Are you overweight – massive increase in obesity reported

The number of people in the world who are obese or overweight has topped 2.1 billion, up from 875 million in 1980, the latest figures published in the Lancet show, and the figures include children as well as adults.

Researchers across the world were organised by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Washington, in a study that they said is the most comprehensive to date.  Scientists analysed data from surveys, such as from the World Health Organization, government websites, and reviewed “all articles” about the numbers of obese or overweight people in the world.

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The study said rates of obesity were rising across the world, although the rates in developed countries remain the highest.

Not one single country is succeeding in treating it and it is a rapidly worsening problem. In the study of 188 countries, the top ten accounted for over 50% of those regarded as seriously overweight or obese. The USA, China and Russia had the highest rates and the UK was third in Western Europe – but higher if young women alone were analysed.

For several years it’s something we’ve stressed on this website and will continue to do so as the problem is so closely related to snoring. Obesity is one of the main causes of snoring because tissue in the throat relaxes and the resultant vibration when air is forced through produces the sound we all know well – loud snoring. This restricts the vital supply of oxygen to the body.

Health risks posed by snoring have a significant impact on an individual’s overall health and life expectancy, according to medical experts. Snoring can also result from sleep apnoea and is linked to a variety of other health disorders. When considering the health risks associated with snoring, bear in mind that individuals whose snoring is caused by severe sleep apnoea have a 40 per cent higher risk of early death than non-snorers. If an individual has been diagnosed with sleep apnoea or is aware of an issue with snoring, there are numerous conditions linked to snoring and sleep apnoea that affected individuals and their family should know be aware of.

Health data suggests the louder and longer a person snores each night, the greater their long-term risk for a stroke. This correlation has been proven especially true in cases where patients experience daytime sleepiness or if their breathing stops during sleep, both of which are signs of sleep apnoea.

Other health concerns, such as high blood pressure, diabetes type 2, coronary artery disease, and other cardiovascular problems, have also been linked to sleep apnoea.

Prof John Newton, chief knowledge officer at Public Health England, said poor nutrition and lack of exercise were a big risk factor in Britain’s most deprived areas and PHE ran campaigns to help families be healthy, more active, and cut down on fat and sugar, he said.

He added: “Obesity is a complex issue that requires action at national, local, family and individual level; everyone has a role to play in improving the health and well-being of the public, and children in particular.”

Action should focus both on losing weight, fitness, and cutting out snoring, in order to produce a healthier nation and also to remove the current heavy financial burden from the NHS.

John Redfern