The fight against obesity has gone global.
The International Association for the Study of Obesity is encouraging governments to do something about the obesity epidemic, which will ultimately lead to a chronic health care crisis. Life threatening risks of obesity include type 2 diabetes (which can lead to kidney failure), high blood pressure, and a variety of other cardiovascular events.
According to the Association of the Study of Obesity in the United Kingdom, 2/3 of an adults and 1/3 of children are overweight or obese. According to some health care experts, if the obesity tide doesn’t turn, life expectancy could be shortened for the first time.
How can the government help? Well, that’s a good question, since typically the government only complicates matters. However, an editorial published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that subsidies should go to fruit and vegetable producers rather than to corporations who for example, produce high fructose corn syrup.
Another problem: fast food is getting cheaper. Fruits and vegetables are often shipped long distances, which adds to the cost.
Good News, Bad News
A couple of months ago, the CDC reported that childhood obesity rates are leveling off in many states – that’s good news.
Here’s the not so good news: according to the American Heart Association, children who are the heaviest are gaining more weight at an alarming rate. This new data has led the AHA to create a new classification within the obesity spectrum among children. Under this category are kids who have a BMI that’s at least 20% higher than the 95th percentile of other children their same height and weight. Approximately 5& (4 million) of overweight children fall in the new, severely obese group.