Obesity is not just a problem for the USA, it is not just limited to other developed countries either – it is a problem that has spread throughout the globe, and is now recognised as an insidious killer and the major contributing cause of preventable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease – according to Professor Paul Zimmet, chairman of the 10th International Congress on Obesity, Sydney, Australia.

Health care professionals now acknowledge that childhood obesity/overweight is such, that we could be seeing, for the first time in human history, the possibility of millions of parents outliving their children.

Overweight/obesity affects more people on our planet than undernourishment. In other words, there are more fat people in the world than underfed people. Obesity is now the greatest contributor to chronic disease.

The International Congress on Obesity, which is currently underway, is being attended by over 2,500 delegates from around the globe, who will listen to 400 experts.

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is the major theme in this conference. Experts say that obesity among children is a problem that will manifest itself in a big way when these obese/overweight children grow up. If nothing is done to combat the problem we will be facing massive chronic health consequences.

According to Prof. Kate Steinbeck, Sydney Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, a huge number of children today may die before their parents because of obesity.

Exactly how many obese/overweight people there are in the world today is hard to tell. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there are about 1 billion, of which 300 million are obese. If this is an accurate estimate, obesity/overweight is now a world epidemic. There are 800 million underweight people worldwide.

What are the consequences of obesity/overweight?
Here are the main ones:

Coronary heart disease
— Dyslipidemia (high total cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides)
— Gallbladder disease
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
— Osteoarthritis
— Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
— Several cancers
Type 2 diabetes

10th International Congress on Obesity

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today