CAUSES OF OBESITY IN THE UK
9 billion adults in the world were considered overweight with 650 million of them being obese. Overweight and obese can both be defined as an excessive or abnormal accumulation of fat in the body that presents a risk to the body of an individual. Body mass index (BMI) as a determinant index of obesity and overweight in adults. Body mass index is said to be an index of weight-for-height of the body of an individual. BMI is defined as the weight of an individual divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2) (Maynard and Harding 2017). This can be associated with the increased intake of calories whereby the consumption of calories has increased per day from 1,524 in 1971 to 1,877 in 2004 per day for women and 2,450 in 1971 to 2,618 in 2004 for men (Smith and Smith 2016).
Where most of this increased food consumption is made up of sugars, some of the factors that have contributed to increased calorie intake are; improved agricultural policies which have led to cheaper food, increased availability of processed food which comes from subsidized rice, corn, wheat, and meat, making it cheaper to buy processed food than vegetables and fruits, which are healthier and contain fewer calories (Flint and Cummins 2016). Another reason people are consuming more calorific and sugary food is due to an increase in uncontrolled advertisements on fast foods and sweets. Advertisements by food companies do not show the possible effects of taking these food and lack guidelines on the right quantities to consume. This makes consumers take unhealthy quantities leading to obesity.
Another cause of obesity is the lack of sufficient sleep. Research conducted at Warwick Medical School has shown that people who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk of becoming obese. In their study, (Petrescu et al. 2016), said that lack of enough sleep could lead to obesity and increased body weight due to increased appetite brought about by hormonal changes. People who do not sleep well tend to produce Ghrelin. (2014, p. 78) discovered that a faulty gene exists in the human body called FTO that makes one person in six people overweight. The study showed that people with this gene tend to eat more than people without the genes and prefer consuming high energy and fatty foods and thus accumulating more fat in their body (2014, p.
Recent Responses from the Government and the food industry Obesity is one of the public health challenges facing the UK government. Being obese can further the risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as type 2 diabetes, which in turn becomes costly to the families, public sector, communities and the economy. The companies have also been conducting convincing advertisements that have seen parents and children get tempted to continue buying the products. A report by the London Health Commission gave recommendations for how the government could reduce obesity among students. The commission recommended borough councils to have the power to ban takeaway kiosks within 400m around schools. However, the lawmakers have never developed a motion that could see this recommendation implemented schools (Report by London Health Commission in September 2013).
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