What are the trends in obesity and overweight?
Evidence suggesting that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is rising dramatically worldwide and that the problem appears to be increasing rapidly in children as well as in adults.
The most comprehensive data on the prevalence of obesity worldwide are those of the World Health Organisation MONICA project (MONItoring of trends and determinants in CArdiovascular diseases study) . Together with information from national surveys, the data show that the prevalence of obesity in most European countries has increased by about 10-40% in the past 10 years, ranging from 10-20% in men and 10-25% in women . The most alarming increase has been observed in the Great Britain, where nearly two thirds of adult men and over half of adult women are living with excess weight or obesity . Between 1995 and 2002, obesity doubled among boys in England from 2.9% of the population to 5.7%, and amongst girls increased from 4.9% to 7.8%. One in 5 boys and one in 4 girls is living with excess weight or obesity. Among young men, aged 16 to 24 years, obesity increased from 5.7% to 9.3% and among young women increased from 7.7% to 11.6% . The International Obesity Task Force monitors prevalence data (www.iotf.org).
5. What are the health consequences of obesity and overweight?
The health consequences of obesity and overweight are many and varied, ranging from an increased risk of premature death to several non-fatal but debilitating and psychological complaints that can have an adverse effect on quality of life .
The major health problems associated with obesity and overweight are:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular diseases and hypertension
- Respiratory diseases (sleep apnea syndrome)
- Some cancers
- Psychological problems
- Alteration of the quality of life
The degree of risk is influenced for example, by the relative amount of excess body weight, the location of the body fat, the extent of weight gain during adulthood and amount of physical activity. The Best Fat Burning Supplements Bodybuilding of 2022. Most of these problems can be improved with relatively modest weight loss (10 to 15%), especially if physical activity is increased too.
5.1. Type 2 diabetes
Of all serious diseases, it is Type 2 diabetes (the type of diabetes which normally develops in adulthood and is associated with overweight) or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), which has the strongest association with obesity and overweight. Indeed, the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes rises with a BMI that is well below the cut-off point for obesity (BMI of 30). Women living with obesity are more than 12 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than women of healthy weight. The risk of Type 2 diabetes increases with BMI, especially in those with a family history of diabetes, and decreases with weight loss .
5.2. Cardiovascular disease and hypertension
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) includes coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and peripheral vascular disease. These diseases account for a large proportion (up to one third) of deaths in men and women in most industrialised countries and their incidence is increasing in developing countries.
Individuals affected by obesity are more likely to have elevated blood triglycerides (blood fats), low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol («bad cholesterol») and decreased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (“good cholesterol”). This metabolic profile is most often seen in people living with obesity with a high accumulation of intra-abdominal fat («apples») and has consistently been related to an increased risk of CHD. With weight loss, the levels of triglycerides can be expected to improve. A 10 kg weight loss can produce a 15% decrease in LDL cholesterol levels and an 8% increase in HDL cholesterol .
The association between hypertension (high blood pressure) and obesity is well documented and the proportion of hypertension attributable to obesity has been estimated to be 30-65% in Western populations. Body Fat Burning Supplements. In fact, blood pressure increases with BMI; for every 10 kg increase in weight, blood pressure rises by 2-3mm Hg. Conversely, weight loss induces a fall in blood pressure and typically, for each 1% reduction in body weight, blood pressure falls by 1-2mm Hg.
The prevalence of hypertension in individuals with a high BMI is nearly three times higher than in healthy weight adults and the risk in individuals with a high BMI aged 20-44 years of hypertension is nearly six times greater than in healthy weight adults.
Although the link between obesity and cancer is less well defined, several studies have found an association between overweight and the incidence of certain cancers, particularly of hormone-dependent and gastrointestinal cancers. Greater risks of breast, endometrial, ovarian and cervical cancers have been documented for obese women, and there is some evidence of increased risk of prostate and rectal cancer in men. The clearest association is with cancer of the colon, for which obesity increases the risk by nearly three times in both men and women.
Degenerative diseases of the weight-bearing joints, such as the knee, are very common complications of obesity and overweight . Mechanical damage to joints resulting from excess weight is generally thought to be the cause. Pain in the lower back is also more common in people living with obeisty and may be one of the major contributors to obesity-related absenteeism from work.
5.5. Psychological aspects
Obesity is highly stigmatised in many European countries in terms of both perceived undesirable bodily appearance and of the character defects that it is supposed to indicate. Even children as young as six perceive obese children as “lazy, dirty, stupid, ugly, liars and cheats” .
People living with obesity have to contend with discrimination. A study of young women living with excess weight in the USA showed that they earn significantly less than women with a healthy weight or than women with other chronic health problems .
Compulsive overeating also occurs with increased frequency among people living with obesity and many people with this eating disorder have a long history of bingeing and weight fluctuations .
6. What is the economic cost of obesity and overweight?
International studies on the economic costs of obesity have shown that they account for between 2% and 7% of total health care costs, the level depending on the way the analysis is undertaken . In France, for example, the direct cost of obesity-related diseases (including the costs of personal health care, hospital care, physician services and drugs for diseases with a well established relationship with obesity) amounted to about 2% of total health care expenditure . In The Netherlands, the proportion of the country’s total general practitioner expenditure attributable to obesity and overweight is around 3–4% .
In England, the estimated annual financial cost of obesity is £0.5 billion in treatment costs to the National Health Service and the impact on the economy is estimated to be around £2 billion. 2 Buy Fat Burner Supplements Online. The estimated human cost of obesity is 18 million sick days a year; 30 000 deaths a year, resulting in 40 000 lost years of working life and a shortened lifespan of nine years on average