5 Things You Should Know about Obesity

As one of the most preventable conditions on the planet, obesity is, unfortunately, a significant problem in the world today. According to the World Health Association, the global obesity rate has more than doubled since 1980. [1] Certainly diet and exercise can go a long way in supporting a healthy weight, but sometimes that even isn't enough. According to governmental health charts, if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, you're considered obese. The BMI scale, however, is largely generalized and doesn't take into account muscle weight.

What You Should Know About Obesity

If left unchecked, obesity can actually cause a myriad of health issues. For example, obesity may promote mental distress, can lead to heart disease, and research also implicates it in cancer development. While it's a difficult subject to talk about because we don't really like to acknowledge it, it must be addressed in order to combat our current global health crisis. Here are 5 things you should know about obesity, including how you can fight it.

1. There's Huge Debate about Obesity's Disability Status

With obesity quickly becoming a global issue, its status as a disability is a constant debate. In fact, 88% of doctors polled through SERMO, a medical social network, disagreed with a recent European Union ruling that employers should accommodate obese workers with things like special parking spots, larger chairs, and even in some cases, government services. [2][3] Many of those doctors believe accommodations could be necessary in the case of medically-caused obesity, but Europe has gone a bit further than that with this ruling. Do you think this decision is just supporting the problem?

2. Pollution Can Promote Obesity

A recent report classed almost 30 percent of the world population as overweight, and pollution could also be contributing to that number. [4][5] Researchers in Southern California followed over 3,000 children throughout eight years and found a tentative link between BMI, secondhand smoke, and traffic pollution. According to the report, BMI was significantly higher in children exposed to pollution and secondhand smoke. Those exposed to both doubled their risk of being obese. This new finding could challenge the view that childhood obesity is a direct product of diet and exercise.

3. Dirty Water Is Causing Obesity and Diabetes

There's also another study suggesting polluted water is a cause of obesity. The report comments many poor, rural towns in California's Central Valley have trouble finding clean drinking water and are switching to more sodas and sugary drinks. This, in turn, is causing an increase in obesity and type-2 diabetes. [6] According to data from the Community Water Center, the water supply in one of those areas is among the most contaminated—“tainted with nitrates, arsenic, coliform bacteria, pesticides, disinfectant byproducts, and uranium.” [7]

4. Obesity Also Affects Mental Health

Yes, while obesity can be damaging to your physical health, let's not forget how it can influence …read more

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