Latest News » Obesity overtakes hunger as most pressing global health concern

Obesity has become a global epidemic.

Based on statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 35 percent of adult Americans – over a third of the population – are considered medically obese. This is major cause for concern in the medical community, since carrying excess weight – and the unhealthy lifestyle habits that often accompany it – increases an individual's risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other potentially life-threatening conditions. However, the United States is the only country facing this challenge.

CNN reports that a team of 500 researchers from around the world have determined that obesity has now surpassed hunger as one of the world's most pressing health crises. Their findings were released as part of the World Health Organization's Global Burden of Disease Study, which was intended to quantify mortality rates and declines in health caused by injury and illness around the world.

The results of the study were mixed, with some signs of improvements and other negative indicators. Mortality rates due to infectious diseases – particularly among children – and heart disease have decreased thanks to greater access to vaccinations and advancements in medical treatment. However, cardiovascular disorders overall are on the rise.

According to the research, obesity has now become the primary cause of disabilities. Obesity rates have increased by approximately 82 percent worldwide, with some regions of the world seeing a 100 percent rise in the last 20 years. 

"We hope policymakers will pay attention to these numbers and figure out what programs they can implement to intervene on these trends," said co-author and University of Washington professor Ali Mokdad.

Obesity can lead to many serious health conditions that can impair brain health and even put your life at risk. But, though increasingly prevalent, it is preventable if you incorporate regular exercise into your routine and stick to a balanced and well-proportioned diet. Click here for information about our weight management products.