Obesity epidemic expected to get worse

June 3, 2003 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Obesity epidemic expected to get worse

Obesity has spiraled into a worldwide epidemic affecting 250 million adults but experts believe the worst is still to come. Overweight adolescents are on course to fuel an even bigger global health problem as they mature into obese adults.

Dr. Mikael Fogelholm, chairman of the 12th European Congress on Obesity, said the prevalence of obesity among adolescents has increased more rapidly than among the middle-aged population. A steady, and in some cases life-long, diet of high-fat fast foods and idle hours in front of the television and computer, has taken its toll on children.

Most obese adults now had not been obese children. They obtained their extra kilos (pounds) after they were 25 or 30 years old. But now we have more and more people who are already obese at the age of 10, 15 or 20. If the trend goes on, the future doesn't look better. It looks worse unless we can find a way to prevent obesity.

Along with expanding waistlines, being overweight or obese increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancer.

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