This is a vast topic and one that will need many chapters, by way of blogs in the future to cover the detail about Obesity.
For National Obesity Awareness Week, Simple Living Global is presenting a small snapshot for those who are ready to consider….
National Obesity Awareness Week 14 – 20 January 2019
National New Year’s resolution to help improve the nation’s health
Worldwide Obesity – triple since 1975
1.9 billion adults overweight
650 million obese
39% adults over age 18 overweight
Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight
41 million children under age 5 overweight or obese
340 million children and adolescents age 5-19 overweight or obese (1)
Obesity is preventable
Malnutrition can arise in –
Hunger and undernourishment
defined as dietary energy intakes below the minimum levels necessary to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
defined as a lack of essential vitamins and minerals required in small amounts by the body for proper growth and development.
Obesity or overnourishment
defined as dietary energy intake which exceeds requirements for maintenance of a healthy body weight. (2)
What are Obesity and Overweight
Overweight and Obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.
What is BMI
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters (kg/m2).
World Health Organization
for adults defines overweight and obesity as follows
Overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25
Obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30 (1)
Children and Adolescents – measuring overweight and obesity
It is difficult to develop one simple index for the measurement of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents because their bodies undergo a number of physiological changes as they grow.
Depending on the age, different methods to measure a body’s healthy weight are available. (3)
Childhood Obesity and Child Well-being
Childhood obesity has immediate and long-term effects on physical, social and emotional health.
Children with obesity are at higher risk of having other chronic health conditions and diseases that influence physical health. These include –
It is well known that children with obesity are bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers and are more likely to suffer from social isolation, Depression and lower self-esteem.
In the long term, a child with obesity is more likely to have obesity as an adult.
An adult with obesity has a higher risk of developing –
Percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s
2015 – 2016 data shows –
1 in 5 school age children and young people age 6 – 19 years has obesity (4)
World Health Organization latest data shows Southern European countries – highest rate of childhood obesity
2015-2017 data from WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) (5)
Removing sweets from checkouts to help tackle obesity
Positioning of snacks near supermarket tills increases their sales, research shows.
Removing sweets and crisps from supermarket checkouts could dramatically cut the amount of unhealthy snacks bought to eat on the go, say researchers.
Under pressure to act because of rising childhood obesity, some supermarkets have moved snacks away from the till, where people queuing – often with children, are tempted to put them in the shopping basket as they wait their turn.
The government funded study, published in the journal Plos Medicine found –
76% fewer annual purchases of sugary confectionary and crisps were bought and eaten on the go from supermarkets that do not stock them at checkouts than at those that do.
7,500 shoppers commercially held data used, who recorded food bought and eaten on the go during 2016-17 from supermarkets with and without checkout food policies.
On the go purchases are often impulsive and can be the result of children pestering their parents.
“…eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain and being overweight or obese increases the risk of 12 different types of cancer.”
Dr Jean Adams – Senior Lecturer
Dietary Public Health Research – University of Cambridge (6)
Junk Food – 2 for 1 deals targeted in fight against obesity
The Department of Health and Social Care have launched a consultation on a proposed ban on two-for-one deals and celebrity endorsements of junk food.
The consultations, which will end on 6 April 2019 will seek opinions from the public and industry on the potential measures as well as whether exemptions should be made for small businesses.
As part of the campaign against Obesity, the government is seeking to prohibit –
multi-buy offers at checkouts on foods high in fat, sugar and salt | unlimited refills of sugary soft drinks in restaurants | make it illegal to sell energy drinks to under 16s
The proposed move would also require retailers to ensure that at least 80% of their sales from promotions are for healthier products. (7)
According to the NHS
1 in 4 children are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school
1 in 3 children obese or overweight by the time they reach 11 years old (8)
It would be worth reading our forensic blog on Fast Food, Junk Food with the stats and the facts.
The combination of sugar, fat and salt in unhealthy foods is the real concern as suppliers know what we want and what hooks us in.
Let’s remind ourselves that junk foods are no different to Drugs – it gives us something and we want more of the same to get the feeling, as the regular dose won’t cut it.
What we seem to have conveniently forgotten is it comes down to our own personal choices.
The very fact that obesity is preventable tells us it has something to do with our own lifestyle choices.
We can bang on and Blame the government, suppliers and all those who profit from our bad habits but in the end only we, the individual can make changes to turn the tides once and for all.
Should these changes have taken place a long time ago when we could sense where obesity was going
Would it be wise for us to question how on earth did we allow for any celebrity to endorse junk foods
Are any Solutions really going to work in the long-term
Do we think the government are on the front foot
Removing the candy at the supermarket tills – will it really work
How corrupt is our mind and how imaginative is it when it comes to getting what it really wants, at any cost
In other words, like a drug addict – do we find other ways if one way is stopped for us to get what we want in that moment
Do we as individual citizens need to adjust, step up and make changes that others can see by way of reflection
Do we need to look at our Priorities in life
Do we need to change our Focus when it comes to Eating
Do we need to be sensible and Real about our lifestyle choices
Do we need to become real role models for all generations
£154 million raised from new sugar tax on soft drinks (9)
So this confirms we are on track to raise the estimated proceeds of £240 million for the full year.
Does this success mean we have nailed it
Who is winning and who really benefits
Is this tax the answer to a very serious problem called Obesity
Will our fighting, campaigning, tackling, banning or other solutions get us to stop the rise in obesity, which is now a global epidemic
Public Health England have been working to cut sugar and calories in everyday foods, such as breakfast cereals, yoghurts, pizzas and ready meals by 20%.
90% of the public have said in the latest survey that they supported the government working with industry to make food and drinks healthier.
Most think the responsibility for tackling obesity lies primarily with individuals themselves and families. (9)
Have we considered other factors when it comes to obesity and not just the obvious – cut out fat, sugar and salt combo foods
WHY do we eat What We Eat
WHY are our kids piling on the weight
WHY do we drink heaps of sugary drinks
How many of us are eating for comfort
How many of us eat because we are lonely
How many of us eat to fill a void we feel
How many of us are highly sensitive and overeating helps to numb that sensitivity
How many of us eat to not feel the pain and misery we feel every single day
How many of us use comfort foods that we know have no nutritional value to get through life
How many of us just give up as the world is designed to simply tempt and distract us
How many of us eat the wrong foods and live on a high sugar diet simply because we need the energy to get through the day
How many of us feel way too tired to be cooking real meals to support ourselves and our children
Is it time to ask some real Questions
What is the root cause of Obesity
What is missing for a child that they crave the foods that harm them the most
WHY are we not having real education at every school level about what foods and drinks harm us and why
What if we could educate children and parents that a typical energy drink 500ml contains 13 cubes of sugar
Cola has 9 cubes sugar
Juice pouch 5 cubes sugar (9)
Then show them what happens to the body inside when a false stimulant is given
Then show them those who are ill and what it does to their body, because they consume excess sugar daily
Get dentists involved and ask them to talk to school children about what they see happening to the teeth of those who consume sugar daily
WHY are we waiting for governments, parents and teachers to lead the way, when each and every one of us on this planet can start by taking individual responsibility
Could it be that Simple?
(1) (2018, February 16). Obesity and Overweight. World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
(2) Ritchie, H., & Roser, M. (2018). Obesity. Our World in Data. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
(3) (n.d). What is Overweight and Obesity? World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
(4) (2018, January 29). Childhood Obesity Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
(5) (2018, May 25). Latest Data Shows Southern European Countries Have Highest Rate of Childhood Obesity. World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved January 16. 2019 from
(6) Boseley, S. (2018, December 18). Removing Sweets from Checkouts Could Help Tackle Obesity – Study. The Guardian. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
(7) Owoseje, T. (2019, January 13). Junk Food ‘Two-for-One’ Deals Targeted in Fight Against Obesity. Independent. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
(8) (n.d). Childhood Obesity Continues to Rise. St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
(9) (2018, November 20). Sugar Tax on Soft Drinks Raises £154 m. BBC News. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from