The Worldwide "Globesity" Epidemic

I've written often about the dire effects the obesity epidemic has had on this country's health and economy. Perhaps, the most sobering number of them all: The number of adults considered morbidly obese five years ago jumped to nearly 5 million, sending the U.S. health care budget skyrocketing to more than $11 billion.

Unfortunately, the epidemic is spreading full force in other countries, according to a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) featured in the New York Times, my favorite newspaper in the world. In it, they used a new word for the current health crisis -- globesity -- that really fits, considering the group estimates the number of obese adults worldwide exceeded 300 million in 2000. Because this estimate is five years old (and considering 200 million was a 33 percent increase from 1995), however, I suspect that number may be frighteningly low compared to current stats.

Even worse, the plague of obesity isn't limited to industrialized countries either: More than 115 million people suffer from obesity-related problems in developing countries. Other global lowlights:

  • Three times the number of African children suffer from obesity-related illness than they do malnutrition.
  • In just five years, more than half the people in the world with diabetes will be Asians.
  • Obesity-related problems account for 18 million sick days, 30,000 deaths annually, $1 billion price tag and a lifespan shortened by nearly a decade in the United Kingdom.

Makes you wonder if all this technology that makes our lives so much more efficient and entertaining really slows us down, encouraging us to lead more sedentary lives. But I digress...

The advice I have for you is the same no matter where you live. You can avoid becoming a victim of this horrendous epidemic by overcoming exercise deficiency (ED). In other words, shut off the television and get moving!

Following my three keys to proper exercising -- length of time, frequency and intensity -- will ensure all your hard efforts are not wasted and are having a positive effect on your body. And, don't forget about optimizing your diet based on your body's unique nutritional type.

New York Times April 19, 2005 Registration Required

Spartanburg Herald-Journal April 19, 2005

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