Obesity spent annually to treat obesity related disease among

Obesity

Introduction

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            As
the farming technology advanced, more and more food became available for us to
consume. Death by starvation, although it still exists to some extent, has
decreased drastically around the world. On the other hand, death by cardiac
disease and liver failure has been consistently increasing. One of the main
cause for the increasing cardiac disease and liver failures are said to be due
to overweight or obesity (NIH, 2015).

WHO (World
Health Organisation) defines overweight as a BMI (Body Mass Index) ‘greater
than or equal to 25’, and obesity as BMI ‘greater than or equal to 30’ for
adults.  BMI can be calculated by dividing
persons weight in kg, by the square of their height in meters (WHO, 2017). Although this is a
simple index for calculating wither if the person is overweight or obese and
has some flaws such as masculine person being diagnosed as overweight due to
greater muscle mass, it gives a good indication of where the person is on the
spectrum.

According to
the WHO website, population of obesity has ‘tripled since 1975’, and almost 40%
of the adult population around the world is classified as obese (WHO, 2017). From these numbers,
we can clearly tell that obesity is a rising problem for the world nowadays.

Not only is
obesity responsible for life threatening disease like cardiac disease and liver
failures, but also contributes greatly on modern disease such as diabetes, high
blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and sleep apnoea, which are often found
in adults these days (MNT, 2016) (NIH, 2015).

In the US,
it is estimated that 190.2 billion dollars of healthcare costs are spent annually
to treat obesity related disease among the population, and so are some of other
developed countries (State of Obesity, 2017). The more we spend
healthcare costs on treating obesities, there are going to be greater opportunity
cost wasted. Moreover, due to high number of obesity patients, some economists
argue that they are decreasing the available workforce, leading to slowing down
of the economic growth in a nation (State of Obesity, 2017). This is a great
problem for a country like Japan where we have a decreasing population, and a
decreasing workforce already. In addition to decreased workforce, obesity would
likely to affect Japan negatively by further decreasing the birth rate, as the
statistics shows the inversely proportional link between the obesity and the
healthy new-borns.

In most
cases, obesity and overweight is a curable condition. Since it requires a lot
more effort to cure once you are overweight or obese, it is best to prevent it
by managing your lifestyle properly.

 

Cause

            One of
the main causes of obesity is due to over-eating and not balancing the energy
input and output of the body (Balentine & Stöppler, 2015) (NHS, 2018). Average physically
active human needs about 2000 to 2500 calories a day, and most of the calories
is used for creating heat and metabolism (Balentine & Stöppler, 2015).

            As mentioned
at the start of the essay, due to advancement in farming technology, more food
became available for consumers, and people are eating more than they are
supposed to. Furthermore, food with high carbohydrates and fat contents such as
soft drinks and french-fries became more common in daily meals, especially the
development of fast food chains contributed in accelerating the spread of ‘unhealthy’
foods.

            Some
people eat as a mean to relieve stress, and this often leads over-eating and drinking
alcohols which contains a lot of carbohydrates. However over eating and
drinking from stress is not the only consequences of stress, but also stress
itself could play a role in obesity directly. Japanese people are famous for
overworking, and the stress and fatigue they feel releases a hormone telling
the body to conserve much energy as possible. Meaning their resting metabolic
rate drops and absorbs more nutrients from the food more than they usually do (Balentine & Stöppler, 2015). Thus, resulting in
higher energy input and lower output, leading to overweight and obesity.

            Another
problem that comes with overworking is the lack of physical activities. Some people
may simply not be able to find a time to exercise due to their busy schedule. Moreover,
advanced civilisation and improved transportation led to reduced necessity to exercise.

Even to travel a short distance, people would prefer to take cars or trains
rather than walking. There are much less physical labour in the work too due to
automation, so it is very common for people to not be exercising enough. Department
of Health in US recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise at moderate
intensity every day (NHS, 2018).

When people stop exercising, their muscle mass starts decreasing after a week,
and decreased muscle mass leads to lower resting metabolic rate, thus requiring
much less calories per day. However, people often don’t realise the lost muscle
mass, and continues to eat like they used to, leading to excess input of
calories into the body.

            Genetics
also plays some roles in obesity, and certain race may become obese easily, however
science paper suggests that even if you have the “obesity gene” it is 100%
possible to avoid being overweight or obese with care (NHS, 2018).

 

Solution

            Obesity
is caused by the imbalance between the energy input and output of the body. Therefore,
a general solution would be to reduce the input and increase the output
energies.

            In order
to reduce the input of excessive energy, people must be aware of how much calories
they should intake everyday. The required amount of calories can be found online
easily for different body types, and people should keep a close attention on
how much calories they are taking on each meal. Since the awareness of obesity
and overweight has spread in Japan, many foods sold in stores has calorie labels
on them indicating amount of calories you are taking. This made it much easier
for the consumer to keep track of their healthy diet. Moreover, people should
check what kind of food contains high carbohydrates and fat, so that they can avoid
eating too much of those high energy foods.

            After
reducing the intake of excessive energies, people should focus on reducing the
energies stored in the body in form of fat gained from over eating previously. People
mainly output energy through metabolism. When people exercise muscles requires great
amount of energy, thus carbohydrates and fats that are stored in the body gets
converted into useable energy source for muscles through metabolism, which
increases the output of the body. In addition, exercise have another benefit
other than the immediate increase in output rate. Through exercise, body builds
up more muscle mass, and due to greater mass, the resting metabolic rate
increases even when not exercising. This means that more energies are being
used in daily life, which helps balancing input and output of energy by
increasing the base output.

            Two processes
above also apply to any people with “obesity genes”. As there are no scientific
proof that says people with “obesity genes” cannot avoid obesity, method of
reducing the input and increasing the output should be as effective as any
other person.

            The hardest
obesity to cure are those that arises from excessive stress. These types of
problems often cannot be solved on their own and requires support from the
surroundings. Firms should be taking some measures in ensuring the health of employees.

As the economists suggests, cost of treating obesity is not only the direct
cost treatment but also the loss of work force leading to reduced economic profit.

Firms should try to reduce the stress of employee by providing variety of aids
such as a counselling office. Although it may sound like a school’s counselling
office, these types of support are becoming more common in many firms around
the world and is showing a promising result in reducing the stress of employees.

 

Conclusion

            Although
the population of overweight and obesities are increasing rapidly and is definitely
a major problem that world is facing right now, it is also a curable condition
if people were aware and careful about their energy intake and output. People should
understand the basic mechanism of obesity and be aware of those foods that
contains high percentage of carbohydrates and fats, so that they could refrain
from eating them to prevent getting overweight or obesity.

            Not only
should individual understand about obesity, but firms should also understand
and make some changes to improve their employees’ health. This would benefit
both the employee and the firm by having healthier workers. Many of the major firms
around the world has already adopted advanced strategies for employee care to
ensure the high productivity of the employees at all times.

            Overweight
and obesity isn’t the problem we should be spending healthcare on, as it is
certainly preventable with enough care. There are lot more things we can be
spending those funds on to improve the society. The less we spend on curable disease,
we could focus on curing other serious diseases and developing new drugs.