August 22, 2007

The World Is Fat: Obesity Now Outweighs Hunger WorldWide
In this episode University of North Carolina Chapel Hill nutrition epidemiologist Barry Popkin discusses the growing problem of obesity, even in developing countries that only recently faced hunger as their primary diet challenge. Popkin is the author of the article The World Is Fat in the September Scientific American. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. Websites mentioned on this episode include:;

Welcome to Science Talk, the weekly podcast of Scientific American for the seven days starting August 22nd. I am Steve Mirsky. This week on the podcast:

Popkin: We have a world that is consuming more and more saturated fat and more and more hard fat meats and dairy products than we ever could have imagined 10 to 20 years ago.

Steve: That's Barry Popkin, author of the article "The World Is Fat," in the September issue of Scientific American. We'll hear from him this week, plus we'll test your knowledge about some recent science in the news. Barry Popkin is a professor of nutrition epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he directs the Interdisciplinary Center for Obesity. His research focuses on the changes in diet and activity in the U.S., China, Brazil, the Philippines and other countries and his article appears in the special September issue of Scientific American magazine, which is called feast and famine, all about diet, health and food. I called Popkin at his home in Chapel Hill.

Steve: Hi Professor Popkin. How are you today?

Popkin: Fantastic!

Steve: Tell me about this article and this subject, "the world is fat." Obviously it's fat if you walk around the U.S. but the world is now fat. There is an amazing fact right in the beginning of your article and that is, "there are not just more obese people in the world than there are hungry people in the world now, there are actually more obese people in developing countries than there are hungry people in developing countries." That really floored me.

Popkin: Yeah! It's what we really see in the developing world is in the last two decades, exponential change in a vast array of courses that have led people to move less and eat a lot more and the resultant increase in overweight and obesity is unprecedented.

Steve: When you say move less, you mean, actually walk less or bicycle less?

For the rest of this incredible interview click here.
The World Is Fat: Obesity Now Outweighs Hunger WorldWide
Health and Obesity News Resources
Obesity in America is growing at an alarming rate. According to the United Health Foundation, .the prevalence of obesity in the United States  is estimated to increase from the current level of 31.30%  obese to 42.80%  obese in 2018.  How do we compare with other countries?

As the rates of obesity climb, obesity related diseases and conditions will follow with similar rates. The impact to the cost of health care is going to increase for individuals, corporations, small businesses and government health programs. The economic effect will become an ever increasing burden on our wonderful country.  If we do not do slow down the drastic growth of obesity will become a huge burden on America's economy and healthcare system. 

According to the United Health Foundation, currently, it is estimated that $79 billion dollars is spent due to obesity in the United States. With the projected increase in obesity levels, this will increase to $343 billion dollars in 2018 or about ($1,425  dollars per adult in the United States.

Many factors are involved in the reason we are suffering with such high rates of obesity and obesity related diseases and conditions such as; heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes,  high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Combined the number of deaths from these conditions make obesity and being overweight the number 1 killer in America.   To see real figures on the effects of obesity in America read this.
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