Obesity has become a household word, and it's not the rich and over-fed anymore.
In western countries it is seen that the poor are actually fatter and the rich with access to awareness about bad eating habits, and personal trainers, hi-tech gyms, diet secretaries etc., are comparatively slimmer.
It is said that there are more obese people in the world than there are those, without food.
Indeed a sad state of affairs that we find ourselves in.
Obesity is the well-documented forerunner of diabetes, heart diseases, cancer etc. More kids are being born fatter now than ever before; a study by the University of Washington says that one in every four high school grader is obese.
The effects are not confirmed to aesthetics or even health alone. Western citizens have to cough up dollars to pay for someone else's fat as a result of tax for health schemes.
Not many people are happy to hear that, but where does the solution lie?
A lot is blamed on today's food: tempting, readily available, cheap and very bad.
Yet not only are today's foods cheaper than ever, they are even more accessible than fresh fish, vegetables, whole grains and fruits- healthy foods of yore. People also work harder and play less. The poor often slump in front of the television after a hard day's work, with a packet of cheap fast food snacks.
In addition to all this, as seen recently at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meet, there is now being considered other issues such as gender-bender chemicals. These are found in everyday materials like CDs, bottles, and plastic food wraps etc. These chemicals alter the endocrine system or disrupt its hormones and result in obesity ,as seen in animal models.
Others scientists speak of viruses such as the adenovirus, which can make you fat.
It is indeed a heavy mess that highly developed countries such as America- the fat capital, where 30 percent are medically obese, Australia, Briton etc., are finding themselves in.
The WHO defines overweight as a body mass index greater than or equal to 25 and obese greater than or equal to 30.It has compiled a list of the heaviest nations.
Of the top 10 countries on the list, eight were from the South Pacific, with Nauru tipping the scales in first position with 94 per cent of its adult population overweight.
The US was ninth with 74 per cent overweight and Britain was 28th with almost 64 per cent of its population overweight.
There are 1.6 billion overweight adults in the world, according to the WHO, which projects the number will grow by 40 per cent in the next 10 years.
Till the real reason for the fat epidemic is discovered, we are best doing what great Indian sages of yore advised- Eat less than your appetite, drink less than your desire and work less than your tolerance.