Obesity has become a global health problem. Over 1.6 billion adults worldwide are overweight, with at least 400 million considered obese.
WHAT IS OBESITY?
- Simply, to be obese is to have excess body fat.
- It is hard to directly measure the amount of body fat, so experts mostly rely on the Body Mass Index, or BMI.
- You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres.
- In general, a BMI score of 25 to 29.9 means you are overweight. You are considered obese if the BMI score is above 30.
- Some Asian countries, such as Japan and Singapore, have modified the BMI scales as a result of local studies. Singapore has also shifted the emphasis towards health risks rather than weight per se.
- For instance, a Singaporean with a BMI of 23 and above would be considered to be facing moderate to high risk of obesity-related diseases.
Increased risk of life-threatening cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, certain types of cancers, and gall bladder disease.
Debilitating respiratory difficulties, chronic musculoskeletal problems, skin problems and infertility.
THE UNITED STATES
w Two-thirds of adults and nearly one in three children are overweight.
w About 7 per cent of adults are obese, while 22.8 per cent are overweight. Obesity rate has doubled between 1992 and 2002.
w About a quarter of adults are considered obese, up from just 15 per cent in 1993.
w Nearly three in 10 adults are overweight, while 14 per cent are obese, according to a 2006 national health
survey. Obesity rate was just 4.4 per cent in 1996.
w Obesity among adults up from 6 per cent in 1998 to 6.9 per cent in 2004.