Obesity Pandemic Looms

Did you know there are more obese people on earth than there are starving people on earth? That is the news from The 10th International Congress of Obesity this year. The World Health Organization says more than 1 billion adults are overweight and 300 million of them are obese, putting them at much higher risk of diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke and some forms of cancer. There are about 600-800 million people in the world who are undernourished.

Additional important notes on The 10th International Congress of Obesity held in Sydney, Australia in Sepetember, 2006:

For the past 30 years attempts to urge people to eat less fatty foods and exercise more have failed to combat global obesity.

Obesity has become an “insidious killer and the major contributing cause of preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, with disastrous health, social and economic consequences,” co-chair Paul Zimmet told the conference. He continued that the growth of obesity-related diabetes, or so-called “diabesity”, was set to bankrupt health budgets all over the world.

The newest generation alive now may be the first generation in history where children die before their parents. Obesity rates are skyrocketing among children.

Obesity is not simply a matter of people eating less and exercising more, but discovering environmental and genetic contributors to obesity.

Obesity is not about gluttony — it is the interaction of heredity and environment. Small changes can make big difference in a person’s weight and health.

New obesity research has found that sleep deprivation and a diet of fats from fast food can alter a person’s biology and make them more susceptible to overeating and less active lifestyles, said the International Association for the Study of Obesity.

Dietary supplements and alternative treatments promising weight loss have minimal or no effect because they cannot match existing evolutionary influences that cause the body to conserve energy in times of famine. Many over-the-counter remedies such as concentrated herbal preparations, food extracts, minerals and vitamins are promoted as helping to decrease body weight, but do not redress the nutrient imbalance from poor diets that produce obesity.

Human evolutionary design maximizes energy intake to supply the brain which uses about one-quarter of total energy expenditure.

The agricultural policies of the world’s top producing nations allegedly are increasing the problem of obesity in developing nations. The policies favor high-fat, high-energy products over basic fruits and vegetables. Trade policies subsidize and distort the market to make fats and sugars cheaper and fruits and vegetables more expensive.

More about the conference:
About 370 speakers and presenters at the six-day congress discuss a range of issues, including scientific research on how the brain regulates energy; adipocyte/metabolism; biological determinants of obesity; complications of obesity; and advances in the epidemiology, prevention and clinical management of obesity.

The conference is being attended by academics and health professionals from Australia, Japan, the United States, Britain, Canada, Sweden, Indonesia and New Zealand.