The global population seems to be divided between two health extremes in recent times. There has been a widespread debate among health experts as to the risks and dangers associated with two of the biggest malaises we face today. Indeed, a big chunk of individuals all across the world are either obese or malnourished. This brings us to the obesity Or malnutrition debate with a focus on the risk elements present in both conditions.
Which is riskier? This requires us to go into the roots of both these conditions and examine the impacts of the same.
The prevailing ground situation in this context
It has usually been found that obesity is usually riskier than malnutrition. The latter is a serious killer only in cases of sub-Saharan nations. Malnutrition has been tackled successfully across the world and deaths due to malnutrition have decreased rapidly to less than one million or so. Alongside, expanding waistlines and obesity on account of rising prosperity in most global countries have forged a riskier proposition.
Most individuals spend their adult and later life with a multitude of health problems. Such poor health arises mainly from obesity which spawns problems like diabetes, heart ailments and so on. Obesity is a minefield for accumulation of these health conditions with increasing age of individuals. Also, deaths by strokes can be caused mainly by obesity, high blood pressure and lifestyle menaces like smoking.
Obesity has gone up from being the tenth most risky factor behind death to a dangerous sixth position. As compared to less than one million deaths due to malnutrition, it has been estimated that obesity and high body mass indexes are behind deaths in excess of a staggering three million each year!
The global effects of both malnutrition and obesity and future predictions
Deaths related to obesity have increased by more than eighty percent as compared to the earlier decade. According to UNICEF’s nutrition chief, Werner Schultink, malnutrition has several negative impacts on mortality, physical and mental potential, morbidity, procreation and educational accomplishments. Alongside, malnourished women are more likely to deliver babies who are grossly underweight. This spawns a host of health risks in turn.
Obesity itself is another killer as testified by UNICEF nutritionists and the Harvard School of Public Health. Obesity is catching up with malnutrition even in West and East Africa. This is mainly visible in urban areas and semi-urban locations close to major cities.
With the number of urban populations set to rise in the future, obesity is set to be a bigger risk than malnutrition. Increasing wealth also has positive correlations with obesity and body mass index in developing countries.
Even the Red Cross highlighted how more individuals die on account of obesity as compared to deaths on account of malnutrition. As per data held by the Red Cross almost 1.5 billion individuals all across the world are obese. This is indicative of the growing menace that obesity is set to become while malnutrition seems to be on the wane with increasing development and social justice.
Obesity awareness campaigns
The diet service providers also foresee the health hazards of obesity and devise suitable diet plans for the seekers who approach them. For instance, Nutrisystem, one of the major meal delivery service providers, has lent a supporting hand to the campaign “Take Obesity seriously” evoked by The Obesity Society.
It sees obesity as one major health condition similar to heart ailments and cancer and supply focused meals to all these ailing individuals on enrolment. Their official website displays the wide variety of customizable menu options.
Jessica Robert has eight years of blogging experience in the health and fitness niche. She has written guest articles for many health sites. Her simple blog “The Diet Circle” features informative articles about various dieting methods and weight loss tips.