The Effects Of Obesity On Public Health

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Introduction Obesity is a traditionally first world health problem that is a growing concern throughout the world because of its negative effects on public health as well as the wider economy. According to both the WHO and the NHS, an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI), is an imperfect, yet effective tool for measuring obesity. The WHO definition has determined that a BMI of 25-29.9 is classified as being overweight, whereas a BMI of 30-34.9 is considered to be a sign of obesity (World Health Organization, 2014).The NHS goes on to add that it is useful to consider an individual’s waist circumference as fit and muscular people can also have a relatively high BMI without an excess of fat, and classifies men and women with waist circumferences of 90cm and 80cm respectively as being at risk for obesity related health conditions (, 2014). Obesity must be dealt with early and at the local level. In the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, 20.1% of year 6 children are classified as obese, high compared to the national average of 18.9%. Conversely, only 13.3% of adults in this borough are obese, much fewer than the national average of 23.0% (Public Health England, 2014). This high prevalence of childhood obesity exists despite the area doing well with traditional indicators such as physical activity and uptake of school lunches. An unpublished 2012 report explained that the greatest risk factors found were eating practices and familial obesity, although depravity,
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