A person whose weight is at least 20 percent higher than the upper limit of the healthy range is considered to be obese.
The effect of obesity is that it puts one at risk of many health problems and diseases. This is according to Medical News Today. Obesity makes one susceptible to diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, respiratory issues, and stroke. It is estimated that on average, an obese person will live 8 to 10 years less than a non-obese person. In addition, a high rate of obesity in a country’s population significantly increases its health care costs.
Since 1980, the prevalence of obesity in the developed countries such as the United States has significantly increased. Statistics in the United States show one in every three people is medically obese. According to a book published in September 2010 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and development (OECD), obesity rates in the U.S. rank among the highest in the world. Another research conducted byMedical News Today in the year 2010 shows that 28 percent of all U.S. residents are medically classified to be obese. European Union member countries with obesity rates between 20 percent and 27 percent include Australia at Irelandand Luxembourg (Kumar, 19).The same data also shows that the European Union membercountry with the lowest overall obesity rates was Sweden at 10 percent. The average obesityrate was recorded to be at 16 percent.
Research done by the World health Organization shows that the worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly doubled between the year 1980 and 2008. The country estimates for the year 2008 showed that over 50% of both men and women in the European Region were overweight. The percentage of men and women who were overweight were 23% and 20% in both men and women respectively.