The world seems to be spiraling towards an obesity crisis with number of obese tripling in the last 45 years. And, the causes of obesity are so diverse that it is difficult to pinpoint a single factor responsible for this problem.
Given below are similar interesting facts about obesity that will help you understand this worldwide problem in a better way.
Learn some of the most important facts for obesity in the following sections and find out ways to prevent this crisis.
Shocking Facts About Obesity (Being Overweight)
A Body Mass Index Greater Than or Equal to 30 is Obesity
This is the most common obesity fact. Obesity is defined as accumulation of fat in the body over time. A person is obese or not can be found out by calculating his/her Body mass index or the BMI.
BMI is calculated by dividing the body weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters.
For example, a person weighing 64 kilograms and having a height of 1.65 meters will have a BMI of 23.5.
BMI = 64/(1.65*1.65) = 23.5
A person having a BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight whereas a person having a BMI greater than 30 is categorized as obese.
A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is the normal range for adults.
BMI should not be applied to pregnant ladies, children and the elderly (age more than 65 years). This is because their bodies are at various stages of growth or decline and BMI will not present the right picture.
One of the facts about obesity that will shock you is that obesity is recognized as a disease and not a lifestyle disorder by the American Medical Association.
One Third of the World’s Population is Overweight or Obese
Obesity was prevalent in the society earlier too but it became more common in the 20th century. From 1975 to 2016 the number of obese grew threefold prompting the World Health Organization to label it as an epidemic.
One of the well-known obesity facts is that the highest number of obese is in the USA followed by China. Though initially thought to be a disease of the affluent nations, obesity has now become widespread. From the data collected of 188 countries, it was found that more than 2 billion people are either obese or overweight worldwide.
What is a lesser known fact about obesity is that obesity is affecting people at much younger age than before. Though the highest percentage of obese are in the age group of 35 to 74 years, obesity in children is also showing an upward trend.
Obesity in children and teenagers is calculated differently. If a child’s BMI is between 85th and 95th percentile of the BMI of children of the same age than the child is categorized as overweight. If the BMI is more than 95th percentile then the child is categorized as obese.
Severe Obesity Can Reduce a Person’s Life Span by 10 Years
Obesity is classified as moderate and severe. People having a BMI between 30 and 35 are moderately obese whereas people having a BMI of more than 40 are severely obese.
Studies have shown that people who are severely obese have mortality rate similar to smokers. A shocking obesity fact is that severe obesity can reduce a person’s lifespan by about a decade!
Moderate obesity can take away nearly 3 years of a person’s life.
Obesity not only causes various types of diseases like diabetes or cancer, but it can increase a person’s risk of dying by a stroke substantially.
Higher BMI’s are not only a cause of worry. People having lower BMI’s (lower than normal) are also at an increased risk of mortality. Another unsettling fact about obesity is that younger people are more at risk of dying due to unhealthy BMI’s than older people.
Obesity Can Cause Many Health Problems Some of Which Can be Fatal
It is a known obesity fact that excess weight gain is linked to many diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, asthma, gout and cardiovascular problems.
Obesity means an increase in the fat content of the body. This results in higher cholesterol levels in the blood. Fat deposition inside the walls of arteries can result in clogged arteries. All this can lead to strokes and other cardiovascular problems.
Also See – Health Benefits of Drinking Lots of Water
Obese people have more insulin resistant substances in their body than others. These substances are glycerol, fatty acids and pro-inflammatory markers. They result in dysfunction of the pancreas which can result into type-2 diabetes.
Excess fat in the body leaves less room for oxygen resulting in long-term inflammation. This can harm the body and affect its management of hormones. This can lead to incorrect cell division resulting in cancerous tumors.
Some types of cancers associated with obesity are colorectal cancer, breast cancer and gallbladder cancer.
Excess weight can also hamper joint movement and create stress. This can lead to tissue wear and tear leading to arthritis and osteoporosis.
Causes of Obesity Can Range from Sedentary Lifestyle to Genetics
Obesity can be caused due to a variety of reasons. It is one of the simplest yet most misunderstood facts about obesity. Obesity need not be due a single factor but can result from a combination of social, cultural, psychological and environmental factors.
Everyone knows this obesity fact that a person can gain excess weight when the number of calories in is more than calories out. Over the years the excess calories add up that result in significant weight gain.
The reason for these excess calories can be improper diet, lack of exercise, mood swings, depression, lack of sleep and so on.
Regular intake of certain medications can also result in weight gain. Some of these medicines are anti-depressants, schizophrenia medicines and diabetes medicines.
Some medical conditions like hypothyroidism or genetic disorders can also cause obesity.
Wrapping Up – Shocking Obesity Facts
One thing that is clear through the various facts about obesity is that it is not something that will disappear on its own. In fact the more you ignore it the more persistent and prevalent it will become leading to fatal medical conditions.
Hence, it is vital to be aware of its signs and symptoms and take remedial actions (proper diet and exercise) as soon as possible. One positive obesity fact regarding this is –
An already overweight or obese person can actually add years to his/her life by preventing more weight gain.