In the recent decade, Obesity has peaked in US (40% of population in 2016) and UK (18% increase in period 2005 – 2017). This has been a big concern for the officials of public health and researches of both countries. Two recent studies with subject Obesity have been conducted in these countries, focused on understanding the core factors that make people obese.
The first study was performed in US and published in Economics and Human Biology. The researchers at University of Tennessee, Knoxville used an unusual approach to dig on the causes of obesity. They wondered if obesity peak in 2016 in US has any relation with the changes of sugar amount to children food’s products in the ’70s and the ’80s. At the end of the study, researchers found out that there is a direct relation of childhood’s habit to eat lots of sugar with the premises to become obese arriving mid-age.
The other study I read today at BBC, spoke about Obesity as a phenomenon. Researchers have studied obesity on the social aspects and have come up with key finding: “Obesity is not a people choice”. Most of the time obesity is due to social-factors influencing the life of obese people: taught habit of eating a lot, few opportunities to be physically active, the way people’s lives are influenced by the work they do and the lifestyle of their families. Another finding of the study was that the physiological pressure people with obesity face from other people and media around them does not help at all with reduction of obesity.
Interesting findings indeed. I would say, very logic findings as well. Obesity is a long-term process that starts since children are just creatures inside their moms. It is crucial for us as parents to understand that there is not a certain age limit, which allows children to be obese risk free. Education of children with healthy feeding and active lifestyle is crucial to help them avoid obesity problems when they grow up. I’m not saying putting babies in diet, please do not misunderstand me; what I’m trying to say is that parents should be very attentive in controlling the quality of food their children consume every day. They should not feed their babies with products overweight with added sugar. Instead they should feed their children with foods reach of natural healthy sugar such as fruits and cereals.
I liked the social findings of the report of British Psychological Society. They appeal for changes in public policies to create better living environments to people living in specific areas with little to no opportunities for healthy lifestyle. The other appeal was to remove the damaging psychological factor on obesity, by changing the wording used when discussed about obesity issues and people with obesity (this is the proposed wording when speaking about people suffering from obesity). The actual vocabulary in use puts lots of emphasize on the excessive ‘fat’ and is quite aggressive language toward people with obesity. If media will be the first to implement such language change, it will serve as a source of inspiration to be followed by school books and general public.
Obesity is not a choice, neither a disease. It is a complicated complex of feeding, lifestyle and social factors. Dealing with each factor separately will definitely help in reducing this disturbing health phenomena of modern societies. Both US and UK have seen slight improvements in their obesity rates in the last two years, which means the peak moment has gone away. Still lots to do to bring obesity rates under control.
The cases of US and UK should serve as lessons for other countries around the world, which populations display similar unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and social environment. These countries should act as soon as possible to avoid the increase of obesity rates among their populations. It is not easy, but if efforts are concentrated on the core causes of the problem, positive results will come.
Be Good & Eat healthy!
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