Yes, obesity is all over the news at the moment, not least because it is a major precursor to many chronic health conditions including Diabetes and heart disease to name a few! Obesity is at the forefront of current news because despite the warnings, the world appears to be getting fatter and fatter still. Obesity isn’t exclusive to just the developed countries, the developing countries also show steady increases in obesity rates. High income countries exhibit some of the highest increases, with the USA leading the way (approx 1/3 of the population are obese) closely followed by Australia and the UK. There has been an increase of 28% in adults, but more startlingly a rise of 47% in children which does not look good for future generations. Albeit this rise has occurred over 33 years, but in the famous words of Hugh Heffner, a rise is a rise right? I joke, but this is definitely not a joking matter as evidenced by Professor Gakidou who states:
"Unlike other major global health risks, such as tobacco and childhood nutrition, obesity is not decreasing worldwide. Our findings show that increases in the prevalence of obesity have been substantial, widespread, and have arisen over a short time. However, there is some evidence of a plateau in adult obesity rates that provides some hope that the epidemic might have peaked in some developed countries and that populations in other countries might not reach the very high rates of more than 40% reported in some developing countries."
Let’s hope the NHS’s recent drive on obesity will come to the fore in due course, otherwise life expectancy’s will fall and for many, quality of life will cease to exist!
ScienceDaily, (2014). Obesity rates climbing worldwide, most comprehensive global study to date shows. Retrieved 29th May, 2014, from