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Obesity causes and prevention

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Nearly 20% of the world is now believed to be overweight or clinically obese. And with rates of obesity continuing to rise in most developed countries, the situation looks set to get much worse. But what is causing this epidemic, and what can be done to stop it?

Causes
The main cause of obesity is eating too much and exercising too little. Genetics can contribute to the problem but very rarely is it the primary cause of excess weight. More details on the causes of obesity.

Prevention
Prevention is normally better than cure, and this is certainly the case with obesity. Trying to prevent people from becoming significantly overweight is both easier and cheaper, than treating people who are already obese. Further information on how to prevent the problem.

Morbid obesity
When someone has a BMI (body mass index) value of 40 or more they are said to be morbidly obese. This level of excess weight poses an immediate health risk, and must be addressed quickly. More details on the morbidly obese.

Exercise
Exercise can help tackle the problem of excess weight but it can't solve the problem alone. Unless, dietary changes are made, no amount of exercise is likely to return an obese individual to a normal weight. More information on exercise and obesity.

Facts and figures
The facts and figures on obesity help emphasise the problem we are facing. For example, 60% of the UK population is now believed to be obese or overweight. More information on facts and figures.

Obese children
Over a billion men and women across the world are either overweight or obese. But perhaps more worrying, is the dramatic increase in the number of obese children. It's estimated that 43 million children under the age of five are overweight around the world. Further details on obese children.

Problems
As well as the physical problems caused by obesity, being overweight can lead to mental problems and relationship issues. It's therefore easy to see how damaging obesity can be on your life. More details on the problems caused by being overweight.

Epidemic
An obesity epidemic may sound a little melodramatic but the world is getting fatter very quickly. From Brazil to South Africa, obesity levels are increasing at alarming rates. Very few developed countries are not affected by this growing problem. More information on the obesity epidemic.

Diseases
Being overweight can contribute to a range of diseases, from minor conditions to life threatening illnesses. The more overweight you are, the greater the risk of developing such problems. More details on the diseases caused by being obese.

Obesity in the UK
Our national weight is fast becoming one of biggest health problems we face. The UK has some of the highest obesity rates in the world, and the situation is deteriorating at an alarming rate. More information on obesity in the UK.

Diabetes
There is an undeniable link between obesity and diabetes with over 80% of type 2 diabetics being overweight or obese at the time of diagnosis. As obesity levels continue to rise in the UK, the number of people suffering from diabetes increases at a similar rate. More information on the links with diabetes.

Surgery
Weight reduction surgery has become increasingly popular over the last decade. The NHS performed over 7,000 operations in 2010, a 70% increase on the previous year. There are several different surgical techniques used, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages. More details on weight reduction surgery.



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