Nearly two billion people worldwide are overweight, and more than 40 million children under the age of five are obese, reports the World Health Organisation (WHO). Obesity rates in every country have at least doubled in the past 10 years, and it has become one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Obesity is also associated with the occurrence of other non-communicable diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. WHO reports that over more than US$1 trillion is lost annually by companies and governments due to lost production as a result of weight-related illnesses among workers. However, this is a completely preventable epidemic, Dr Bragg said.
“Governments, organisations, schools and families must make fighting obesity a number one priority,” said Dr Bragg. It must be shown that living a healthy lifestyle for adults is not a difficult task but an enjoyable one, she continued. And as for kids, healthy lifestyles mean they get to live happier and stronger in a world where there are huge possibilities for success.
The onus is on countries to be more responsible and making nutritional information and education more accessible to consumers so they can make informed choices when it comes to eating or their lifestyles in general.