Hunger, Cancer, Ebola, AIDS… Obesity Tops Them All


The Ebola virus is dominating all global news right now, with some countries starting to consider imposing travel bans and closing their borders. And while Ebola is indeed a horrible threat, it can’t compare to worldwide-spread issues such as AIDS, cancers and hunger. And obesity, experts add, explaining that the lifestyle-related disease actually tops them all.

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which is causing panic around the world has infected around 10,000 people and killed around half of them. This is the worst Ebola epidemic in history and it may affect millions, according to experts. AIDS on the other hand, which seems to be no longer a trendy topic of discussion, continues to spread in all continents and countries. As of 2012, around 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally and with the increasing number of treatments and more access to the drugs, doctors are positive the pandemic will soon be contained. Currently, there are no cures or vaccines for both Ebola and AIDS. However, they aren’t very easily spread, .

In 1950, the number of hungry people around the world was estimated to be about 700 million, while obesity affected approximately 100 million people, most of them in rich countries. The entire population on the planet at that time was less than 3 billion, which means that a quarter of all people were starving. Today, more than 7 billion people live on the planet and the number of starving individuals is estimated to be 805 million. The majority of them live in developing countries, with Asia being home to two thirds of them. The region with the highest prevalence of hunger is Sub-Saharan Africa, where one in four is undernourished.

And what about obesity? Scientists say that the number of people who fall into the “obesity” category was 500 million in 2010. Obese individuals are those with BMI (body mass index) over 30, while those who are between 25 and 29.99 are considered overweight. According to the latest Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, 2.1 billion people today are either overweight, or obese. This means that nearly a third of global population has excess weight. There is no cure for obesity, despite that number of weight loss miracles and natural diets are constantly promoted by various media outlets. Logically, a better, healthier diet in combination with regular exercise should help. However, our diets are becoming less healthy, levels of physical activity are declining.

So, how could we really compare all these threats to the public health? There is no adequate comparison really, but you, I, your friends and neighbors, and pretty much everyone you know, are more likely to suffer from obesity than from Ebola, AIDS or hunger. Of course, it depends on where you live, but just think about it – most fashion brands already have special plus size collections. It seems we’re getting bigger and bigger.

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