suffer from obesity are far more likely to suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and breathing difficulties. It has also been associated with certain types of cancer and other diseases such as osteoarthritis. The main cause of obesity is a combination of excessive calorie intake and insufficient physical activity. There are other factors that can cause obesity such as medication, psychiatric disorders and inherited gene disorders but these account for a very small percentage of the overall number of cases.
Over the past ten to twenty years the instances of obesity has grown significantly. In the western world we are all tending to lead far more sedentary lifestyles than we have in the past. Many of the tasks that were commonly undertaken in the past have been mechanised making them less physically demanding which means that we burn off less calories carrying out the task than we would in the past. In younger people in particular there is a tendency towards spending leisure time playing computer games and watching television rather than participating in strenuous sporting activities.
We are also, on average, consuming a greater number of calories on a daily basis than in previous years. Studies have shown that there is a direct link between the increased consumption of fast food, which tend to have a high calorie content, and instances of obesity. Interestingly a high percentage of these calories are from carbohydrate consumption rather than excessive fat consumption. We are also drinking far more soft drinks and sweetened beverages than we used to do and studies have indicated that approximately twenty five percent of the calories consumed by young adults in america are from sweetened beverages of one sort or another. Read the rest of this entry »