Our Fat Planet

The term ‘obese’ describes a person who’s very overweight, with a lot of body fat.

Two-thirds of all Americans are overweight; one-third of them are obese. More than a billion people worldwide are overweight and over 600 million are obese.

It’s created an epidemic of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart disease, heart-related deaths — plus strokes and diabetes. Also, many types of cancer have been linked with obesity.

Overweight women have higher levels of male hormones, which ups their risk of heart disease. Those hormones also cause male pattern balding, some excess facial hair, and acne.

Excess weight affects another hormone — insulin — which leads to diabetes. Having diabetes increases your heart disease risk. It’s a vicious circle.

Obesity has a real impact on economy and creates a large public burden for the entire country. Obesity cuts into the labor force’s productivity. It also creates a large economic burden on all society—a recent study demonstrated that almost 10 percent of all medical expenditures can be directly attributed to obesity.

And in an era where military recruitment is suffering from two very real wars on the ground, it’s truly depressing to note that the leading cause of early discharge from the armed forces is excess weight.

We live in an obesogenic environment in which it is much easier to get fat than to stay fit. Many believe losing weight is merely a matter of moving more and eating less. But they are wrong. Obesity is the net result of dramatic changes to our environment, food supply, and surging stress levels.


How developed country governments deal with obesity

by Alba Cabrera Angles

37.7%. That is the percentage of obesity just in West Virginia.

Prevalence of overweight people in the Anglosphere / photo by: world Heath Organization

The United States of America has been labelled for years as the “fattest country in the planet”, and data like this proves it. Even though the numbers have stabilised in the last years and other countries in the world are increasing, the USA still gets the doubtable honour of being number 1 in the rankings.

County-level Estumates of Obesity among Adults aged ≥20 years: United States 2008 / photo by: Wikipedia

And why is that?

Documentary Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock not only showed us how addictive fast food was, but as well the reason why people choose it. Processed food it’s cheaper, easier to cook or buy in a food chain like Mac Donald’s.

This chain as well is what represents a issue in other countries underdeveloped. They are signs of the “American dream”. If they do it in the US, it must be good right? So, what has been done to bring this percentage down? It changes in every state. But overall they have divided their action groups in three, early childhood, schools and communities.

All the states agree that in early childhood the ECE (early childhood education) should have healthy eating and physical activity programmes. Studies have found as well that the screen time affects early childhood behaviour towards health, and states like New York and Texas have already put measures towards it.

The second group is schools.

Education plays a really strong influence in children. Not only teachers have to teach kids how to read and write today, but they as well have a responsibility to show them healthy eating and the importance of physical activity. Programmes like farm to school projects, witch allow children to have a healthier snack option in schools ha high participation in Rhode Island but almost none in Nevada.

Finally, the communities.

Where we live affects us. Different kinds of shops offer different kinds of food. And not only about how healthy they are, but how affordable. The presence of parks, wide sidewalks or and playgrounds for the children can make a huge influence in our physical activity.

All in all, the Governments can apply as many programmes as they want, but it is up to the people to use them at the end of the day. Between 100 and 400 people die in the United States every year with problems related to obesity, and 4 in 10 adults are overweighed. If we don’t change our health habits since we are children, it is almost certain that this numbers will only increase. It is in our hands to stop being a fat world.

 How developing countries respond to obesity

by Vevila Zhang

In Mexico, obesity and its associated diseases cost the government’s health care system between $4.3 billion and $5.4 billion a year. Costs for diabetes programs and treatment rose from $318 million in 2005 to $343 million in 2010. In 2008, the Mexican government, private sector, and civil society agreed on the need to promote exercise and a better diet. The Ministry of Health launched the National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Overweight, Obesity and Diabetes in 2014. The initiative promotes healthy lifestyles, improves primary health care services, and advocates regulations and fiscal policies such as snack taxes. That year, Congress approved a soda tax of 1 peso a liter and an 8 percent tax on high-calorie foods. Add to this conundrum an ongoing shortage of primary health care personnel and unreliable access to diabetes medication, which forces many people to pay out of pocket even when they have access to government-provided health insurance.

India overweight child / photo by: Xinhua Media
Indian soldiers also have obesity

In India, obesity is projected to strain the government’s health care budget—and the economy—due to work days lost. Moreover, government expenditures on Type 2 diabetes patients ranged from $25 billion to $38 billion in 2010, mostly on medication and hospitalization (Yesudian and others 2014). In 2008, India’s Ministry of Health & Family Welfare introduced the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. This initiative focused on early diagnosis, lifestyle changes, and improvements in primary health care. However, an inadequate health care infrastructure and a shortage of medical specialists and primary health care workers has hampered implementation efforts.

Obese people in China are increasing
One-third of the world’s people are fat, China is from the second largest obese country into the largest obese country.

In China, in 2009, the government is estimated to have spent $3.5 billion treating obese patients. Recent estimates suggest that diabetes treatment costs the government about $25 billion a year. China’s Ministry of Health has worked with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity and established the Chronic Disease Comprehensive Prevention and Control Demonstration program in 2010 to join with provincial governments to promote physical fitness and improved nutrition. The National Plan for NCD (Noncommunicable Disease) Prevention and Treatment (2012–15) boosted efforts to improve school nutrition and student fitness, strengthen primary health care systems, increase media awareness, and promote healthy lifestyles. But only 25 percent of diabetics receive proper treatment, such as reliable access to medication and primary health care. Despite the obesity and diabetes prevention programs of the past decade, public awareness, healthier lifestyles, and early detection of diabetes have not progressed.

A continued dearth of health care workers, especially in rural areas, and lack of coordination by the health ministry with provincial governments have further blocked policy implementation.

Brazil’s government costs for patients with obesity—often for treatment of ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer—rose from $5.4 million in 2008 to $10.4 million in 2011.

In Brazil, the Ministry of Health developed a strategic action plan in 2010 to combat noncommunicable diseases. The plan includes guidelines for better nutrition and school nutrition programs and boosts federal funding for obesity awareness and for health care workers to implement prevention programs.


Poorer areas will become new obesity Heavy disaster area

by Vicky Zeng

The value of BM is one of the criteria for the health of the body.

In the past few decades, obesity may be a sign of richer areas. Because people have enough money, they can eat enough and eat everything they want. But nowadays, this situation has changed; it looks like the impact of obesity in poorer areas is more serious than in richer areas.

According to The Independent: in the past 10 years, obesity has stabilized in Britain, but 1/5 children have been classified as obese or overweight. In the poorest regions, the rate of childhood obesity increased to 26%, but in the richest regions, the rate of obesity was only 12%.

What’s more, not just in UK, obesity is now begin to appear dramatically in many poorer areas in the world, the poor areas obesity rates also raising faster than richer areas. And most of the developing countries belong to this region.Egypt has recently been included on one of the 20 countries with the highest rates of obesity in the world according to The European Times.

The data show that men in poor areas are more likely to be obese.

According to The Lancet: Mean BMI and prevalence of obesity increased worldwide in children and adolescents from 1975 to 2016. Since around 2000, the trend in children’s and adolescents’ mean BMI has stabled in many high-income countries, but has accelerated in east, south, and Southeast Asia.

According to The European Times, Samoa’s obesity rate has soared, and data show that its obese population has increased by 95% since it began importing Western food and canned food. This has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people with diabetes and sleep apnea.

For lots of people, chips, cola, hamburger and other High-calorie foods are essential snacks in childhood. But for many people in poor areas, these Westernized snacks have not been introduced for a long time; it’s new to the people in these places. And plus those snacks are very cheap and tasty; it attracts a lot of people’s attention, especially children. Even some people treat these foods as staples.

Obese people have grown rapidly from 1980 to 2010.

What’s more, In The European Times, a author points out that there is another possibility here, it is possible for people in poor areas to admire Western culture and think that Western people are rich. So by accepting Western culture and eating habits, poor people feel closer to the ideal life and the culture and society they worship. And this has also led to some junk food in these areas very popular. Because of this, the number of obese people in poor areas has increased dramatically.

Besides, with the development of technology, productivity has become more expensive, resulting in higher prices for fresh food and lower prices for synthetic chemicals, For example, in lots of supermarkets, high-calorie snacks are much cheaper than low-calorie, healthy food, and fast food is much cheaper than fresh vegetables. And this eventually leads people to change in food requirements. 

New initiatives taking place.

by Alex Zhou

With the fast development of science, people lives in a better life, they can get food very easy, just need to order the food they want on the internet, then they can wait for their food and restaurants will asks staffs to send the food to customers’ houses. So, even in some poor areas, humans’ weight is still not enough, but obesity is still more over than malnourished.

According to a research, there are more adults obese people in the world than those who are underweight, and China has the highest number of obese people in the world.

In 2017, more than 2 billion people worldwide are known as obese, and these groups are on the rise. Obesity figures for 2017 show a rising obesity rate among adolescents.

In fact, obesity is not only valued in China, it is a serious health problem globally. There have more than 200 million obese people in the world, 108 million are children, 600 million are adults, 5 percent of children and 12 percent of adults are obese. Although the number of obese children appears to be small, the number of obese children is growing faster and faster.

Double obesity among more than 70 countries, the most worrying the discovery of the developing countries, including China, Brazil and Indonesia obesity rate has tripled in teenagers, which means that the juvenile diabetes, high blood pressure, and increased the incidence of chronic kidney disease and other conditions.

Egypt has the highest obese proportion of adults in the world, with 35 percent. The U.S. has the highest rate of childhood obesity, about 12.7 percent. Vietnam has the lowest percentage of adults, about 1.6 percent, and Bangladesh has the lowest rate, about 1.2 percent.

Obesity isn’t just a matter of life, it’s actually too much overweight and obesity is not good for people. Complications resulting from obesity are particularly high and can be life-threatening. About four million people worldwide die each year from being overweight or obese, and nearly 40 percent of them are overweight.

As a Scotch who called Dylin said, it is too convenient for people to get food, people just need to order food on the their phone, and it makes people become lazy.

“I suggest that parents can take care the food for their children, make sure that they eat the food and be health, also people need to do exercises to lose their weight instead of fasts.” said Dylin. 

Can people be fat but healthy?

by Becky Cao

People are often warned that obesity is a road to the grave. People are generally think that fat people are unhealthy and thin people are healthy. However, the recent study shows obesity or overweight may not be the health threat that what we think.

According to The Guardian, People who have the ability to store large amounts of fat are able to be fat, but not unhealthy. Previous studies have found that while being overweight or obese is a risk factor for diabetes, liver disease and heart disease, about 15-20% of those who are obese appear to suffer no health consequences.

“I’m healthy even if I’m bigger.” Ruby, 21 years old, who is a waitress in a bar of Preston said. “I become overweight it’s because I like food, and eat the wrong foods, take away the cook and unhealthy meal. When I was about 15, I used like eat all the chocolate and cake, and I love to take it all to my room and eat in secret. That’s makes me feel satisfied. I also used to went to the gym and do some exercise sometimes, and I have tried dieting, used apps and so I can track what you’ve been eat and exercise you’ve been doing in that day, so you can see your how much weight you need to lose and how long you need to take, but I found I will gone the diet for about a week, and then I will make fatty food too much and then I will just go back to eat chocolate.”

“The people getting fatter because it’s becoming more social acceptable to be fat, there are lots of fast shops are worldwide . And now if you are a lager person, nobody seems to mind anymore because it’s normal issue in UK. I go to the doctor for a routine check-up every year, and I’m healthy. But when I have children I need to be thinner, so that I’m healthier and fitter, that’s more benefit for my children.” She added.

Obesity people often be told “Drop the weight. Being fat is no good.” However certainly health is more important than the number on bathroom scale. People don’t choose to be obese, but lose weight is really matters even if they are healthy?

Dan Laspina,  an 26 years old American from Chicago who worked in restaurant of Preston said: “I go to the gym three times a week and I’m still bigger, because I’m not going to lose my weight, I eat what I want, but I will control the calorie. If I eat too much high calorie food in a day, I definitely will go to the gym and burning it. Although I didn’t lose my weight, I think I’m still a healthy fat person.”

Obesity doesn’t affect everyone in the same ways, but not everyone who is obesity is unhealthy.