A study released on Monday speaking about obesity in different countries has stated that the world is getting fatter. Obesity isn’t a new phenomenon for most countries, but a recent study by The New England Journal of Medicine says that the world is becoming obese. The numbers of obese people have doubled since 1980 in 73 countries, resulting in many diseases. The research points out that since 1990 through 2015, there was a relative increase of 28.3 per cent in the global rate of death related to high BMI.
The study states that 12 per cent of adults and 5 per cent of children are classified as obese which essentially means that their Body Mass Index (BMI) is above ‘healthy’ level. BMI is the ratio between a person’s weight and height; anybody above 30 units in BMI is obese. The research was done globally by analysing 68.5 million people from 1980-2015 to decipher trends in relation with obesity rates.
“People who shrug off weight gain do so at their own risk — risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,” said Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who worked on the study as told to NBC News.
“The world is becoming fatter and absolutely, it is a real issue. This is caused by insulin resistance and body metabolism which can be simply defined as the ability of the body to burn fats,” said Dr Jayashree Todkar, a bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon.
While the United States tops the list with 13 per cent of obese young adults as well as children, Egypt ranks highest in terms of adult obesity (35 per cent) among 195 countries and regions studied in the study. The prevalence of obesity was seen to be the lowest in Vietnam (1.6 per cent) and Bangladesh (1.2 per cent).
India and China, being the most populated countries in the world, also have a huge chunk of obese children – 14.4 million and 15.3 million respectively.
It was obesity among women is more prominent than men in all age groups, regions and many other factors. Even among the highly obese countries, women rank higher in terms of being obese men owing to various biological reasons, believe experts. “There are multiple reasons for women to suffer from obesity. Even in my experience, 55 per cent of people who come for treatment are women while the rest 45 per cent are men,” said Dr Sanjay Borude, a well-known bariatric surgeon, practicing in Mumbai. He further explained that the sedentary lifestyle of women in Mumbai could be a reason for this.
While some doctors believe that the obesity in women is majorly due to cyclical changes in women, “Every month, the hormonal changes in women cause by cyclical phases leads to weight issues. Women also have lesser muscle mass, which is an insulin sensitizer.” Furthermore, three events in a woman’s life affect obesity, Dr Todkar added, “Menarche (first occurrence of periods), menopause and pregnancy.”
Obesity leads to many diseases too. Women, hence are more prone to some diseases added Dr Borude, “With so many women being obese, they suffer from a lot of diseases like respiratory disorders, heart problems, joint problems etc.” he added.