volume 12 number 4
The incidence of childhood obesity is so prevalent that, without any doubt, it can be called a true epidemic. The number of children who are overweight has more than doubled in the last two decades, with one child in every five identified as being overweight. (Torgan, C., 2002) Clearly, it will take a national effort at the level of the anti- smoking campaign if success is to be achieved.
Regardless of the country, and regardless of the geographical location, the growing concern amongst health scientists is the alarmingly growing number of people around the world living a physically inactive, sedentary life style which eventually forces them to face serious consequences of obesity and other related physical ailments. The negative impact of the sedentary life style and unhealthy eating habits is life threatening and most cases end up with premature death. Something must be done about it.
The identification of the adipocyte-specific protein leptin provided the first physiological links to the regulatory system controlling body weight.
In adults, elevations of serum leptin concentrations were closely correlated with the body mass index (BMI). Therefore, in humans, leptin appears to be produced exclusively in adipose tissue (Considine, Sinda, Heiman, Kriauciunas, 1996; Maffei, Halaas, Ravussin, Pratey, 1995) and is secretes into the blood (Chomczynski & Sacchi, 1987).
A recent study done by The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) estimated annual medical spending due to overweight and obesity (BMI >25) to be as much as $92.6 billion in 2002. Direct health care costs such as preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services related to obesity, have totaled over $61 billion. Indirect costs are the value of wages lost by people unable to work because of illness or disability, as well as the value of future earnings lost by premature death. These indirect costs have tallied up to $56 billion dollars. Since 1991, obesity among adults has increased by nearly 60 percent nationally (Flegal, Kuczmarski, & Johnson, 1998), and Americans spend approximately $33 billion annually on weight-loss products and services (Colditz, 1992).
For the first time in the year 2000, the World Health Organization(WHO) calculated healthy life expectancy(HLE) estimates for 191 nations. Japan was first with a HLE of 74.5 years. However, the United States ranked 24 th in this report with a HLE of 70 years ( Hoeger & Hoeger, 2002). The US ranking was a major surprise , given its status as a developed country with one of the best medical care systems in the world. It showed Americans die earlier and spend more time disabled than people in most other advanced countries.
Cancer is a very serious disease. It is potentially life threatening if not detected early enough or treated aggressively. Cancer can take many forms and affect almost any area of the body. If the disease is not detected early on, it could spread to other areas of the body. This could limit the effectiveness of treatments and worsen the prognosis for the patient. If there are steps that one can take to help lower this risk of developing cancer, then it would be wise to do so.
What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?
Signs and symptoms of diabetes include dizziness, headache, intense hunger, aggressive behavior, pale, cold, and clammy skin, and profuse perspiration. Other observable signs may include a staggering gait, clumsy movements, confusion, and a general decrease in performance.