by Alessandro Brunelli
Unlike airplanes, there’s no limits to the weight one is allowed to carry while treading on the planet.
If any sort of restrictions existed, though, increasingly more people would start worrying, according to The Global Post, which published a list of the world’s ten fattest countries on Tuesday.
The UK ranked eighteenth with an obesity index of 66 percent, which marks a worrying 5 percent increase from 2008.
Surprisingly, none of the First World countries made it to the top five, leaving room for a good number of Pacific Islands, such as Nauru, which came first with an obesity index of 95 percent, followed closely by Micronesia and The Cook Islands, both at 92 percent.
The United States (79 percent) are predictably the first Western country and eighth overall, while countries such as Argentina (12th with 75 percent), Mexico (13th with 73 percent) and Egypt (15th with 70 percent) came unexpectedly high in the list.
Obesity is calculated by measuring a person’s body mass index (BMI), which corresponds to a weight-to-height ratio.
Although some progress has been made in the UK as far as diet and nutrition are concerned, obesity, whose rate has doubled in Britain since 1980, can’t be underestimated.
According to the National Health And Nutrition Survey (NDNS) the population’s intake of saturated fats, which has fallen by 0.5% over the past 10 years, still corresponds to 12.8% of the total food energy, still above the recommended level of 11%.
Likewise, the sugars intake (12.5%) exceeds the recommended limit of 11%.
The high reliance of nowadays diet on potatoes, meat and butter does little to reduce these levels, while a sedentary lifestyle keeps us from burning enough calories.
Other bad eating habits of UK citizens involve a low consumption of fibres, which amount to 14g per day instead of the recommended 18g, a scarce consumption of oily fish and a low iron intake.
The WHO calculated that worldwide the number of overweight adults will rocket to 2.3 billion people in 2015, marking a sensible increase of 0f 0.7 billion over ten years, while the obese will rise from 400 million to 700 million.
In the United States alone the obesity index has increased by 12 percent over the past 2 years, and is incredibly higher compared to the 1960’s, when it was as low as 24 percent.
This is gaining always more relevance in the national debate, so much that Michelle Obama, the First Lady, has stepped into action and launched her own organization Let’s Move to “change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition”.