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Don’t let your weight weigh on you!

Obesity - A Rampant Health Problem of Today 

25+ BMIs a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases such as:

- Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke)

- Diabetes

- Musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis)

- Some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon)

Despite being seen majorly in high-income countries, obesity is becoming a rising problem in low and middle-income countries, specifically among urban areas.
According to the WHO, on a global basis, obesity has almost tripled since 1975. Over the same period in the 5–19 age bracket, obesity has risen from less than 1% to around 7%.

Obesity Risk factors

●  Family inheritance and influences -. Genetics is a major determinant of one's metabolism and appetite regulation

●  Lifestyle choices - unhealthy diet, piling on calories through liquids (alcohol, soft drinks etc), sedentary lifestyle

●  Diagnosed medical problems like arthritis, Prader-Willi syndrome etc. result in escalating weight gain

●  Social and economic issues like restricted movement, negative company etc. can influence you to overeat without burning the calories

●  Age - Our metabolic rate slows down with age, thereby causing extra calorie intake and making it difficult to lose weight

● Misc factors - Pregnancy, smoking, stress, insomnia, microbiome

Ways obesity can be managed

1.  Right company, right food choices

- Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people's choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity

2.  Healthy diet + exercise is key for individuals

At the individual level, people can:

- Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars

- Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts

- Engage in regular physical activity (min. 3-5 days in a week)

3.  Reimagining healthy food production by the food industry

The food industry can play a significant role in promoting healthy diets by:

- Reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods

- Ensuring that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers

Sources:

- https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight

-https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20375742

- https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319902#summary​

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