As the trends indisputably prove, obesity is weighing down the world, and its implications are deadly and costly.
In the U.S., the Milken Institute’s 2018 study, “America’s Obesity Crisis: The Health and Economic Costs of Excess” found, “In 2016, chronic diseases driven by the risk factor of obesity and overweight accounted for $480.7 billion in direct health care costs in the U.S., with an additional $1.24 trillion in indirect costs due to lost economic productivity.”
The total cost of chronic diseases due to obesity and overweight was $1.72 trillion, which is equivalent to 9.3 percent of the U.S. GDP.
Obesity as a risk factor is by far the greatest contributor to the burden of chronic diseases in the U.S., accounting for 47.1 percent of the total cost of chronic diseases nationwide.
Indeed, America, with just 5 percent of the world’s population, is truly #1, weighing in with 13 percent of the total world’s overweight and obese people.
Mexico ranks number #2 after the U.S., and related illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes are widespread. According to a study published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, some 73 percent of the Mexican population is clinically overweight.
On the COVID front, as we have continually reported, beyond the elderly population and those suffering from pre-existing chronic illnesses, obese individuals and those suffering from Type 2 diabetes are most at risk. “Obese people, particularly morbidly obese ones, are the ones who are at biggest risk to suffer complications if they contract coronavirus,” said Ricardo Cortes, a Mexican health official.
In Mexico, over 10 percent of the population aged 20 or older suffer from diabetes, according to government data from 2018. That’s up from 9.2 percent six years earlier. “Coronavirus isn’t that lethal, except for people who have underlying health conditions that complicate it,” said Dr. Abelardo Ávila, a researcher at the Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Health Sciences and Nutrition. “Unfortunately, that’s the case for many millions of Mexicans,” he said.
Popped Up on Soda Pop
It is also a fact that Mexicans drink more carbonated sodas per person than any other country in the world.
In an attempt to reverse the negative trend, the city of Oaxaca, with the highest child obesity rate and second-highest adult obesity rate of any Mexican state, has officially banned the sale of sugary drinks and junk food to children.
The ban is backed by the threat of heavy fines and possibly the forced closing of any business caught selling these products to children. Repeat offenders could face jail time. The ban includes vending machines in schools.
This move comes after the failure to curb the consumption of unhealthy junk food and drinks with a tax imposed on them in 2014. Last month, the country’s deputy health minister, Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez, publicly referred to sugar-laden drinks as “bottled poison.”
On 10 July, citing that one out of every three Americans drink soda on a daily basis, The Urology Specialists of the Carolinas published a report on the health risks posed by excessive drinking of sugary sodas. Among the key findings:
- “Today, soda is said to be a leading cause of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, gout, has negative effects on bone health, and can even contribute to premature death.” (Note: as reported in the Trends Journal, diabetes along with obesity are two of the leading risk factors attributed to death from COVID-19.)
- “Kidney stones from drinking soda are fairly common. One study found that participants who drank one soda everyday had a 23 percent higher chance of forming kidney stones.”
- “In men, regular soda consumption is known to lower your sperm count. While women who drink at least one soda per day have a harder chance of getting pregnant by up to 25 percent.”
TRENDPOST: Money counts. Health does not matter!
To exemplify how low the U.S. education system has sunk, despite the clear, documented health risks of regular soda drinking, it is estimated 80 percent of public schools in America have a contract with Coke or Pepsi for “pouring rights,” including in-school vending machines.
As reported in the nutrition newsletter HealthLine last January:
“Consider the ingredients in that 20-ounce bottle of cola: Carbonated water, natural and artificial flavors, a little caffeine, and about 17 teaspoons of sugar, which together add up to 250 calories. All of those empty calories put schools in a dilemma: They may not have wanted to give their students a sugar fix, but they didn’t want to walk away from piles of cash either.”
TRENDPOST: While Americans are masked up and socially distanced in fear, afraid of dying from COVID, they self-destruct, killing themselves by eating crap and blowing up.
On 18 August 2018, the Secretaries of Agriculture wrote in The Hill, “Diet-related disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, surpassing tobacco, drug, and alcohol usage. More than 1,000 deaths every day are due to poor diets.”
This means so far in 2020, about 221,000 Americans will have died from poor diets compared to 165,600 from COVID-19.