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Obesity, Diet and Eating Habits

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Obesity, Health and Diet

An estimated 28% of Americans and 20% of Europeans are obese and many more are overweight, making obesity the fastest growing health epidemic of the past two decades. Bad diet and lack of exercise are the main culprits.

Professor Andrew Prentice of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said the obesity epidemic that has resulted from a diet of too much fatty food and a decrease in physical activity has caused a shift in human evolution and shape.

Bad Diet & Exercise Habits - Obesity Starting Younger

Due to bad diet and exercise habits, adolescents are becoming obese and at a younger age and along with the younger onset of obesity, doctors are seeing Type II diabetes and other weight-related illnesses, which normally develop much later, in younger patients.

The problem is compounded because obese children and adolescents are more likely to maintain their diet and exercise habits and so remain obese as adults. The younger obesity occurs, the more severe its long-lasting effects on health.

Moreover, as they grow up they are likely to pass on their diet habits to their children.

About 30,000 people in Britain die of obesity-related causes each year, cutting short their lives by about nine years, according to the National Audit Office.

"Obesity is a gradually evolving disease and the effects of it take time to accumulate. There is a time component to this. The longer you are obese the more likely you are to accrue all the damaging side effects of obesity," said Prentice.

Many children are brought up on fast food diets, high in fats, and are exercising less and spending more time in front of computers and televisions instead of exercising and playing outdoors.

Prentice said major changes in transport, food, advertising and diet education are needed to encourage people to exercise more and eat better are needed to change the trend.

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