I often blog about hunger in my Green blog because not only are people all over the world going without food, there is hunger in America as well. But, I also realize now that sometimes the lack of food also doesn’t mean out-and-out hunger but a lack of healthy food and some people who are from food-insecure homes are actually overweight.
That may have something to do with a recent study conducted by almost 500 researchers for the Global Burden of Disease that said that globally, obesity is a bigger health concern than hunger.
One of the co-authors of the study, Ali Mokdad, noted that childhood mortality has taken a turn, with infectious disease deaths being down due to immunizations. But, now obesity worldwide is bringing in a whole different set of health complications.
The report noted that every country in the world – every country – with the exception of those in sub-Saharan Africa is facing alarming obesity rates. In fact, the world’s girth has grown a disturbing 82% in the past two decades.
And, if you think Americans are the main culprits, you should know that obesity rates in Middle Eastern countries have seen a 100 percent increase since 1990.
Unfortunately, it seems as if much of the world is adopting our lifestyle and eating habits. Now, non-communicable diseases such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease – all of which can be brought about by obesity – are the leading cause of years spent ill.
While life expectancy has increased, the quality of life for many has decrease due to health issues brought on by obesity. The study estimated that on average, people experience pain and illness the last 14 years of their life.
Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) told the U.N. last year that non-communicable disease are a “slow-motion disaster.” The U.N. approved a political declaration to try to stop the rise of non-communicable diseases. This is only the second time this has happened in the U.N. The first time was to try to stop the spread of AIDS.