Reading: Adult Obesity

Adult Obesity: Root Causes as Solutions

They say “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”.  According to the World Health Organization, adult obesity is the cause of nearly 3.4 million worldwide deaths per year.  Its incidence worldwide has doubled since 1980, despite it being – in most cases – a fully preventable condition.  In looking at the prevailing trends of such a dramatic increase, we can find both global and individual solutions to the problem.

Bariatric surgery is the latest trend in treating extremely obese individuals who are in grave danger of morbidity.  It has lifelong results that drastically and effectively alter the Body Mass Index (BMI) of those who opt to undergo the procedure.  It is not, however, economically viable for all people, nor is it available in all of the areas of the world whose populations suffer from this condition.

As mentioned, when we observe the underlying phenomena that have contributed to such a rise in global obesity rates, we find the antithesis of the solution we seek.  Recently, the percentage of the diet devoted to the consumption of complex carbohydrates and processed sugars has risen in direct proportion to the obesity rate.  There is an inverse relationship of BMI to both the number of weekly hours dedicated to exercise and the percentage of fruits and vegetables consumed on a daily basis.  Therefore, I would advise individuals to consume fewer calories from complex carbs and processed sugars, increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and instill in them the understanding that daily exercise is not only good for mood and physique, but it is also essential to a robust metabolism and overall health.  Globally, I would push the departments, commissions and ministries of education in every country to include in the general education of their peoples a practical guide to healthy eating and activity.

In most cases, the magic wand of surgical intervention is unavailable, economically unfeasible and ultimately unrealistic.  It circumvents the necessity to reprogram individuals and entire communities on the healthy practices surrounding diet and exercise.  By closely observing the latest worldwide tendencies to stray from the tried and true fundamentals of healthy diet and exercise, we can very clearly see the pathway back to health.

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