HealthKuwaitOther NewsTop Stories

Obesity: One of the biggest challenges facing public health

KUWAIT: The head of the bariatric surgery association Dr Mohammed Al-Jarallah said obesity is one of the biggest challenges facing public health in the world today, stressing that obesity changes lives and increases the probability of getting diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, cancer, anxiety and depression. He was speaking on the occasion of World Obesity Day, which is marked on March 4 every year under the slogan “Changing Perspectives: Let’s Talk About Obesity”, with the aim of highlighting the seriousness of obesity and its health, economic and social consequences.

“Data of the Global Obesity Observatory indicates Kuwait leads almost all countries in the world in the prevalence of obesity among adult women with 47 percent, followed by Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. As for men, obesity among adults constitutes 34.3 percent, after the US and followed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” Dr Jarallah warned.

“It is important to improve policies and create a healthy environment that prioritizes combating and preventing obesity, as well as creating platforms that allow them to share experiences, in addition to inspiring and uniting a global community to work towards this common goal and changing the way obesity is dealt with throughout society. This will encourage people to become advocates, as well as stand up and advocate for change to a healthier lifestyle,” he stressed.

“Obesity affects about 1.9 billion people around the world, and a quarter of the world’s population will suffer from obesity by 2035, as obesity in children will increase by 100 percent in the period from 2020 to 2035, while in adults it will increase by 60 percent in the period from 2020 to 2035,” Dr Jarallah said. He indicated health and economic consequences of obesity in 2025 will total $4.32 trillion, pointing out obesity is a complex disease with intertwined root causes, the most important of which are food, lifestyle, genetic, psychological, social, cultural, economic and environmental factors.

“People often become obese because of an imbalance between the calories they exert and the calories they intake, which is known as the energy balance. Supportive environments and communities, as well as policies for selling and marketing food in a healthy way are essential to determine people’s choices that prevent them from being obese,” Dr Jarallah explained.

He also stressed on the importance of preventing obesity, which is the most effective way to control the disease. It requires following a comprehensive healthy lifestyle with balanced food such as eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, as well as reducing the intake of sugars, saturated fats and processed foods, while adhering to regular physical activity.

Back to top button