In the current modern world whereincreasingly cheap and high-calorie food is being prepared in large amounts ofingredients like salt and sugar with the addition of the increasingly sedentarylifestyles as well as increasing of urbanization, there is no doubt thatobesity has increased rapidly in the last few decades around the globe.
I want to talk about the statistic of theworld obesity where according to the World Health Organization, “Worldwideobesity has nearly tripled since 1975 wherein 2016” and “more than 1.9 billionadults, 18 years and older, were overweight and out of these numbers, over 650million were obese” (2). Obesity itself does not only affects the adults butchildren as well as according to World Health Organization, “In 2016, anestimated 41 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight orobese. Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesityare now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urbansettings. In Africa, the number of overweight children under 5 has increased bynearly 50 per cent since 2000. Nearly half of the children under 5 who wereoverweight or obese in 2016 lived in Asia.” (2).
This issue impairs the lives ofthe consumers in terms of health. The global health problem of obesity lies inthe constant need of one to eat luxuriously rather than eat only what theyneed. Consumerism can also be blamed for other social ills where the heavyadvertising of delicious but unhealthy foods, such as sweets, and fast food hascaused a significant rise in diet-related health problems. In the 1990s, for thefirst time in human history, the world’s population of overweight people wasroughly the same as the number of underfed people about 1.1 billion.
Obesitycan lead to other related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (mainlystroke and heart diseases) as well as musculoskeletal disorders (especiallyosteoarthritis which is a highly disabling degenerative disease of the jointsin one’s body). According to an article in the guardian titled “Beingoverweight – not just obese – kills millions a year, say experts” where basedon a a team of 2,300 experts led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation(IMHE), based at the University of Washington in Seattle. They study concludesthat “In 2015, nearly four million people died from disease related to theirweight, most commonly from heart disease. But only 60% were technically obese,which is defined as a body mass index over 30.
The other 40%, or 1.6 millionpeople, were overweight but not obese.” Even with all this being true,obesity is largely preventable as on the individual level, one can decide to startmaking the choice of a healthier life through the right choices of food tolimit to lesser consumption of sugar, salts and fats and to change theirsedentary lifestyle to become an active one through engaging actively inphysical activity. An article in the NY Times, titled “In Asia’s fattestcountry, nutritionist take money from food giants”. I quote: Dr Tee E Siong,Malaysia’s leading nutrition expert, decided to act, organizing a far-reachingstudy of local diets and lifestyle habits where he states, “the real problem,isn’t the type of food people eat but how much of it, and their lifestyle.
” (1) As for businesses who play a significant rolein the food industry, they can firstly restrict the marketing of foods high insugar and salts and perhaps promote healthier choices to the public. Secondly,the businesses should ensure that their industry provides the availability ofnutritious and healthy choices for the consumers to afford.