It seems that North-American citizens are not the only ones who are accumulating the extra pounds. The gathering of data during a single day throughout the world has revealed that citizens of all continents are actually gaining weight! The only part of the world that is an exception to this is South and East Asia. The bad news is that the rest of the planet is catching-up to the levels of obesity seen in the United States, where two-thirds of the population are overweight, and a third of them are considered obese.
The obesity pandemic is not without consequence to public health. We have known for a long time now that people who carry excess weight are at greater risk of dying prematurely, of suffering from heart disease, from Type II diabetes, from cancers, as well as a variety of diseases.
The results were collected in a single day from 168,000 patients who met with their family physician. The physicians took this opportunity to measure their patients’ waist circumference and calculate their body mass index, commonly called BMI. A person’s BMI is calculated by dividing their weight in kilograms by their height in square meters. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy. Individuals who have a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight, and those with a BMI 30 and higher are considered obese.
Relying on this instant snapshot, it was concluded that only 7% of Eastern-Asians are overweight compared to 36% of Canadians, 38% of Middle-Eastern women, and 40% of South-Africans. The waist circumference of citizens worldwide was also too high, with 56% of men and 71% of women carrying excess weight around their middle. In this portrait, which did not include the United States, Canada holds the less than enviable first position in the obesity chart with an average BMI of 29 for both men and women.
Excess weight dramatically increases the risks of suffering from heart disease and Type II diabetes. However, daily physical exercise and healthier eating habits could certainly contribute in reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Have you calculated your BMI recently? Is it too high? This is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your eating habits and your level of physical activity. You should know that making small changes in your lifestyle habits can have a great impact on your health!