Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Obesity in western world

Obesity is a major public health and economic problem of global significance. Prevalence rates are increasing in all parts of the world, both in affluent Western countries and in poorer nations.

As developing countries have become wealthier, adopted increasingly Westernized lifestyles characterized by increases in energy intake and reductions in energy expenditure and witnessed massive migration from rural to urban areas, obesity inevitably followed in the wake of these developments. Adult obesity rates are highest in the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and Hungary, while they are lowest in Japan and Korea.

Obesity rates are projected to increase further by 2030, and Korea and Switzerland are the countries where obesity rates are projected to increase at a faster pace. Education and socio-economic background affect obesity. Reciprocally, obesity damages labour market outcomes that, in turn, contribute to reinforcing existing social inequalities.

In the United States, there has been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity in recent decades. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 34.9% of American adults are obese, and this number is projected to rise further.

Obese people are at an increased risk of developing many medical problems. Overweight and obesity carry serious implications for psychosocial health, mainly due to prejudice against fatness, particularly female fatness, which is widespread. Obese people have poorer job prospects compared to normal-weight people, they are less likely to be employed and have more difficulty re-entering the labour market.

Obese people are less productive at work due to more sick days and fewer worked hours, and they earn about 10% less than non-obese people.

Although there are many causes of obesity and some are very complex, only a very limited number of cases are caused by genetic factors, medications, or acquired medical conditions. The vast majority of obesity in the United States is caused by overeating coupled with decreased exercise.
Obesity in western world
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