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Global Obesity

The global obesity problem, now known as globesity, is worsening. According to the World Health Organization, from 400 million obese people in 2005, by 2015, the number will dramatically rise to 700 million.

WHO data also shows that the number of overweight adults in the world is expected to rise from 1.6 billion in 2005 to 2.3 billion by 2015. Ironically, the WHO did not even have data on obesity 50 years ago.

A survey in U.K. said that in 1951 the average British woman had a waist size of 27.5 inches (70 centimeters). By 2004, her waistline had grown to 34 in. (86 cm).

There was no comparative data for British men for 1951, but a 2004 Size UK survey said their waistlines averaged 37 in. (94 cm).

Despite the fact that over a third of Brits weigh themselves more than once a week and 96% are aware of obesity-related health risks such as heart disease and diabetes, forty five percent of Brits admit that they enjoy fast food too much to give it up, according to a global survey by the BBC and research firm Synovate.

The survey looked at weight management among more than 9,000 people across five continents. Overall, the survey found that across the world people have conflicting attitudes and behaviors when it comes to managing their weight. "The results show there's a world of people who cannot deny themselves that hamburger or extra piece of pizza, but probably make themselves feel better by washing it down with a diet cola," said Synovate CEO Michelle Norman.

Obesity is linked to many ailments including diabetes, heart diseases and some types of cancer. Prosperous Western and Middle Eastern economies and even tiny Pacific island-nations make up the top 10 list of countries with adult obese and diabetic populations. Nauru topped both lists with a 78.5 percent obese population and a 30.7 percent diabetics.

The U.S. was 5th on the adult obese population tally, with a 32.2 percent rating. Other rich nations in the obese population list include Saudi Arabia 35.6 percent, United Arab Emirates 33.7 percent, Bahrain 28.9 percent, Kuwait 28.8 percent, Seychelles 25.1 percent and U.K. 24.2 percent.

Major reasons for the rising obesity incidents include the popularity of fast foods. A survey by marketing firm Synovate, which polled 9,000 people in 13 nations across five continents, said Britons are the most attached to fast foods, followed by Americans.

Steve Garton of Synovate observed a contradictory value system and practices when it comes to their food and weight. "The results show there's a world of people who cannot deny themselves that hamburger or extra piece of pizza, but probably make themselves feel better by washing it down with a diet cola," BBC quoted Garton as saying.

How Obesity affects your Feet

Obesity may lead to foot problems, problems vary from patient to patient, foot and ankle pain often occurs in weight bearing areas, as well as in the tendons and ligaments. Common foot problems include posterior tibial tendonitis, pain in the tendon that runs along the inside of the ankle and the foot; plantar fasciitis, an inflammation in the thick ligamentous connective tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot; and hindfoot arthritis, an inflammation in the back part of the foot.

In general, people carry approximately four to six times their body weight across the ankle joint when climbing up stairs or walking steep inclines. Obesity may significantly increase the impact. Increased BMI (body mass index) has also been found to increase foot pressures with standing and walking, and is no doubt a precursor to foot and ankle pain.

Obese children were also found to have problems balancing, and walked at a slower pace. Experts warn the effects of obesity put children at risk of long-term foot, leg and back problems.


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