Our
Blog 

A Growing Concern: The Rise of Obesity Worldwide and How to Combat It

Obesity is a global health crisis that continues to escalate, affecting individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and nations. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide adult obesity has more than doubled since 1990. In 2022, 1 in 8 people in the world were living with obesity, and this number is set to increase to 1 in 4 people in 2035. As we mark World Obesity Day, it's more crucial than ever to understand the complexity of obesity and how to stop this epidemic.

What is obesity?

Obesity is defined by the World Health Organisation as ‘abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’ and it is measured by body mass index (BMI). Any adult is considered obese if they have a BMI (measured as weight (kg)/height² (m²)) greater than or equal to 30.

When discussing obesity in children, it's crucial to consider age as a key factor in the definitions and standards used. For those under 5 years of age, obesity, is characterised by a weight-for-height that exceeds 3 standard deviations above the WHO Child Growth Standards median. These criteria are visualised through charts and tables designed for children under 5, helping to accurately assess and categorize their growth patterns. As children grow older, the criteria adjust. For those aged between 5–19 years, overweight and obesity are determined by their BMI-for-age. Being obese is identified when the BMI-for-age surpasses 2 standard deviations above the WHO Growth Reference median.

The dangers of obesity

The consequences of obesity on health are profound and far-reaching. Obesity significantly increases the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain forms of cancer, alongside impacting mental health, leading to conditions like depression and anxiety.

Preventing obesity

The consequences of obesity on health are profound and far-reaching. Obesity significantly increases the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain forms of cancer, alongside impacting mental health, leading to conditions like depression and anxiety.

Obesity is not merely a matter of individual lifestyle choices, as often misconceived, but a complex, multifaceted issue influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, social, and psychological factors. The global rise in obesity rates can be attributed to a shift towards high-calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles. However, the good news is that obesity can often be prevented through informed, proactive measures. Here are practical tips to help individuals and families reduce their risk of obesity, fostering a healthier, more vibrant life.


• Embrace a nutrient-rich diet
One of the pillars of preventing obesity is adopting a diet rich in nutrients. This means prioritising fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. A nutrient-rich diet provides the body with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for optimal health, while helping to regulate appetite and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods. Incorporate a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into your meals. The colours represent different nutrients and antioxidants.

• Understand portion sizes
Overeating, even healthy foods, can contribute to weight gain. Understanding and adhering to recommended portion sizes is crucial. This doesn't mean you have to measure everything you eat but being mindful of the amount of food on your plate can help prevent overeating. Use smaller plates for your meals. This can help trick your brain into thinking you're eating more than you actually are.

• Stay physically active
Physical activity is essential not only for weight management but also for overall health. Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, alongside muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week. Find activities you enjoy, such as walking, cycling, swimming, or group fitness classes. Enjoyment increases the likelihood of sticking with an exercise routine.

• Limit sugar and refined carbs
Foods high in added sugars and refined carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and obesity. These foods are often low in nutritional value and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to increased hunger and overeating. Read food labels carefully and choose products with lower amounts of added sugars. Opt for whole grains over refined grains.

• Prioritise sleep
Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating hormones that control appetite, hunger, and metabolism. Lack of sleep can disrupt these hormones, making you more likely to overeat and crave high-calorie foods. Establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

• Manage stress
Stress can lead to emotional eating and cravings for high-calorie, unhealthy foods. Finding healthy ways to manage stress is important for preventing weight gain and obesity. Engage in stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature.

• Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water is essential for overall health and can help with weight management. Sometimes, thirst is confused with hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure you're staying hydrated.
Preventing obesity is about making sustainable changes to your lifestyle, not adhering to restrictive diets or rigorous exercise regimes. By incorporating these practical tips into your daily life, you can improve your health, reduce your risk of obesity, and lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.





malaysi
malaysi
malaysi
Copyright © 2024. Austell. All Rights Reserved | Designed & Developed by ThinkTank Creative | Privacy Policy | Real-OLYMPICS Challenge Terms & Conditions