Student Corner

The Global Obesity Epidemic

Written by: Chahat R.S. Rathour - 24018, Grade XII

Posted on: 01 December, 2023

Obesity is a big problem all around the world. According to the WHO, the number of overweight and obese people has tripled since 1975. Right now, there are more than 1.9 billion adults who are overweight and over 650 million who are obese.  

This is a serious issue as being obese can lead to various health problems including heart problems, strokes, diabetes, and some kinds of cancer. To help you understand how big this problem is, think about all the overweight and obese people in the world. If they were put together, they would be the third-largest group of people in the world, just after China and India.

Obesity is caused by the people themselves. Most people become obese due to unhealthy eating habits namely eating packaged or junk foods rather than healthy food. The required nutrients, carbohydrates are not attained with excessive use of junk foods. Without eating healthy food, no person can hope to become healthy.  The lack of physical activity can also lead to obesity. Without any physical activity, the fats don’t burn and thus store in the body resulting in obesity. 

Emotional factors developed due to bullying, depression causes obesity. Rather, it messes up the individual’s well-being to cause them to do abnormal things. One such case is excessive eating. With excessive eating, no physical activity being stored in the room can also in some way contribute to obesity. Medical conditions like underactive thyroid, Cushing syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome also contribute to obesity. 

Obesity is just the beginning of bad well-being. Physically, being obese amplifies the risk of severe ailments like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The simple act of moving becomes difficult, chipping away at both mobility and independence. Beyond the individual, the societal impact is notable, escalating healthcare costs and impacting communities. In addressing obesity, we're not only championing personal health but also weaving a fabric of communal well-being.

An obesogenic environment refers to the various external factors and conditions in our modern society that promote unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyles, and ultimately contribute to the rising rates of obesity. It's an environment that makes it easier for people to gain weight and harder for them to maintain a healthy weight. Weight bias in healthcare refers to the negative attitudes, stereotypes, and discriminatory behavior that healthcare professionals may exhibit toward individuals who are overweight or obese. It can have serious consequences for the physical and mental health of these patients.

Now, is there a role of the government in controlling obesity? Well yes, but taking measures like allowing good healthy food, keeping spaces for physical activities and such are already responsibilities the government holds. It is not really a big idea that shall only help the obese people. To control obesity, it is the duty and responsibility of oneself. Keeping our body healthy and taking care of it is the most normal and basic thing anyone can do. So why ruin it and make matters worse?

In conclusion, the battle against obesity is not just about shedding pounds; it's about reclaiming lives, rebuilding health, and redefining our future. The path to a healthier world requires a collective commitment. By adopting healthier eating habits, increasing physical activity, fostering an environment, and promoting awareness, we can begin to chip away at the obesity epidemic.