Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Research Paper on Obesity

Research Paper on Obesity

Obesity in Kuwait
The obesity of the recent years has been caused by the human factors: production of junk food, increase of sedentary jobs and usage of different kinds of transport and invention of numerous labour-saving mechanisms and devices.

The level of obesity is identified with the help of the so called BMI (The body mass index). “BMI is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters (kg/m2)” (Unit of Nutrition).It is a common knowledge that women are more likely to be obese but nowadays we see a tendency to childhood obesity. The 2005 research shows than about 20 million children were suffering from overweight or obesity. Children’s obesity is alarming and frightening because, firstly, it is much more difficult to overcome it and, secondly, its consequences are much more serious than adults’ obesity.

Increasing rates of obesity will definitely lead to the increasing rates of health problems. Obesity causes such diseases, as diabetes, numerous heart diseases, some kinds of cancer and others. If we speak about Kuwait, obesity is dangerous there because of increasing cases of diabetes. Native inhabitants consume too much sugar, become obese and suffer from this dangerous disease. Of course, it is not the only possible consequence of overweight and obesity in Kuwait and all over the world.


Kuwait with the population of only 2.5 million people has the highest level of obesity in the world according to the report of the World Health Organization. The figures are frightening: 75% of the Kuwaiti population suffers from obesity, and the cases of obesity among children are increasing every year. Kuwait has the highest rate of obese children in the Middle East. It is necessary to note that cases of obesity are more common among women: approximately 75% of women are obese at the age of 20-60, while among men this index is less and makes only 50% (Unit of Nutrition).

Nowadays the government of the country is seriously worried about the growing rates of obese people in the country. It has started an active struggle with this problem. The first step is to spend at least $2.8 billion every year on all the costs connected with obesity in Kuwait. According to the prognosis it will reduce current rates by 33% just in the next few years.

The complete or even partial solution of the problem is possible only after application of a multidimensional approach, which involves not only the government of the country but also great companies, schools, universities, food companies, food providers, hospitals, mass media, families and world organizations, such as the FAO or WHO. Every district of Kuwait requires an individual approach, which would take into account its peculiarities and specifications. “Community based programs initiated in each of the districts, and yearly competition with prizes awarded to the district with greatest percentage decrease in obesity level of the population” (Unit of Nutrition).

The two burning issues in Kuwait is to decrease the amount of sugar consumed by the population and make physical exercises popular among the population. These two aims should be of special importance. The obesity in Kuwait is caused by the harmful habits of its population, so only getting rid of these habits it is possible to solve the obesity problem.

Latest research on the impact of food on health in Kuwait uncovered terrifying facts. Fast food consumption has bad consequences for human health and provokes diseases, such as heart diseases, depression, headaches and many others. The increase of consumption of fat and sugar causes increase of obesity. This tendency is very good illustrated on the example of younger generation; representatives of witch consume big quality of fast food. Authorities have finally paid attention to these problems. There are several ideas about the possible ways to deal with this problem. Some propose to limit the use of saturated fats, such as some fats and margarine, in the production of fast food (Caraher, 2005). Others propose to raise taxes for the food, which has high percentage of saturated fats. This will naturally lead to the growth of prices on fat food and there is a hope that it will reduce its consumption. This kind of strategy had good results in the case with alcohol and tobacco. Implementation of tax on these products resulted in the raise of the price for them and finally reduced their consumption among the population. Approximate counting concerning the impact of higher taxes on the consumption of fatty food forecast that these taxes will reduce the consumption of fatty food by teenagers and low-income families (Curry, 2004). There are some possible negative consequences of such policy. Despite this policy will have a positive effect on the quantity of fatty food, consumed by the population, most probably it will deprive people of their free choice. State tax policy should be combined with information campaigns, aiming to explain the harm to the health done by the consumption of fast food. Raising taxes for fast food and good informational campaign can give good results and bring up new habits of healthy eating.

Advertising is a mighty weapon nowadays. Every day millions of people create and see advertisements. The most frequent advertisements deal with cigarettes, alcohol products and fatty food. Media often advertises fatty unhealthy food but at the same time a lot of messages propagandize diets and the necessity to be thin. Researches show that girls worry about their weight and start dieting at early age. They see unrealistic pictures of thin women in advertisements created with the help of computer graphic techniques. Teenagers especially girls become frustrated and can even have nervous exhaustion. Advertising unhealthy products, such as junk food and carbonated drinks, the government of the country puts under threat the health of the nation. Young adults and children are extremely influenced by advertising and this way they get unhealthy habits, which finally result in obesity.

Food habits make one of the main reasons of high obesity rates. Adults same as young population of the country consume cheap and non organic food, which often becomes the reasons of high obesity level. Non-organic food often contains different chemical elements and often in dangerous combinations. “We have long believed the micronutrient deficiencies common in our patients have their roots in the mineral-depletion of soils by intensive agriculture, and suspect that pesticide exposures are contributing to the alarming rise in allergies and other illnesses” (Tielemans, 1999, p. 384). This means that non-organic food can become a reason of many allergic diseases and these facts show only minor part of the problem. Pesticides, which are used for the growing of non-organic food, may cause neurotoxicity, suppression of the immune system and carcinogenicity. In addition, they may often become the reason of the disruption of the endocrine system. The impact of pesticides on the human health has not been fully studied yet but it is evident that they cause serious health problem. Despite there are safety levels, which are established in order to limit the use of the pesticides, their content in the food products often exceeds any established norms. Very often the cases of extreme use of pesticides while growing non-organic food are not reported. Latest researches show that pesticides have negative impact on the male reproductive function. Pesticides contained in the food products can cause the decrease of the fertilizing ability of the sperm and thus cause lower fertilization rates (Abell, 1994). “Correspondingly, members of a Danish organic farmers¹ association, whose intake of organic dairy products was at least 50% of total intake of dairy products, had high sperm density” (Abell, 1994, p. 341). Children are especially sensitive to the different dangerous elements contained in non-organic food. Their food habits formed in the childhood influence all their further life and make the basement for their health. Different food additives are contained in big quantity in non-organic food. Such food additives, as hydrogenated fats, aspartame, monosodium glutamate and phosphoric acid can have a very negative impact on human health. These food additives contained in non-organic food in big quantity can become the reason of different hearth diseases, headaches, osteoporosis and depressions.

Obesity is not a removed phenomenon; it touches practically every country in the world nowadays. According to the statistic date from the year 2005 about 1.6 billion people on the planet were overweight and among these people 400 million were obese. This data is frightening but the predictions for 2015 are even more terrifying: according to the World Health Organization there will be 2.3 billion people with overweight and about 700 million people suffering from obesity. Kuwait is one of the countries with the highest rates of overweight and obesity.

Propaganda of healthy lifestyle is another mean to treat the problem. Kuwait government puts much effort trying to popularize healthy lifestyle and exercising. Threatening numbers of obesity rate finally made the government to pay attention to the problem. “The latest statistics show that the overweight percentages are increasing in Kuwait in a terrifying way. The Ministry of Health must set a special program to find a solution for obesity and to limit its spread,” said Al-Mubarak when reaching the finish line at the Green Island” (Fattahova 69). Since the problem of obesity got the scope of the country, the Cabinet of Ministers organized a special committee, which should find the way out. High obesity level causes a serious danger to the health of the nation and ordinary people and government of the country should unite their effort looking for the way out of this problem. The Ministry created a special group of people from different fields in order to join their effort and to fight obesity. “This work includes various activities to alert people of all ages. These awareness campaigns will also include going to schools, as the students are the future generation of our country,” states Dr. Nasser Al-Anezi, Assistant Undersecretary for Administrative Affairs at the Ministry of Health and Head of the National Program to Fight Obesity and Overweight. In addition to the means, performed at the present moment, such as propaganda of healthy lifestyle and healthy food, this working group plans to open several clinics, which would help people to deal with the problem of obesity. Like mentioned above, complex approach can be the strategy in this case. This approach should be applied both – in the scope of the entire country and in the scope of each individual. Healthy habits should be combined with healthy diet and working on the psychological side of the problem. Only this complex approach can guarantee the best results in resolving the problem of obesity in Kuwait. Clinics, which should be open in nearest future will deal with the problem of obesity on several levels. As states Al0Anezi, “These clinics will also provide awareness programs such as health nutrition facts and how to live a healthy lifestyle, which will be included in the curriculum and the media. The program will also encourage food producers to produce healthy food. In addition, the program also includes a strategy to limit unhealthy food especially in schools” Fattahova 69).

This method promises to be rather effective because it deals not only with adults, but also with younger generation, which should make the core of healthy nation. Reteaching adults is a difficult task, while working with children must be much easier. All healthy and unhealthy habits are formed in the childhood and despite it is hard to underestimate an important role of family upbringing, state policy can also be very useful in dealing with this complicated problem. There are different factors, which are usually associated with child obesity. Main reasons include “familial and environmental factors associated with childhood obesity; in addition to adverse effects of obesity on children’s serum lipids, lipoproteins, apolipoproteins, insulin, and blood pressure profiles” (Moussa, Shaltout, et al, 45). Child obesity becomes the reasons of many health problems, which appear starting from the childhood. In addition, obesity is one of leading causes of death in Kuwait. All these facts give enough reasons for serious concerns and paying much attention to the problem of obesity.
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