ObesityIntroduction Asthe farming technology advanced, more and more food became available for us toconsume. Death by starvation, although it still exists to some extent, hasdecreased drastically around the world. On the other hand, death by cardiacdisease and liver failure has been consistently increasing. One of the maincause for the increasing cardiac disease and liver failures are said to be dueto overweight or obesity (NIH, 2015). WHO (WorldHealth Organisation) defines overweight as a BMI (Body Mass Index) ‘greaterthan or equal to 25’, and obesity as BMI ‘greater than or equal to 30’ foradults. BMI can be calculated by dividingpersons weight in kg, by the square of their height in meters (WHO, 2017).
Although this is asimple index for calculating wither if the person is overweight or obese andhas some flaws such as masculine person being diagnosed as overweight due togreater muscle mass, it gives a good indication of where the person is on thespectrum. According tothe 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 isobesity responsible for life threatening disease like cardiac disease and liverfailures, but also contributes greatly on modern disease such as diabetes, highblood pressure, high blood cholesterol and sleep apnoea, which are often foundin adults these days (MNT, 2016) (NIH, 2015). In the US,it is estimated that 190.
2 billion dollars of healthcare costs are spent annuallyto treat obesity related disease among the population, and so are some of otherdeveloped countries (State of Obesity, 2017). The more we spendhealthcare costs on treating obesities, there are going to be greater opportunitycost wasted. Moreover, due to high number of obesity patients, some economistsargue that they are decreasing the available workforce, leading to slowing downof the economic growth in a nation (State of Obesity, 2017). This is a greatproblem for a country like Japan where we have a decreasing population, and adecreasing workforce already. In addition to decreased workforce, obesity wouldlikely to affect Japan negatively by further decreasing the birth rate, as thestatistics shows the inversely proportional link between the obesity and thehealthy new-borns.
In mostcases, obesity and overweight is a curable condition. Since it requires a lotmore effort to cure once you are overweight or obese, it is best to prevent itby managing your lifestyle properly. Cause One ofthe main causes of obesity is due to over-eating and not balancing the energyinput and output of the body (Balentine & Stöppler, 2015) (NHS, 2018). Average physicallyactive human needs about 2000 to 2500 calories a day, and most of the caloriesis used for creating heat and metabolism (Balentine & Stöppler, 2015). As mentionedat the start of the essay, due to advancement in farming technology, more foodbecame available for consumers, and people are eating more than they aresupposed to. Furthermore, food with high carbohydrates and fat contents such assoft drinks and french-fries became more common in daily meals, especially thedevelopment of fast food chains contributed in accelerating the spread of ‘unhealthy’foods.
Somepeople eat as a mean to relieve stress, and this often leads over-eating and drinkingalcohols which contains a lot of carbohydrates. However over eating anddrinking from stress is not the only consequences of stress, but also stressitself could play a role in obesity directly. Japanese people are famous foroverworking, and the stress and fatigue they feel releases a hormone tellingthe body to conserve much energy as possible. Meaning their resting metabolicrate drops and absorbs more nutrients from the food more than they usually do (Balentine & Stöppler, 2015). Thus, resulting inhigher energy input and lower output, leading to overweight and obesity.
Anotherproblem that comes with overworking is the lack of physical activities. Some peoplemay 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 trainsrather than walking. There are much less physical labour in the work too due toautomation, so it is very common for people to not be exercising enough. Departmentof Health in US recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise at moderateintensity 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 requiringmuch less calories per day. However, people often don’t realise the lost musclemass, and continues to eat like they used to, leading to excess input ofcalories into the body.
Geneticsalso plays some roles in obesity, and certain race may become obese easily, howeverscience 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 Obesityis 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 outputenergies. In orderto reduce the input of excessive energy, people must be aware of how much caloriesthey should intake everyday. The required amount of calories can be found onlineeasily for different body types, and people should keep a close attention onhow much calories they are taking on each meal. Since the awareness of obesityand overweight has spread in Japan, many foods sold in stores has calorie labelson them indicating amount of calories you are taking.
This made it much easierfor the consumer to keep track of their healthy diet. Moreover, people shouldcheck what kind of food contains high carbohydrates and fat, so that they can avoideating too much of those high energy foods. Afterreducing the intake of excessive energies, people should focus on reducing theenergies stored in the body in form of fat gained from over eating previously. Peoplemainly output energy through metabolism. When people exercise muscles requires greatamount of energy, thus carbohydrates and fats that are stored in the body getsconverted into useable energy source for muscles through metabolism, whichincreases the output of the body.
In addition, exercise have another benefitother than the immediate increase in output rate. Through exercise, body buildsup more muscle mass, and due to greater mass, the resting metabolic rateincreases even when not exercising. This means that more energies are beingused in daily life, which helps balancing input and output of energy byincreasing the base output. Two processesabove also apply to any people with “obesity genes”. As there are no scientificproof that says people with “obesity genes” cannot avoid obesity, method ofreducing the input and increasing the output should be as effective as anyother person.
The hardestobesity to cure are those that arises from excessive stress. These types ofproblems often cannot be solved on their own and requires support from thesurroundings. Firms should be taking some measures in ensuring the health of employees.As the economists suggests, cost of treating obesity is not only the directcost 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 aidssuch as a counselling office. Although it may sound like a school’s counsellingoffice, these types of support are becoming more common in many firms aroundthe world and is showing a promising result in reducing the stress of employees. Conclusion Althoughthe population of overweight and obesities are increasing rapidly and is definitelya major problem that world is facing right now, it is also a curable conditionif people were aware and careful about their energy intake and output. People shouldunderstand the basic mechanism of obesity and be aware of those foods thatcontains high percentage of carbohydrates and fats, so that they could refrainfrom eating them to prevent getting overweight or obesity. Not onlyshould individual understand about obesity, but firms should also understandand make some changes to improve their employees’ health. This would benefitboth the employee and the firm by having healthier workers.
Many of the major firmsaround the world has already adopted advanced strategies for employee care toensure the high productivity of the employees at all times. Overweightand obesity isn’t the problem we should be spending healthcare on, as it iscertainly preventable with enough care. There are lot more things we can bespending 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.