The “Globesity” Crisis

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: June 12, 2015

Contributed by Dr. Verna Brooks McKenzieRed Hot Mamas Medical Expert 

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 30 or higher. The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of an adult’s weight in relation to his or her height. Information from the World Health Organization in 2008 revealed worldwide overweight and obese population:


The BMI is used as a screen for potential weight and health related issues (eg diabetes, heart disease). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of BMI to screen for overweight and obesity in children, shown as a percentile ranking on the BMI for age growth charts, the most commonly used indicator to measure size and growth patterns of children and teens in the United States.

Prevalence of Self Reported Obesity by State in the US

Information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that between 2011 -2013 among Hispanic white adults, 10 states had a prevalence of obesity between 30% and <35%. Among non-Hispanic Black adults, 12 states had a prevalence of obesity between 30% and 35% and 28 states and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of 35% or greater. Among Hispanic adults, 18 states had a prevalence of 30% and <35% and 5 states had a prevalence of 35% or greater.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the United States in the last 30 years. Data from SEARCH for diabetes in Youth study showed a 35% increase in type 2 diabetes in American youth age 10-19 years and the America Diabetes Association recommends screening for type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese children starting at age 10 years.

More people are realizing the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle yet more people have bad habits and eat poorly. Balanced nutrition provides the body with the macronutrients ( protein, carbohydrates, fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), phytonutrients (from plants)and fiber. Rest exercise and water are also important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Protein provides the building blocks for the body, satisfies hunger, maintains muscle mass and provides energy. Carbohydrates provide energy, stamina, supports mental and physical activities. Fats support the heart, brain, joint health and immune function in addition to storing energy. An increase in omega 3 fatty acids, a decrease in omega 6 and saturated fatty acids is desirable. Vitamins and minerals play a key role in converting macronutrients into energy and help to support normal functioning of the immune system. Phytonutrients protect us from oxidative stress, fiber maintains intestinal health and regularity and water carries nutrients to cells, provides moisture and eliminates waste.

A small improvement in weight has a big impact on your health. The hazards of poor nutrition is a weakened immune system, more frequent infections, osteoporosis, weaken muscles, poor skin tone and premature aging……”Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” (Hippocrates 431 BC)