These days, one of the health problems that nations around the world are facing is obesity.
It is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. This is a cause for concern for all age groups. According to World Health Organization (WHO), the worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, more than 2.1 billion people – nearly 30 percent of the world’s population, are overweight.
Of these, obese people account for over 10 percent. These figures are possible to increase if many people do not pay much attention to their health, so it is essential to well understand this problem. Obesity has become an increasing issue which occurs with two interrelated causes: unhealthy eating habits and an inactive lifestyle; therefore, it leads to negative effects and is largely preventable if there are appropriate solutions. To begin with, obese status happens to many people due to unhealthy eating habits. One of these habits is fast food consumption.
Take the United States, for example, people here usually consume huge food portions in fast food outlets. These food portions are typically high in fat, sugar and other ingredients. Eating such large portions means too much energy in the body (Obesity, 2018).
Therefore, fast food is associated with higher body mass index, less successful weight-loss maintenance and weight gain (Mandal, 2017). Another unhealthy habit is alcohol consumption. Traversy and Chaput (2015) show that alcohol has been detailed to account for the percentage of total energy intake of grown-up consumers up to 16 percent in the US.
Also, heavy drinking may be more of a risk factor for weight gain than light-to-moderate drinking. To summarize, unhealthy eating habits are considered the most basic cause which makes more and more people obese. Another reason for the growth of obesity that definitely needs to be considered is an inactive lifestyle. The first manifestation of this lifestyle is watching TV and using computers for prolonged hours. That means, the more time people spend on TV and computers, the fewer calories they burn (HealthNBodyTips, 2015).
According to Rosen (2009), with each additional hour per day using TV or computers, people’s body fat, especially children’s can rise 2.2 pounds. Rosen (2009) also states that the adverse impacts can include risks of obesity, poverty of sleep time and sleep quality and lack of exercise – this impact is the second manifestation of the inactive lifestyle. In a 2014 Stanford Medicine survey, Bach writes that the percentage of women reporting no physical activity jumped from 19 percent to 52 percent between 1988 and 2010; the percentage of inactive men rose from 11 percent to 43 percent over the same period. Of course, lack of exercise raises the risks of obesity and serious diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and so on.
To conclude, an inactive lifestyle is obviously not good for people and also contributes to an increase in the prevalence of obesity. The individuals, family and the government need to collaborate in order to solve the problem of obesity. Firstly, at the individual level, people can limit energy intake from fats and sugars from foods and drinks; increase consumption of fruit and vegetables (WHO, 2018). Besides that, WHO (2018) suggests that people should engage in a regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults). Secondly, at the family level, Rosen (2009) recommends that parents not only restrict the time of television viewing to a set variety of hours per week but also provide their children with healthful snacks, including sliced fruits and vegetables, rather than fat or carbohydrate-rich ones. Finally, at the government level, they need to take the side of the citizens over the corporations for the health of the populace by doing things like subsidizing the right foods, and taxing the wrong ones; placing tighter restrictions on food labelling or marketing of foods high in sugars, salt and fats, especially those foods aimed at children and teenagers (Fell, 2015).
In short, it is necessary to have cooperation between the individuals, family and the government in efforts to prevent obesity. In conclusion, unhealthy eating habits and an inactive lifestyle are two main causes of the rise in obesity. Consuming fast food and alcohol regularly is clearly not beneficial for people’s health. Moreover, an increase in obesity also results from continuous use of electric devices such as TV or computers and lack of exercise. Thus, solutions combined by the individuals, family and the government can help prevent obesity. However, unless the problem of obesity is tackled soon, it is certain that the number of obese people will rise considerably in the future.