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Obesity, a growing epidemic

  1. In the Netherlands, more and more people are too fat. This applies not only to adults, but also to children. The risk of diseases (such as cancer) is increased by obesity or obesity. Obesity is an especially big problem for children. Research has shown that children are more likely to be overweight at a later age.

Obesity or Obesity

  1. Obesity or obesity is the excess accumulation of adipose tissue in the body. The World Health Organization views obesity as a threat to public health. Obesity is on the rise around the world. It is especially important to prevent obesity at a young age. To prevent obesity, you need to know its cause.

Causes of Obesity

  1. How much risk someone runs of becoming overweight or obese is partly determined by the social environment. This certainly applies to children. Parents play a major role in the prevention of overweight and obesity in their children because they can partly determine what and how much their child eats and how they spend their free time. Especially with children it is important to teach them healthy lifestyle habits, because there is a good chance that they will continue them as an adult.

Obesity around the world

  1. Worldwide, the number of obese people is estimated at 300 million. Obesity occurs not only in industrialized, but also in developing countries. In the Netherlands, about half of the population is overweight and in the period 1998 - 2002 obesity occurred in an average of 10.4% of men and 10.1% of women. In the US, the number of obese people is estimated at 89.8 million. This is 30.6% of the population.


  1. The predisposition to get fat is genetically determined. The risk of obesity is higher if the parents are obese or the close relatives (brothers or sisters) have weight problems. The World Cancer Research Fund is funding research into factors that can influence young people's risk of overweight and obesity. This should clarify how obesity in children should be tackled. The aim is to also reduce their risk of cancer later in life. This research is being conducted under the direction of Professor Johannes Brug of the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam.

Eating Behavior

  1. The risk of young people of overweight and obesity is mainly determined by their behavior, such as whether or not they cycle and run every day and their participation in sports activities. A sedentary life and lack of exercise are often accompanied by uncontrolled and unhealthy eating behavior: snacking, snacking, foods with too much fat and sugar, etc. As a result, the balance between the supply and the use of energy is disturbed. Fat that has not been disposed of is stored.

Delicious light cooking

  1. Stir-frying is a fast, sleek and delicious way to prepare food; Let vegetables be the main part of the meal; Use a maximum of 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of oil or margarine per person for the preparation of the hot meal; Opt for lean meat and fish cooking techniques (cooking, steaming, grilling or microwave cooking instead of baking and frying); Place a piece of fish or meat with some vegetables and herbs in aluminum foil and put it in the oven to cook; Fry meat or fish in a non-stick pan. Then you don't need that much margarine; Remove the skin from the chicken and cut the fat edge from the meat after baking; Fancy a sauce? Choose barbecue sauce, tomato ketchup, curry, picadilly, soy sauce, salsa, mango chutney or salad dressing; Choose lean ingredients such as 30+ cheese, semi-skimmed or low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, and sweetener.

Individual and environmental factors

  1. Both individual and environmental factors influence the behavior of young people. Individual factors include, for example, their knowledge and attitude towards a healthy diet and lifestyle. Environmental factors include their access to physical activities and the availability of healthy food in their environment. So that children eat too much, that modern life encourages them to use ready-made dishes or that there are bad eating habits in the family.

Other factors

  1. In the case of obesity or obesity, other factors must also be taken into account, such as a disturbed hormone balance, the use of medicines such as corticosteroids or antidepressants.


  1. For a long time obesity was seen as an aesthetic problem, but nowadays obesity is recognized as a real disease, responsible for a number of serious health problems such as:

Premature death

  1. According to the International Obesity Task-Force (OTF), the risk of obese women of a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is three times higher than that of other women. An increased fat content in the blood causes deposits in the vessels that slow down the circulation and increase the risk of thromboembolism and coronary artery disease (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, phlebitis, pulmonary embolism) by a factor of 1 to 6.

High blood pressure

  1. High blood pressure is a result of obesity in 30 to 65% of the cases, especially in adults under 40 in industrialized countries.

Colon Cancer

  1. The link between obesity and other cancers is not clear, but it has been proven with colon cancer (cancer in part of the colon).

Overweight and obesity

  1. Whether a person is overweight or obese is determined, among other things, by the Body Mass Index (BMI). This method gives an indication of the weight in relation to the length.

Calculating BMI

  1. The BMI is your weight divided by your height squared. A healthy BMI means:

Quetelet index (QI) and height

  1. Overweight can be measured from the Quetelet index by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters. For example: someone of 1.80 m with a weight of 75 kg = QI = 75 / 1.80 squared = 23.1.

Stomach circumference

  1. In addition to BMI and QI, waist circumference is also an important indicator of a healthy weight.

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