Being fat shamed can be humiliating, however dying from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (leading cause of death, 2012) and cancers (colon, breast) caused as a result of being obese and overweight is even more devastating.
What is obesity?
Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation presenting a risk to health (World Health Organization.Org). An individual’s measure of obesity is determined by his or her body mass index (BMI), weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his height (in meters). One’s body mass index should not exceed 25, as having a body mass index greater than 25 is considered being overweight.
Obesity Facts and Statistics
“More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%). Obesity is higher among middle age adults, 40-59 years old (39.5%) than among younger adults, age 20-39 (30.3%) or adults over 60 or above (35.4%) adults.” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 6 children are obese according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Preventing Childhood Obesity
The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been:
- an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat; and
- an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
Adult and children obesity are prevalent in the United States. The top ten states with the highest rates of adult obesity are linked to the South and Midwest (Sateofobesity.org). There is no single solution to alleviate obesity, stakeholders such as the community, healthcare professionals, businesses and policy makers to name a few, can educate citizens on ways to curb being obese. These include but are not limited to consuming fewer calories, regular exercise, and eating healthier snacks (fruits).
For more information regarding obesity, please access the Center for Disease Control website or contact your local health care professional.
Written by Sasha-lee Moodie
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