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Obesity - Overview

Worldwide, the number of obese people rose to 641 million in 2014 from 105 million in 1975. It has been estimated that one-fifth of adults worldwide will be obese by 2025.  India is the third most obese country in the world. From being on 19th position for obesity in both men and women globally in 1975, India jumped to 5th and 3rd position respectively in 2014, with 9.8 million obese men and 20 million obese women. This is 5.3% of the global population. Considering the health risks of obesity and the number of people suffering from it, it won’t be incorrect to call it an epidemic.

So what exactly is obesity? Is it just being overweight? Both the terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ refer to a condition of being over the weight considered healthy for a given height and age. However, it’s your body mass index (BMI) that decides if you are merely overweight or obese. Obesity obviously poses greater threat to your health. A survey of global trends found obesity was now second only to smoking as a cause of premature death in Europe. A study of almost 4 million people from 32 countries showed that being overweight increases the risk of dying early, compared to people with a healthy weight.

Generally a person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight, while someone with a BMI greater than 30 is considered to be obese.

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