It has been studied that 30% of people in the world are overweight or obese. Developing countries suffer greatly as an increase in earnings equates to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Unhealthy lifestyle choice that leads to increase in body fat and increase in likelihood to get heart disease, diabetes, certain type of cancer, hypertension, high blood pressure etc.
Obesity is measured by the Body Mass Index (BMI). It is when the person’s body fat or total percentage body fat is greater than 30kg/m2 or a person’s weight divided by the square of the person’s height. Obesity is most commonly brought about by the lack of any physical activities, excessive intake of fatty foods, junk foods and sugary substance, and genetic susceptibility. It has already overtaken smoking as a leading cause of preventable deaths in some country and has now become a major problem in health care issues.
Treatment of obesity is dieting and exercise. In some countries, treatment is provided for free to morbidly obese patients. Pharmaceuticals have also come up with weight loss remedies such as Orlistat and Lorcaserin whose main objective is to keep a regular movement in the patients gastro intestinal tracts. Surgery is also an option. Bariatic surgery is a procedure wherein the size of a patient’s stomach is reduce. This is usually given to people who are overweight or obese to help curb their cravings and have a full stomach effect with minimum intake of food.
10. Hungary (Obesity rate 18.8%)
There has been an ongoing trend in Europe to raise taxes on food high in fat content to curb Obesity. In Hungary, higher taxes are placed on salty chips, sugary drinks, cheese crackers, and other high-calorie food item. The move could benefit Hungary in two ways: one to force those who are eating unhealthily to think carefully on their food choices, and two, to put a little more money on the country’s under finance health system. In a country where desserts are very popular like the Strudels, Dobos Cake, Gundel Pancake, etc, it’s hard to teach and preach Hungarians to try something new or find an alternative solution to their dishes.
9. Germany (Obesity rate 20.2%)
Recent studies have suggested that two-thirds of Germans are obese and only 14% of the population are truly living a healthy lifestyle. This is further highlighted by the rising number of weight related surgeries like liposuction and gastric by-pass surgeries claimed on the individual’s health insurance. Ideally, these types of procedures are not covered; however they are being associated now with possible loss of life or further decline of health if the procedures are not done. Germans are well known to take high consumption of beer and fatty foods which leads to one being lethargic and can be attributed to a non-healthy lifestyle.
8. Canada (Obesity rate 22%)
Another country who’s health care provides the figure of how many of its citizens are now Obese is Canada. Treatment for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease /other heart ailment, high blood pressures, etc where reported to increase and cost $6 Billion dollars of Canada’s health care budget. From a national survey, 48% percent of Canadian men are obese and 52% are women. 28% are individuals in their early 20’s, 39% were those in their late 20’s to mid 30’s, and 32% are in their late 30’s to mid 50’s. What surprising in this survey is that out of the respondent who are classified as obese, 4% thinks that they are just on the right weight.
7. Norway (Obesity rate 22.4%)
In Norway, there has been a study that showed an increase of weight of its adult citizen compared to those in 1970’s. Almost half of Norway’s adult men are overweight and 18% are obese. Just like Hungary, there has been increase consumption of high-fatty foods and sugary content among the young individuals. Among children aged 8-12, 15 to 20% are now considered overweight and obese. The rising rate of overweight and obese children seems to be the same across Western European countries according to the same studies.
6. Slovakia (Obesity rate 23%)
Obesity is one of the leading health problems in Europe. In Slovakia, unhealthy eating habits are starting in the young. 12.5% of boys and 12.1% of girls considered overweight with 31% of Slovakian children spending many hours in front of the TV instead of playing or interacting with other youths. The European Union in response to the rising obesity problem has urged food companies to list accurate calorie content on their labels, and show support to low calorie food in the market. Commercials and Advertisement of high calorie products during children’s program should also be lessen and brand presence minimized in schools/campuses.
5. UAE (Obesity rate 23%)
It may be a bit surprising to see a Middle Eastern country in this list. After all, we don’t often see any high calorie, high in fat food from the Mediterranean. In a recent study, almost 66% of men are overweight while 60% are women. Although considered a first world country, experts had mentioned that they are not ready to face the rising cost of health care brought about by the side effects of obesity. Diabetes is already prevalent amongst UAE’s citizens who are unable to monitor and control their condition. Lack of exercise and any physical activity is also to blame experts say.
4. Czech Republic (Obesity rate 24.2%)
It has been reported in Czech Republic that the country is the fattest country in Europe. In the last 10 years alone, the rate of obesity increase by 40%. Consumption of alcohol and fatty foods plus a lifestyle that has been consistent on watching TV and playing video games is to blame for this increase. As a result, there has been a growing number of eating disorder being reported in an effort to lose the weight. To help reduce the numbers, EU funded a preventive program which aims to educate and address issues early on. Parents are guided and made responsible in helping their children achieve a healthy lifestyle.
3. Australia (Obesity rate 24.6%)
Australians have something to be worried about. Their numbers had said that those suffering from Obesity has doubled in the past 20 years. It has already replaced Smoking as the leading trigger of premature deaths. Obese children are now suffering from Type 2 diabetes, Sleep Apnea, asthma, and hypertension. 67% of Australian adults are overweight and obese. As a way to curb the rising figure, the Australian government has given tax incentives on healthier food items like fruit and vegetables. Junk food ads will also be limited during the day where most of the children’s programs are aired. Morbidly obese individuals were also given free weight loss surgery.
2. New Zealand (Obesity rate 26.5%)
A total of 1.3 million New Zealander are now considered overweight or obese. This considering that only an estimated 4 million people lives in New Zealand. Obesity is also more prevalent amongst the female population with 510,000 women are obese compared to 450,000 men. Children also suffer big in New Zealand. 30% has been reported to be overweight or obese. The lack of physical activities and easy access to processed food contributed to this increase. The government already called for action and has advised schools to remove or cut high calorie content food and sugary treats from the cafeteria.
1. USA(Obesity rate 33.8%)
Research has shown that 1 out of 3 Americans are Obese. 32% of men and 35% are women. The rapid increase has already cost $117 billion in their health care budget with an emphasis on treatment for Type 2 diabetes, heart failure, liver disease, depression, and other medical conditions. Americans unhealthy eating diet is to blame for this figure. Fast food establishment has become very popular where the servings are said to be ridiculous. Most of these fast food dishes do not even fulfill the basic nutritional value or requirement needed. A sedentary lifestyle is also a part of the unhealthy lifestyle where people tend to just sit around and watch TV.