New research shows that obesity and being overweight has risen by about 27% in adults and by close to 50% in children in the last few decades – this alarming trend is now true not only for developed countries but also for developing nations such as India. Contributors to this scary situation include: technology, physical inactivity, fast foods, aggressive and misleading advertising by food and beverage companies, and a general ignorance and apathy amongst consumers.
More than 50% of the world’s obese individuals live in 10 countries: the United States, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan, and Indonesia. The largest increases in obesity over the last few decades for both men and women have occurred in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
We all know that being overweight or obese dramatically increases the risk of cardiovascular deaths, in addition to risks for other chronic conditions such as kidney disease, cancer, and diabetes and much more.
The irony is that while most people are aware of the risks they deny its impact for them personally. They blame their lifestyle for where they are, or find other ways to justify their state of ill health. Being overweight is not seen as a sign of ill health until it is too late. And, even when the first signs of disease surface such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and so on the quick fix of doctors and medicine create a false sense of being OK.
Many doctors teach their patients that these are ‘lifestyle conditions’ and they can be fine as long as they continue medication for their lifetime – and of course, come for regular consultations! (Ever noticed how many doctors themselves are out of shape!) The term ‘lifestyle conditions’ removes the personal element and responsibility that each one of us needs to take – not only for ourselves, but also for our children!
The challenge is that while we all know what needs to be done – it’s hard to start and sustain fitness and wellness. It’s not about following a new diet or joining the latest gym – it’s about making changes in one’s lifestyle and in one’s values, beliefs, and behaviours. It’s about learning to be comfortable with difficult situations and dark emotions rather than jump to ‘comfort food’ to make one feel better. It’s hard!
Make a commitment to start on your wellness journey today! Work with a wellness coach to support you. Email email@example.com for details.
Reference: Obesity Epidemic Is Global, New Study Confirms. Medscape. May 29, 2014.