A recent World Population Review says 30% of the global population or about 2.1 billion people fall under the obese classification. School going children are heavily affected by this dangerous health phenomenon. So, no wonder that obesity is among the top biology homework topics.
Being overweight and obese increases the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, Gallbladder disease, Coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, and osteoarthritis, among others.
But what is causing the increase in obesity worldwide? That is a question that has prompted extensive research over the last three decades.
Among the main causes identified are:
Sugar is one of the main culprits for the increase in lifestyle diseases. Added sugar is one of the worst aspects of the modern diet. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even called for a tax on sugary drinks.
Sugar affects hormones and the biochemistry of a human body, in turn, leading to weight gain. It contributes to increased energy storage and, eventually, obesity.
- Increasing Physical Inactivity
The rise of technology has led to physical inactivity as machines do most of the work. In all industries, employees now have an easier time at work.
At home, there’s technology to do virtually everything. That promotes a sedentary lifestyle which leads to weight gain. Developed countries which have the advantage of new technologies suffer a higher prevalence of obesity and overweight cases.
People now spend more time on their smartphones and television with little time left for outdoor activities. Many people today would rather spend time indoors than venture out for some activity.
- Poor Eating Habits
Food is the main problem when it comes to obesity. With more people going for junk food and other unhealthy foods, it is no surprise that obesity has increased worldwide.
Heavily processed foods have little nutrients to aid the body. Instead, they have sweeteners and other ingredients designed to make them addictive. Today, you will most likely find people going for fries or pizza over any other healthy option on the menu.
Everywhere you look, there’s an advert promoting processed products, and it is hard to resist these. In stores, processed foods and drinks take the larger part of the display. Shoppers find end up-filling their carts with these unhealthy options.
- Rising Incomes
New technologies across the globe have seen an increase in incomes. More women are now in the workforce, and living standards are on the rise.
However, these milestones come at a high price. As societies develop, they embrace western cultures, and that includes poor eating habits.
You will find leading fast-food brands in fast-developing countries. Indigenous foods that have remained a staple food in such societies, quickly give way to junk food resulting in obesity and other health problems.
- Demanding Lifestyles
Modern lifestyles are hectic, and people have to put in more hours to survive. Even in developed countries, it is easier for families to eat out rather than cook. It is rare to find families enjoying healthy home-cooked meals as everyone is out making money. That has an impact on health and is one reason for the increase in obesity.
Obesity is now a global epidemic that costs the economy billions of dollars every year. It is imperative for everyone to understand the causes of obesity and the risks associated with this condition. Learning about the main reasons for the increase in obesity is the first step in fighting this disease.