Health > Obesity: the ‘increasing’ problem

Posted on January 12, 2017

Image by Exposure for Munch Better

Image by Exposure for Munch Better

Paul Nyakeru reports on the health risks of over-eating and offers some solutions
Did you know one in four adults in the UK are obese? Did you know that 1 in every 11 deaths in the UK is related to carrying excess fat? Did you also know that 64% of people have been bullied, because of their weight? Did you know that 30% of teachers think that becoming obese is the worst thing that can happen to their pupils? (Statistics from the NHS)

So why is obesity so bad? Obesity can increase the risk of you developing certain cancers and type 2 diabetes, all of which can be life threatening.

It increases the chance of you having high blood pressure, which could result in a heart attack or stroke.

Obesity can affect the health of new born babies. The NIH (US National Institute of Health) says that having excess weight might lead to short and long-term health problems for the mother and her child.

If you’re obese it can be a struggle to do simple tasks, like getting out of bed

Obesity can also cause breathing problems and increased sweating.

This happens because the amount of fat that’s in the body limits the expansion of the rib cage, which doesn’t leave enough space for the diaphragm to move as it should.

In some cases the problem can develop into OHS (Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome), a breathing problem that causes too much carbon dioxide and too little oxygen in the blood resulting in death.

If you’re obese it can be a struggle to do simple tasks, like getting out of bed, going down the stairs, tying your shoelaces or walking to the end of the road.

Obesity can change your social life and ability to do sport. This can lead to depression and less confidence. It can have an impact on your self-respect and how your friends and peers treat you.

Obesity is caused by consuming more calories than you burn.

This can happen when you have a poor diet, failing to provide your body with the correct amount and type of nutrients. Obesity can also be caused by lack of exercise.

The NHS exercise guidelines say that teenagers should be doing at least an hour of physical activity a day. Adults aged 19 to 64 should exercise for at least 150 minutes a week.

Physical activity can include sport like football or basketball, cycling or walking fast.

Lastly, the guideline says that adults 65 and over should do at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, which includes running or a game of tennis, every week.

I believe that healthier versions of fast food restaurants should be moved closer to secondary schools

The best time to do exercise is in the morning because your body will burn more fat. This is because at this time your body has low blood sugar levels forcing it to look for different energy sources. This means it starts converting your fat reserves to fuel.

To tackle the increasing problem of obesity, I think there should be healthier versions of fast food restaurants like KFC, McDonalds and Burger King. A good example of a ‘chicken and chips’ restaurant is Chicken Town in Tottenham. The food is great but the place is hidden away a little bit in the old fire station next to Tottenham Town Hall.

I believe that healthier versions of fast food restaurants should be moved closer to secondary schools, because a lot of kids go out to get fast food for lunch and some of them do that every day.

In addition, more sports clubs should be provided in local areas. Primary school teachers and secondary school teachers need to encourage the kids to get involved with sports activities every day, not just PE once a week, for example football, basketball or any other sport they like.

Furthermore, you need to consider what your normal weight should be. The NIH says that you should use the BMI (Body Mass Index) to measure your weight in relation to your height to see whether you are normal.

Paul Nyakeru
Paul is a student at COLA-I in Islington studying Business and ICT. He aspires to be a software engineer and his hobby is playing basketball

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