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One in three Cypriots is overweight

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    One in 3 Cypriots is overweight – See data from the Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Cyprus

    One in three Cypriots is overweight according to research, the Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Cyprus says in its announcement ahead of the 4 March, designated as World Obesity Day.

    Specifically, as reported by the Association, according to the latest calculations, 29.6% of Cypriots between the ages of 20 and 80 are included in the normal weight category, 36.1% are included in the overweight category and 27.8% in the category of obese. Specifically, 2.1% of men are underweight, 22.2% of men are of normal weight, 10.5% of women are underweight, 36.6% of women are of normal weight, while 46.9% of men are overweight and 26% of women are overweight. 28.8% of men are obese and 26.9% of women are obese.

    In Cyprus, it is noted, an action plan is under development to tackle childhood obesity and adult obesity with interventions aimed at wider changes at the institutional level, at the level of public policy, which will create a favorable environment that will facilitate the treatment of the problem.

    The Association notes that obesity is a global epidemic. “Recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization and the European Union, it is a multifactorial condition, closely related to individual behaviors, family conditions and habits, and social norms,”, he adds.

    < p>Obesity and overweight are defined as abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that threatens health, the Association says, noting that a body mass index (BMI) of more than 25 is considered overweight, while more than 30 is obesity. “In 2019, an estimated 5 million deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) were due to a higher-than-optimal BMI,”, he says.

    Also, the Association reports that from 1990 to 2022, the proportion of children and adolescents aged 5-19 years living with obesity increased 4-fold from 2% globally to 8%, while the proportion of adults over 18 living with obesity doubled from 7% to 16 %.

    Based on data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), today 60% of the world's population in the Western and developing world are overweight and 25% are obese (OECD analyzes on the WHO Global Health Observatory, 2018), underlines the Association, adding that estimates for the future are that the rate of obesity in the next decade will reach 50% with half of the obese having morbid obesity.

    “Obesity, both as a disease and as a causative factor, significantly burdens the overall burden of disease, as it is associated with a series of diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, depression, musculoskeletal problems, etc., says the Association, pointing out that obesity significantly burdens the finances of the health system, as a result of the increased care needs of those suffering from obesity-related diseases.

    According to the epidemiological research of the Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Cyprus (2005-2006) on obesity, this problem has now reached epidemic proportions, so that it is one of the main risk factors for chronic and metabolic diseases.

    According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), obesity is blamed for reducing life expectancy and reducing GDP. In Europe alone, premature deaths due to obesity and its consequences exceed 337,000 annually, while the cost exceeds 70 billion euros annually, reports the Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists of Cyprus.

    The recognition of obesity as a chronic disease is imperative for its prioritization in health policy and its integration into medical care. The resulting benefits can be significant and are certainly proportional to the loss of body weight, the Association points out, stressing that “ dealing with obesity mainly requires interventions of a community approach with the cooperation of primary care and public health services in the family, in school, workplaces and 'pockets' of vulnerable population groups”.

    The principles of tackling obesity

    To ensure that obesity treated with the same level of compassion and respect as other chronic diseases, five key principles have been developed and agreed upon by the 12 members of the International Obesity Partnership.

    It is pointed out that obesity is a chronic disease. It can last a lifetime and requires constant management. Obesityshould be diagnosed by a qualified healthcare professional based on appropriate medical evaluation. Obesity cannot be cured, but it can be controlled, just like other chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Obesity is linked to more than 200 weight-related health conditions, including heart disease, type II diabetes and many cancers.

    Additionally, obesity is a chronic disease resulting from the complex interactions between genetic, environmental, behavioral and social factors.

    The complicationsobesity-related health effects can begin early in life, and the longer obesity goes untreated, the greater the potential impact of these negative effects, it says.

    Multiple evidence-based treatments are available for treatment of obesity, including intensive behavioral therapy, surgery, and pharmacotherapy. Like other chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and type II diabetes, effective management of obesity requires ongoing lifelong management. Obesity care and weight loss are not the same. Obesity treatment focuses on overall health, not just weight reduction, it notes.

    People with obesity often face stigma and prejudice, which can manifest as discrimination. Discrimination can affect self-esteem and/or access to quality health care. Every person deserves proper treatment regardless of body size. The decision to seek treatment for obesity is a personal one and a person's choice should be respected, the statement concludes.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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