Causes of Obesity and how it become a global problem

Obesity is becoming the leading cause of mortality. Everyone should keep themselves fit and healthy. This article will help you to get over obesity.

Causes of Obesity  and how it become a global problem

Obesity leads to an increase in mortality that corresponds to between 9-13 years of life lost, according to an Open University of Catalonia (UOC) expert, in commemoration of the Latin American day of obesity.

Six out of every ten adults in Latin America are obese, according to the latest World Bank report on obesity in the region in 2020. Mexico, Argentina, and Peru lead the list of the high prevalence of the disease in their territory. And, although we relate its presence to urbanized populations with high socio-demographic indices and, in particular, to countries with poor eating habits such as the United States with more than 70% prevalence, the truth is that "policies to fight against weight gain should not focus on specific countries or nuclei since, among others, rural areas are increasing their obesity rates, among others, rural areas are increasing their prevalence and, in countries with presumably healthy patterns, the population is overweight," explains Diana Díaz Rizzolo, Professor of Health Sciences Studies at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

Why we talk about obesity?

The truth is that obesity, despite being included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-PCS), is considered by many health professionals as an expected physiological response to excessive calorie intake and/or low daily energy expenditure, which makes it a predictable consequence.

But, leaving aside its classification, the truth is that although obesity is a predisposing factor for other metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, it also influences other inflammatory processes such as up to 13 different types of cancer. "It is a condition per se, which increases the overall mortality risk of those who suffer from it", explains the UOC expert. Specifically, obesity leads to an increase in mortality that corresponds to between 9-13 years of life lost.

Obesity is one of the chronic diseases associated with a higher economic cost, which includes direct costs, i.e., those attributable to the treatment of obesity and the chronic complications associated with it; and indirect costs such as loss of productivity, absenteeism, and premature mortality.

Obesity Treatment and prevention

Obesity is not exclusively an individual decision but is the result of genetic, behavioral, environmental, physiological, social, and cultural factors that result in energy imbalance and promote excessive fat deposition. "In fact, a project carried out by the UK Government's Foresight Programme created an interactive network showing more than 100 variables that directly or indirectly influence the development of obesity," explains the lecturer on the UOC's Master's Degree in Nutrition and Health and Master's Degree in Nutrition in Physical Activity and Sport.

All these variables make different people and areas responsible for identifying who should be in charge of its treatment and prevention:

1. There is a great health commitment to promoting weight loss and its treatment should be approached in a comprehensive way with different strategies: diet, physical exercise, lifestyle modification, pharmacological treatment, surgery, etc., and not limited to a single approach. However, even with all possible measures in mind, the dietary plan constitutes a fundamental pillar, without which the result of the treatment is practically doomed to failure. To avoid harming yourself with an extreme elimination diet, it's a good idea to refer yourself to a professional nutritionist such as Dietetyk Online who will create a personalized nutrition plan.

2. Individual responsibility also plays an important role, but its presence is underestimated, as 70-80% of obese subjects do not consider that they have it. Therefore, the last point requires special attention:

3. Governments, industry, food retailers, and the media have an essential role to play in promoting effective changes in diet and daily levels of physical activity, but also in raising awareness, entrenchment, and visualization of the risks; according to a World Health Organization report written in Geneva in 2000.

Obesity is a condition or pathology of complex origin that we must demand to be addressed in the same way: "through the action of different areas - health, urban, economic, political, journalistic, etc. - in order to reach a consensus on action plans for prevention and treatment in a comprehensive manner," concludes Diaz.