In a recent study, researchers have estimated that around 268 million kids from 5 to 17 years of age would be overweight by 2025 globally. 91 million of them might even be obese.
In 2025, up to 12 million children will have impaired glucose tolerance, 4 million will have type-2 diabetes, 27 million will have hypertension, and 38 million will have hepatic steatosis, or buildup of fat in the liver, researchers have found.
The problem of obesity is also prevalent in adults. According to WHO, in 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese.
Obesity is rising every day, and there seems to be no plausible cure for it. The diet that we intake is leading to a lot of diaseases.
“These forecasts should sound an alarm bell for health service managers and health professionals, who will have to deal with this rising tide of ill health following the obesity epidemic,” said study co-author Tim Lobstein from World Obesity Federation, London.
“In a sense, we hope these forecasts are wrong: they assume current trends continue, but we are urging governments to take strong measures to reduce childhood obesity and meet their agreed target of getting the levels of childhood obesity down to 2010 levels before we get to 2025,” he said.
Consumption of free sugars is a major factor contributing to diseases like diabetes and obesity. As a result of the rising cases of obesity, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged the governments of countries all around the globe to increase taxes on sugary drinks.
According to WHO, fiscal policies that lead to at least a 20% increase in the retail price of sugary drinks would result in proportional reductions in consumption of such products.
Obesity is just one of the many health hazards that sugary drinks like cola, lemonade, energy drinks pose for the human body. They also lead to heart diseases, diabetes, to name some others (there are more, believe me).
But will taxing cola reduce its consumption, really? People are addicted to such drinks. A lot of people I know have actually replaced water with aerated drinks and what they are actually drinking is sweetened water, with a lot of soda in it. God, it does not even sound healthy.
Have you ever noticed how much today’s kids are pampered? Along with that, a zillion options of junk food eateries are available to them. Parents, to save themselves the embarrassment (or, horror) of their child banging his head on the wall because they refused him a burger, provide him with a whole “Happy Meal” instead.
I remember when as a child, I asked my mom to get me ras malai (sweet tooth, forever), I got a blatant NO for an answer, and she did not budge even after I threw a million tantrums.
What I’m trying to prove here is, parents are instrumental in providing a healthy diet to the child. Obesity is not curable, but it sure is preventable.
Let’s see if just increasing taxes on sugary drinks will help cure obesity!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.