Mar 04 , 2023
World Obesity Day is observed on March 4th every year to raise awareness about obesity and its effects on our health. In Pakistan, the obesity epidemic is a growing concern, with a large proportion of the population being overweight or obese. In this blog post, we will explore what obesity is, its causes, and how it affects our lives, as well as highlighting some of the damaging facts about obesity in Pakistan.
What is obesity?
Obesity is a serious public health concern affecting millions of people around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity has more than tripled since 1975, and in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, with over 650 million being obese. World Obesity Day, observed on March 4th, aims to raise awareness of this growing problem and encourage action to address it.
Causes of Obesity:
Obesity is a complex condition that can be caused by a range of factors, including:
Genetics: Research suggests that genetics play a role in the development of obesity, with some people being more inclined to gaining weight than others.
Diet: A diet that is high in calories and fat can lead to weight gain and obesity. This is particularly true when combined with a sedentary lifestyle.
Lack of physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle, with little or no physical activity, can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
Environment: The environment we live in can also contribute to obesity. Factors such as the availability and accessibility of unhealthy foods, sedentary lifestyles, and a lack of safe spaces for physical activity can all increase the risk of obesity.
Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can cause weight gain and obesity.
Effects of Obesity:
Obesity can have a range of negative effects on our health, including:
Cardiovascular disease: Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
Type 2 diabetes: Obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a condition where the body is unable to use insulin effectively.
Respiratory problems: Obesity can cause breathing difficulties, including sleep apnea and asthma.
Joint problems: Excess weight can put strain on the joints, leading to conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Mental health problems: Obesity can also have a negative impact on mental health, with research suggesting that people with obesity are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
Damaging Facts about Obesity in Pakistan:
Here are some damaging facts about obesity in Pakistan that highlight the urgent need for action:
* According to a study conducted by the Pakistan Health Research Council, the prevalence of obesity in Pakistan has increased from 22.4% in 1990 to 38.3% in 2020.
* The prevalence of overweight and obesity is higher among women in Pakistan than men, with 46.2% of women being overweight or obese compared to 33.9% of men.
* Obesity is more prevalent in urban areas of Pakistan than in rural areas.
* Obesity is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Pakistan, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Action to Address Obesity in Pakistan:
Addressing obesity in Pakistan requires a multi-faceted approach that involves individuals, communities, and the government. Here are some actions that can be taken to address obesity:
Education: Increasing public awareness about the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity can help to prevent obesity.
Policy interventions: Implementing policies that promote healthy eating and physical activity, such as taxes on sugary drinks and providing safe spaces for physical activity, can help to reduce obesity rates.
Health promotion: Encouraging healthcare providers to promote healthy lifestyles and screen for obesity and related health conditions which can help to prevent and manage obesity.
Pakistan must take swift action to tackle its growing obesity problem, or risk facing severe health consequences. Let's make healthier choices and prioritize physical activity to combat this issue and improve the overall wellbeing of the population.