Throughout the world, scientists are trying to discover the causes of obesity. But the more they look at it, the more complex relationships become.
Obesity does not come simply from eating too much, but because people are not biologically prepared for abundance and lack of exercise. We must first learn to cope with the temptations of a comfortable life.
Where does obesity come from?
Most of us live in modern industrial societies, at least in abundance in terms of the amount of food available. And because more and more technology saves muscle power, we burn less and less energy.
More and more overweight people
The trend is clear: the number of overweight people continues to increase. Large studies such as the Max Rubner Institute’s “National Consumption Study II” showed in 2008 that an incredible 66 percent of men and 51 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 80 are already overweight. That means that your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 25.
According to statistics, one in five people is overweight or pathologically obese (BMI over 29), and even one in three among those over 60.
Therefore, the excess of pounds has both personal and social reasons. It is no wonder that health experts and politicians are concerned about what can be done to stop threatening development.
Obesity is also becoming a problem for emerging countries
You might think that being overweight is a problem in the western world. Fast-food chains, XXL portions, increased meat consumption – all of this leads to being overweight.
But according to Majid Ezzati, one of the study’s authors, more and more low- and middle-income countries are also affected. Because more and more emerging countries have adopted the eating habits of the western world.
In developing countries alone, meat consumption has almost doubled to 31 kilos per capita in the past 25 years. The BMI values of Argentina, Uruguay, or Chile, for example, hardly differ from the average of the main industrial countries.
And in many Middle Eastern countries , too, people have gained weight in recent years.
The fattest people live in the South Pacific
However, the fattest people live in the South Pacific: men in the island state of Nauru have an average BMI of 33.9, the figure for women is 35. No other country has higher values.
In the 1980s, huge phosphate reserves were discovered on the island, and the inhabitants suddenly became rich. But with prosperity, poor eating habits also reached the island state: In many cultures in the South Pacific, a round belly is a sign that you’re doing economically well.
As early as 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that people with the highest BMI lived in Nauru. There are also other countries in the South Pacific in the ranking of the ten thickest countries in the world.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death
About 40 percent of Europeans die of heart disease. This is the main cause of death. Many of these heart diseases are due to poor nutrition.
According to the researchers, the policy should be forced to counter the increase in overweight. “Our study helps get to the bottom of the obesity problem. We know that poor nutrition and lack of exercise have led to an increase in obesity worldwide, “ says Gretchen Stevens of the WHO.
“Now we need to find policies that can limit the effects.”Gretchen Stevens of WHO
The thickest countries on earth (men)
|2. Cook Islands||32.7|
|4. French Polynesia||30.9|
|7. Marshal Islands||29.4|
The thickest countries on earth (women)
|3. Cook Islands||33.9|
|5. French Polynesia||32.1|
|7. Marshall Islands||31,4|