10 things you should know about obesity

Obesity is one of the biggest enemies of health, not only in developed countries but also in developing countries. We know that it is mainly caused by unhealthy lifestyles, such as a lack of adequate physical activity and an unbalanced diet, while it is largely an avoidable condition; its spread seems almost unstoppable. There is, however, some positive news and it concerns prevention above all. Here are ten things you might not know about obesity.

1.Obesity in numbers

There are 640 million obese adults in the world. It is estimated that by 2045, one in four people will be obese. The alarm is launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in a study on future predictions and also affects western countries. Diseases closely related to obesity problems such as type 2 diabetes and health care costs will also grow.

2.Which is the country with the highest percentage?

According to a WHO ranking in 2018, the country with the highest number of obese people in the world is that of the American Samoa Islands, with over 93% of the total population with a body mass index of more than 30. According to recent research, the reason is predominantly genetic, but lifestyle and diet also count.

3.Obesity and brain

The brain of a middle-aged, obese man or woman has the same characteristics as that of an older person who is not overweight. The discovery comes from a research by the University of Cambridge, published in the Scientific journal of Neurobiology of Aging. In particular, it can accelerate the reduction of the volume of our brain, which is a typical effect of aging.

4.Preventing obesity from the cradle

Breastfeeding is an important factor in prevention. Breastmilk naturally supplies the baby with all the nutrients it needs in its first year of life. Many studies have shown the effect of breast milk in relation to childhood obesity: the rate of obesity in children breastfed for two months is 3.8% and falls to 0.8% in children breastfed for more than one year.

5.The right training makes the difference

The most effective physical activity to combat obesity and overweight in children is a combination of cardio and anaerobic training. Among the most suitable sports activities according to the latest research, to combat obesity in adulthood there is Nordic walking, a technique of walking biomechanically correct that is carried out with the use of sticks and that provides a complete and natural training for the whole body.

6.The "disease" of welfare societies

Obesity is defined as the contemporary disease of well-being and the World Health Organization talks about Globesity, but this condition has existed since ancient times. Hippocrates was already pointing his finger at being overweight as a cause of other diseases and the Greeks were among the first to consider obesity a medical disorder.

Corpulence is not only a disease in itself, but the omen of others.

7.Like master, like dog

Obesity in pets is widespread in many countries and the risk increases if the owner of the animal is obese. Dogs and cats that have a pet owner with obesity problems tend to suffer from the same disorder in most cases. Bad habits, such as poor nutrition and aggressive behaviour, are also usually a reflection of the surrounding environment, which therefore affects the pet.

8.Obesity: a social factor

Scholars are analysing the "social factor" of obesity: it seems that those who live in contexts where there are overweight or obese people are more likely to become so in turn. Not only because of strictly environmental or genetic factors, but also because of the influence of friends and family on the individual. In a survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine and conducted by Harvard Medical School with the University of San Diego, reveals that to facilitate the accumulation of weight is also the social environment in which we live and the lifestyles of people around us.

9.Obesity and ecology

Obesity also has a significant ecological impact. According to research published by the journal BMC Public Health, the total biomass (i.e. the total weight of men and women) in 2005 was about 287 million tons and, of these, 15 million (5%) were due to overweight and 3.5 million (1.2%) to obesity. Excess weight not only results in damage to health, but also in an increased expenditure of energy and environmental resources.

10.Move, move, move

The first weapon against obesity is prevention, including through physical activity. The scientific community recommends 150 minutes of movement per week and in Italy sport even ends up in prescriptions: in several regions the general practitioner can prescribe sport as a real therapy, especially in the case of children at risk of obesity.

11.Discover Let's Move For a Better World

Do you know that Technogym is taking a stand against sedentariness and the resulting damage with its global campaign Let's Move for a Better World? A social campaign that aims to raise awareness among communities about sedentariness and obesity, promoting physical exercise as one of the ideal means of combating them. The mission of Let's Move for a Better World is to raise awareness of the benefits of regular exercise through a fun and exciting challenge that also promotes socialization.

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