There are two sides to every coin. For the first time, the number of people who are hungry in this world is roughly equal to the number of people who are overweight. While these individuals appear very different on the outside, they have one very important thing in common. They are both malnourished.
Overweight or obese individuals hundreds of years ago signified wealth and prosperity, as these individuals had access to an abundance of quality food. Today, individuals who are overweight are more often nutritionally starving themselves and thus in poor health. Foods consumed are calorie dense and poor nutrient quality. Overtime, a pattern of eating suboptimal nutrition will lead to morbidity and mortality. Research indicates obesity can shorten a person’s life span by 10 years–comparable to the decrease in years of life from smoking.
Last week the American Medical Association (AMA) ruled to classify obesity as a disease instead of being classified as a condition. With 7 out of 10 adults and 3 out of 10 children being overweight and an estimated 95 million american adults and children being obese, it is safe to say a large number of people are going to need treatment.
A continued global effort is being made to fight hunger and eliminate disease that results from lack of quality food. Similar efforts should focus on fighting obesity and eliminating the resulting disease epidemics of type II diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
There are many more than 2 sides of a coin as to why there is an obesity epidemic. Some explanations include poor food quality, an abundance of processed, packaged food, sedentary lifestyle, economic and social status, and availability of calorie dense food and beverages. This post is not to argue why there is an obesity epidemic or whether or not it should be classified as a disease but to acknowledge obesity is a growing problem that needs to be addressed. Regardless of why, obesity is on the rise and the fight against it starts with personal responsibility. Start today by taking the first step to improving your health.
You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. ~Jim Rohn
Copyright © Jaime Coffey Martinez, MS RD Nutrition CPR, LLC