Global Issues: Obesity, Inactivity, and Water-Crisis

Health is a precious gift that needs to be cherished. Unfortunately, there are three global issues that are destroying people’s health and killing them. These health concerns include inactivity, obesity and lack of safe drinking water. The positive side of these issues is the fact that they are all preventable through making the right decisions and taking action. Due to higher trends of sedentary lifestyles, inactivity has become one of the critical current global issues. Inactivity is defined as a failure to meet the daily minimum physical requirement of moderate exercise.

According to New York Times, worldwide, 31. 1% of adults are inactive, from which 43. 4% of North America, 34. 8% of Europe, 30% of Russia, 30% of the Middle East, and 27% African. Based on these percentages, it is reasonable to assume that the wealthy the region is, the more inactive it is likely to be. Sedentary lifestyles have recently been linked to many health issues such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer. As stated in the New York Times, globally, around 5. 3 million people die from health issues that are related to physical inactivity; however comparatively, 5. million people die due to health concerns that are related to smoking. It is unfortunate that people do not understand the magnitude of the importance of physical activity due to the fact that inactivity is as deadly as smoking cigarettes. In the United States, inactivity level is the highest in the world, which makes it an undeniable concern. The average American lifestyle consists of driving to work, sitting at a desk all day, then sitting in front of a computer or a TV screen until falling asleep. The common trend of this routine is a lot of sitting and very little exercise.

Although, the good news is that health issues correlated with inactivity can be easily prevented by meeting the minimum exercise requirement, which is a twenty-minute walk per day. Additionally, as for worldwide prevention, governmental intervention may be necessary. Some examples are to build more parks, promote the importance of exercise, and set up financial incentives. Obesity is another growing global concern, which is defined as an “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health,” which is caused by an “energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. According to the World Health Organization, as of 2008, there are 1. 4 billion adults that are overweight, of which 200 million men and 300 million women were obese. Obesity is the fifth leading risk for deaths around the world; around 2. 8 million adults each year die due to health issues concerning being overweight or obese. Some medical conditions are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and several types of cancers. Globally, obesity has been a growing concern, due to consumption of high calorie processed foods. In addition, an increased level of inactivity adds to the growing number of obese people.

The bright side of obesity is that it is very easily preventable. On an individual level, obesity can be prevented by limited intake of highly calorie processed foods, increased intake of fresh produce such as vegetables and fruit, and regular exercise. The United States, also known as the fattest country in the world, has been battling with the growing issue of obesity. The fast pace and busy lifestyle does not help this fast food loving society. American’s love for McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, and other fast food joints is not helping the battle with the expanding waistlines.

In response to this concern, there have been several preventable initiates, such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign that aims to teach kids the importance of eating healthy and exercising regularly. Overall, obesity is a fast growing concern but it can be prevented by the correct actions, knowledge and initiatives. Furthermore, the lack of safe drinking water is another critical global concern. According to WHO, unsafe drinking water causes diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition, lymphatic filariasis, and trachoma.

The availability of safe drinking water is the essential to staying healthy. The human body is made up of mostly water; thus, to stay healthy, we require clean water just as much as we need proper nutrients from food. The developing areas of the world have the lowest availability of safe cleaning water due to insuffient governmental capital funds. However, clean water concern is not limited to only really poor areas such as Africa and Southeast Asia. Eastern European countries are also suffering from the problem of not having clean drinking water.

From my own experience of living in Kiev, Ukraine, the water that comes out of the faucet is pigmented yellow and is not recommended for drinking. There, most people opt for drinking only bottled water. The good news about the issue of unsafe drinking water is the fact that according to the WHO, “89% of the world’s population had some form of improved water supply. ” In order to continue improving the world’s water supply, local governments need to invest in necessary precautions to make the drinking water safe, such as distributing water filters, water bottles, and building protected dug wells.

Overall, the three current issues that are affecting global health are inactivity, obesity and lack of safe drinking water. A person cannot be healthy if they sit around all day, consuming more calories than their body knows what to do with and drink contaminated, dirty water. Physical activity, healthy eating patterns and clean water are essential to our everyday health; thus, actions need to be taken at the individual and governmental level in order to save and prolong human lives on this planet. Works Cited “How does safe water impact global health? ” WHO. 9 Sept. 2012 <http://www. who. int/features/qa/70/en/index. html>. “Obesity and overweight. ” WHO. 19 Sept. 2012 <http://www. who. int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/>. “The Couch Potato Goes Global. ” Well. 19 Sept. 2012 <http://well. blogs. nytimes. com/2012/07/18/the-couch-potato-goes-global/>. “Water-related diseases. ” WHO. 19 Sept. 2012 <http://www. who. int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/malnutrition/en/>. “Water, sanitation and hygiene. ” WHO. 19 Sept. 2012 <http://www. who. int/gho/phe/water_sanitation/en/index. html>.

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