By Shruti Shreya:
“Onion News: In an attempt to deal with obesity, USA has decided to increase the BMI scale from 30 to 50, thus reducing the number of people falling within the obese category!”
If any of you have seen the “Onion Movie” you would know that this fake piece of news was in fact a satirical joke on the alarmingly growing rate of obesity in the world, especially within the United States.
For the unaware, obesity is a medical condition wherein a person has excessive body fat accumulated in his/her body leading to severe health problems like asthma, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, lowered functionality of organs, chronic diseases, problems in mobility and in adverse scenarios, even death.
The problem that started in the eighties, has seen a steep growth over the three decades and with 30% of the current American population suffering from this disorder, obesity is taking an epidemic form in America that a recent study reports will double up to 60% by the year 2030. This however is not a concern for the Americans alone. Along with India’s integration into the world food market, making packaged and processed food items easily accessible to Indians, obesity is becoming a looming issue for Indians as well, being genetically susceptible to weight accumulation around their waists.
However just like dust particles take centuries to accumulate and become a mountain, a problem like obesity doesn’t just occur overnight. It is almost like a chronic disorder that builds over the years due to certain lifestyle choices. Apart from having hereditary reasons, it is our modern lifestyle that is adding to the escalation of obesity. With the advent of fast food chains and a lifestyle involving spending hours behind a desk or the steering wheel, we are burning lesser and lesser calories than we are actually consuming.
It starts from our school days getting enticed by yummy burgers and French fries to our adulthood when we spend long hours with bottles of alcohol to relieve ourselves from the stress of our modern life routines. But what is worth noting is that it starts when we are kids and it is here that we need to nip the bud before it becomes a weed called obesity. Parents, despite their best attempts to provide their children with healthy meals, are often left helpless before jazzy marketing commercials and mouth-watering images of packaged food items and snazzy malls filled with restaurants serving fast but unhealthy processed snacks. It has almost become a status symbol to celebrate birthday parties of kids at pizzerias and burger joints and that of teenagers over shots and shots of tequila.
But as the weight of this silent killer continues to grow over our shoulders, there are certain habitual changes that can be done to make our lives and ourselves lighter, starting from avoiding purchase of preservatives-laced foods to including mild exercises like taking the staircase instead of elevators or escalators. It is these little things that can make a huge impact on our huge sizes.