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The largest contribution to the growth of disability associated with obesity is made by diabetes and diseases of the locomotorium. For example, Committee on Health of the British House of Commons today foresees a gradual transition effect of these diseases in even more dire. According to their prediction, soon there will be more amputees on the streets of British cities than today. And by 2020, half of British children will suffer from abesity.
The total burden that obesity imposes on the economy of the United Kingdom in the form of medical expenses and lost due to sickness pay, is estimated at 7.4 billion pounds ($ 13 billion) a year.
Battles with the epidemic, stimulated by such predictions, cover entire industries and even the food industry as a whole in Europe and America. As the result of this report, the British parliamentary committee has required to introduce marking all foods with red, yellow and green labels, depending on their potential danger. In the United States such projects have not go beyond the supply similar signs and restaurant menus. But several states have already introduced a tax on unhealthy food, called “Twinkie” – under the name of cheap vanilla cakes, widely spread in the USA during the Second World War. But the American sugar industry Association of 17 sugar producers is struggling for survival, demanding that Congress should stop funding the WHO, which calls for limiting the sugar calorie content of each product by ten percent.
The world’s largest fast-food chain announced that it intended to introduce a “healthy menu” in its eateries. Huge portions of fries and bubbling drinks will be replaces by chicken salads, yoghurts and fruit.
However, this event that was supposed to become a PR triumph for the leadership of McDonald’s, quickly turned into quite the reverse side: it became known that salads of this company may contain more fat than its hamburgers.
According to the approximate data obesity costs the U.S. $ 75 billion a year.
It’s not a secret that obesity is harmful for health:
– it increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer;
– obesity can reduce life expectancy by 9 years;
– poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyle killed 400 thousand Americans in 2000.
Last year researchers from Princeton University revealed the results of the study, according to which fast food can have an equally strong effect of addiction, like heroin.
And in October, British scientists warned that the human body simply is not designed for the consumption of energy-dense foods that are sold in fast food restaurants and supermarkets.
Certainly, in many countries there is increasing pressure on politicians to take measures to neutralize «mines in slow motion» – obesity.
In the UK there have been calls to introduce an additional tax on fatty foods and ban on advertising fast food, especially aimed at children.
Until now, the Government has refrained from such measures, although some of its representatives insist that the problem of obesity is on a very high stage on the list of their priorities. There are enough reasons to think, that one of the reasons of not taking such measures is economic one. The producers of not healthy food and holders of of fast-food restaurant chains are very powerful and they for sure have lobby in the governments of all countries.
Michelle Obama starts a nationwide campaign to combat child obesity, attracting sports stars, because at least 32% of U.S. children and teens (that is 25 million) suffer from obesity, adult situation is even worse (Traill, 16-25).
State Budget’s struggle with the consequences that are provoked by extra pounds, costs 147 billion dollars. Let’s comparable these figures with the income of food industry.
If you can raise a chicken in 48 days, you no longer want it to grow for three months. If you go to the supermarket, there is only an illusion of choice, what really is there is an incredible number of food products made from corn.
According to a recent survey, Americans are suffering from a common global problem – obesity. The disease leads to the development of hazardous conditions, ranging from helplessness in the society and ending with a diagnosis of chronic diseases.
“Obesity is more dangerous to the health of older people than it has been previously thought”, – said Dr. Dawn Alley, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Results of the study were published in Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers consider that obesity for older people means the inability to come to the front door, or go to the store to shop. This has a destroying effect on not only physical but also mental body condition.
Report on the theme, was also recently presented by scientists from Johns Hopkins University. It was found that increasing frequency of chronic kidney disease that occurs in the US is due to the epidemic of obesity among the population. Thus, obesity leads to high blood pressure, as well as the development of diabetes, which requires the kidneys work harder. This, as a result, may lead to dysfunction of the kidneys and the development of chronic diseases. Obesity in the USA has reached epidemic proportions. The number of people in the country with overweight increased by 60% compared with 1991. The report, published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association”, states that almost one in five Americans is overweight. The incidence of diabetes also increased by 33% from 1990 to 1998, and it is strongly associated with obesity (Rinaldo, 38-51).
To my mind, it would be interesting to see the geography of obesity in the USA: the percentage of obese people in the states (pic). The fattest state is Mississippi. The most thin one is Colorado. It is rather difficult to see and understand any patterns according to this map. I think, it should be worked on and maybe it can give some answers to the questions and help to solve the problem (Amarasinghe, 64-72).
As mentioned above, the choice of a diet and food people eat depends on a number of external factors, including food prices, accessibility, adequate information about it, as well as personal preferences and cultural values of individuals. In order to advertise and promote their products companies, which produce food and beverages, can use all these factors: prices (offering discounts or special offers), accessibility (eg, placement of dense, but malopitatelnyh food near cash machines), information (both general, like using commercial products, and specific – for example, statements about the benefits of health products and labeling of products with their nutritional properties), personal tastes (eg, the use of dyes or flavorings in the production of food) and cultural values (eg, the involvement of known personalities and athletes to promote their products).
WHO has reviewed the evidence on the nature and strength of the relationship between diet and noncommunicable diseases and concluded that the adverse effect of the massive marketing of energy-dense food and fast food enterprises can be considered “probable” or “contested”. At a forum and technical meeting of the WHO data on the marketing of food and non-alcoholic drinks aimed at children were analized, and it was concluded that commercial advertising and promotion of energy-dense, but malopitatelnyh food and beverages may have an adverse impact on the nutritional status of children.
Intensive marketing of energy-dense, but malopitatelnyh products may have a negative impact on the choice of a healthy lifestyle. Despite the fact that currently the focus of strategies to combat obesity is on the impact of marketing on children, it should be noted that the competence of adults in terms of making healthy decisions or their ability to resist the marketing of unhealthy foods may be insufficient for complete protection from damage to health, which can cause this type of marketing.
In several studies it was observed that in most cases, advertising of food products is shown in the children’s television programs, aimed at promoting the use of energy-dense foods and beverages. In a survey conducted in 2006 by the Institute of Medicine in the United States it was obtained that advertising influences the nature of the overall diet in the short term among children aged 2-11 years, and some data about its long-term effects on children aged 6-11 years. The review also revealed a statistically significant correlation between the amount of viewing television advertising and obesity in the age groups of 2-11 years and 12-18 years. It was also found connection between the level of children’s exposure to television advertising of energy-dense food and the increased prevalence of overweight, as well as a weak correlation between the level of children’s exposure to advertising of healthy food and reduce the prevalence of overweight.