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Warning: Growth of Obesity Epidemic

Growth of Obesity Epidemic

(This is part 1 of 2. Come back tomorrow for more!)

Not overweight, but obese. One-fifth of the world’s population by 2025 will be obese. One-fourth of the population of the US will be obese. This is the growth of obesity epidemic.

Something of a warning about the rapid growth of the obesity epidemic made quiet waves months ago in The Guardian, also picked up by CNN and The New York Times. 

Reviewing the shocking findings from The Lancet, The Guardian notes that those most particularly affected are women, given the recent trends: “global obesity prevalence will reach 18% in men and surpass 21% in women [by 2025]; severe obesity will surpass 6% in men and 9% in women [by 20205].”

Obesity is an epidemic–widespread and spreading, affecting a disproportionately large percentage of the population, and out of control.

Growth of Obesity Epidemic
Source: The Lancet


A high body-mass index (or, BMI) is the best indicator of being overweight or obese. The BMI is simply a person’s body mass divided by the square of the body height. (Plenty of calculators online help if you need to figure out your BMI to give you a decent idea of where you stand.) Though it should be noted–Two men, both weighing 205lbs, may have the “same” BMI even though MAN1 is shredded with 5% body-fat, and MAN2 is all-fat. So it’s best to use the BMI calculators just for a general, initial idea.

Most research on obesity focuses on the detrimental health effects associated with high BMIs: Diabetes, Plaque in the arteries, heart problems, poor blood circulation, liver problems, kidney problems, hypertension, stroke, death. One the one hand, these health effects have become so drilled into our heads that they’ve almost become cliche and, so, easily forgettable.

But on the other hand, we should think about it as much as possible and simply conclude for ourselves:

The Body Does Not Like Being Overweight or Obese

But there are also factors to consider with the growth of the obesity epidemic, factors that I’m sure many of us have encountered but have a hard time recognizing. The biggest factor is time wasted. 


An interesting article appeared a few years ago in The Atlantic. Basically, the findings concluded that the extra (human) weight in cars and on public transportation due to overweight and/or obese individuals necessitated more gas and, so, more gas guzzling. To the tune of 1,000,000,000 gallons of gas a year.

(It’s normal to feel guilty about this. But not because you should feel guilty about this. EVERYONE worries about their weight until they accept themselves and move on. So get over it.)

What this waste of gas and resources speaks to is a hidden consequence. What are other hidden consequences of obesity?

  • It takes more times to do simple things, like walking around
  • It takes more energy to do simple things
  • It costs more money because you’ll be spending more on food and replacing your clothes
  • It costs more money because you’ll have to pay doctor’s bills and prescriptions to manage your obesity
  •  It causes sleep issues, thereby depleting your energy even more
  • More doctor’s visits, more bill paying, more time getting around, more time catching up on sleep, more time eating=More time wasted, and less time in control of your life

It’s simple to see, simple to understand, yet difficult to accept: Obesity and being overweight take away the little control that we actually may have on our lives.


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