WORLD OBESITY DAY
Every year on March 4th, World Obesity Day encourages people across the globe to respond to the obesity crisis. It’s also a day to increase obesity awareness, encourage advocacy, improve policies, and share experiences.
According to the Worldwide Health Organization (WHO), obesity affected over 650 million adults in 2016. Today, that number is closer to 800 million. This number has tripled since 1975. Adults that have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more are considered obese. Poor health is one of the many consequences of obesity. Here are some health issues associated with obesity:
- Premature death
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Coronary heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic pain
- Certain kinds of cancers
Obesity also takes a toll on one’s mental health as well. It’s not uncommon for those who are obese to suffer with anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders.
Some people mistakenly think that overeating is the sole cause of obesity. This may be true in some cases, but not all. There are other causes of obesity. Some of the root causes of obesity include genetics, lack of sleep, poor mental health, certain medications, and a lack of access to proper healthcare. Some people also lack an education on basic nutrition.
Those who struggle with obesity often experience weight bias. This means that people have a negative attitude about them because of their weight. When this occurs, those who are obese can be discriminated against in the workplace or education setting.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldObesityDay
- World Obesity Federation encourages people living with obesity to share their stories.
- People can also show their support for the youth-led Act4Food Act4Change campaign.
- Many health care organizations host educational seminars about the health issues associated with obesity.
- Learn more about how obesity plays a role in poorer mental health and reduced quality of life.
- Find ways to support people in your life that are struggling with obesity.
- Make it a mission to understand the roots of obesity and do your part to stop the stigma.
- Educate yourself about the obesity crisis by reading, A Big Fat Crisis by Deborah A. Cohen, MD, or Planet Obesity: How We’re Eating Ourselves and the Planet to Death by Garry Egger and Boyd Swinburn.
- Spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldObesityDay.
WORLD OBESITY DAY HISTORY
Over the past couple of decades, various obesity awareness days have been held throughout the world. One of the first was European Obesity Day, established in 2010. To increase further awareness, the World Obesity Federation launched World Obesity Day in 2015. Since then, several organizations across the globe have come together on this day to respond to the obesity crisis.