Obesity Awareness Week, 9th -15th January 2017
The World Health Organization state that obesity has more than doubled since 1980, and figures in Gibraltar highlight that around 60% of our population are Overweight or Obese.
The increase in obesity is largely attributed to:
- an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in saturated fat; and
- a decrease in physical activity due to the sedentary nature of society (the increase in desk-based work, increased use of transportation, and increasing urbanization).
The short term effects of overeating include:
- an increasing amount of fatty body mass
- an increase in cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- various emotional and physical changes (such as concerns over body image, increased lethargy and lack of concentration)
- increased acidity in the gut, which increases the risk of reflux
The long term risk factors are associated with an increased Body Mass Index (BMI), and are directly related to several non-communicable diseases including:
- cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attacks and strokes)
- type 2 diabetes
- musculoskeletal disorders (particularly osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease of the joints)
- cancer (which may affect various body parts- the breasts, ovaries, prostate, liver, kidneys, or colon)
This JanUary healthcare organisations are drawing attention to the ‘U’, highlighting that most of us can make changes to make a healthy difference.