Obesity has increased
worldwide and constitutes a serious health problem even in the same nations
that suffer malnutrition, according to the WHO.
The WHO "World
Report" affirms that 1,200 million people throughout the world have
overweight and obesity problems. This is approximately the same number
of people who suffer malnutrition.
Epidemic studies show
that 55% of the adult population present overweight and 22% are obese.
For example, in the last two decades
obesity went up over 30% in Mexico, slightly higher than in the USA.
In the National Health
Survey in Mexico in 1999, 52.5% of the female population were classified with
OBESITY (21.7%) or overweight (30.8%), whereas in 1988, 35.1% of the women
were classified with OBESITY (18.7%) or overweight (16.4%).
The explanation for
this is that many people in underdeveloped areas leave their ranches and
their agricultural activities due to the poverty in which they live and have
to look for jobs in the cities. This causes a great change in their lifestyle
and a considerable decrease in their physical activity, inasmuch as they
engage in more sedentary activities and do not need to travel long distances
in order to obtain food and water and the consequence of this is weight gain.
To this we must add
that the inhabitants of the cities consume less fruits and vegetables and more
fast food based on fats and carbohydrates.
More alarming is the
fact that this process has begun to seriously affect the children and 20 to
30 per cent of the children in school age have obesity or overweight.
The worst problem in
this situation is that at present, there is no a general strategy in the world
for obesity control and that neither the medical community nor the governments
have been successful in the battle against obesity.
If we do not act
quickly against this epidemic, it will get completely out of control and due to
illnesses brought about by obesity, life expectancy may decrease and the
quality of life will deteriorate greatly.