Overweight and obesity, one of the main risk factors for the development of type 2 diabetes. Obesity is the main component of modifiable risk for 90 percent of the cases of diabetes. Levels of overweight are rising dramatically among children, resulting in more and more childhood cases of type 2 diabetes, a condition that until recently mainly affected adults.
The aim of the campaign is to convey the message that simple and inexpensive lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity and healthy food choices, can be effective in countering the serious human and social consequences that would result from worsening diabetes epidemic.
Obesity occurs when the size or number of fat cells in a person’s body increases. When a person gains weight, these fat cells first increase in size and then in number. Being overweight and obese can cause diabetes and contribute to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infertility, birth complications, and arthritis. Obesity is largely preventable through lifestyle changes, especially diet.
Obesity is most commonly assessed by a single measurement, the body mass index (BMI), which uses a mathematical formula based on a person’s height and weight.
Waist circumference is also increasingly recognized as a basic means of identifying obesity. This measure in combination with the BMI has proven to be the best indicator of obesity and associated health risks.
The twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity already represent the public health challenge of the 21st century. It is no longer possible to rely solely on individual-focused prevention and management strategies. Responses at the population level are also required. Since large changes in both physical inactivity and diet explain the development of obesity and diabetes emergencies, rational measures are needed to address both problems. The obesity and diabetes epidemic has developed despite decades of national and district efforts to emphasize the courage of ‘balanced diets’ and emphasize the importance of moderate daily exercise. Therefore, health education should also be designed to support other measures. These include:
o Provide children with a wide variety of physical activities.
o Appropriate urban environments that promote healthy lifestyle habits for tasks.
o Teach healthy eating habits and provide nutritious meals in schools.
o Monitoring of children’s weight.
o Food labeling.
o Smaller portions.
o Lower prices for healthy foods.
It is important to establish strong national alliances and systems that allow governments, the common society and the private sector to evaluate and implement effective new policies. Given the obesity epidemic and the increased incidence of diabetes that is likely to follow, systems must be put in place to ensure annual monitoring of the prevalence of diabetes in populations. It’s late, but a worldwide effort can be made to transform diets, encourage less reliance on motorized transportation, and promote efforts to restore physical activity to our daily lives.