Obesity as defined in Merriam Webster dictionary is a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. Medically, it is referred to as having a body-mass index of more than 30. The body-mass index of a person is gotten by measuring the height and weight of the person.
The number of overweight and obese persons has fairly been on the rise in many developed countries. According to a 2007 statistics from the World Health Organization(WHO), about 68.4 percent of people in New Zealand are overweight. Australia has 67.4 overweight adults, while United Kingdom had 63.8. Canada is next with 61.1 percent followed by Ireland with 46.6 overweight adults.
America tops the list of countries with the most obese people. The report shows that obesity is currently at an all time high in the States. WHO reports that more than 40 percent of American adults and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese. Overall, 74.1 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese. Obesity is currently at an all time high in America and seems to be a major problem among people in the United States of America. It can rightly be described as an epidemic.
Among the states analyzed by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in it’s report, West Virginia reported the highest number of obese people,a shocking 37.7 percent. In second place is Mississippi which had a percentage of 37.3. Tied in third place is Alabama and Arkansas with a percent of 35.7 percent. Colorado recorded the least number of obese persons in America with just 22.3 percent.
The report when compared to a previous report of the year 2000 shows a worrisome trend. The rate of obesity is increasing at a rapid pace. For example, in the year 2000, no state recorded an obesity rate that is above 25 percent. In this new report however, 25 states recorded obesity rates above 30 percent. The report was not entirely bad though as some states recorded a stable obesity level.
If strict measures are not taken, the obesity rate in America will keep soaring higher each year. The major contributing factors to obesity among Americans is said to be an unhealthy lifestyle. Many indulge in too many junk foods, they work out less and in some cases, genetic factor contributes to the obesity. If effective measures are put in place, the trend may be reversed.
Preventive efforts should be targeted at young ones as it is quite likely that they start accumulating and storing fat at such tender age. Schools should do well to provide healthy meals and add a measure of physical activities to their curriculum. Children who are obese or overweight are more likely to stay obese as they are growing up and even as adults and sadly, this will increase their risk of dying as young adults.
Other measures like encouraging a healthy lifestyle should also be put in place. Less junk food and more exercise should be encouraged in adults too. It is also not out of place to create policies that will focus on tackling this national crisis. Health care coverage for the prevention as well as treatment of obesity should be implemented.