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Oh, even their ‘waste’ sizes?
The increase in obesity levels in America is a slap in the face of a starving Africa
30/11/2006

If aliens were to scan the human species, and were to analyse the United States human against one from Sub Saharan Africa, they would definitely have given a serious thought to label the Americans as of belonging to a species other than ‘Homo Sapiens’. And they wouldn’t have been much off the mark with that, given the fact that given their girth and waist line, Americans are taking an undistinguished lead over the rest of the world. The problem of obesity has risen significantly in the US. The National Center for Health Statistics contends that about 30% of American adults (above 20 years of age) that is, over 60 million people, are obese. Even among children, the problem has been growing exponentially. It has been estimated that about 16% of children in the United States are overweight. Coming as a severe health threat, the problem of obesity is lurking dangerously in the American horizon. The most notable feature has been remarkable gender equality in the conspicuous consumption pattern! Overweight and obese women have shared an almost equal percentage as compared to the men folk.

Needless to say that the American overeating has caused a severe health and economic hazard both for the US and its colonies, that is, the rest of the world. It has been stated that many diseases and health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, have been growing at an alarming pace in America. Researchers have stated that the direct and the indirect medical costs involved with obesity have been growing steadily in the country. While the direct losses are related to the treatment aspects related to obesity, the indirect losses related to decreased productivity have simultaneously been higher.
The national health cost vis-à-vis the overweight and the obese has been estimated to account for about 9.1% of the total American medical expenditure. That figure, it must be emphasised, climbed up to about $93 billion in the year 2002. That figure would gain weight if comparisons are made of the overall American health expenditures to the developed world. The American health expenditure as a percentage of GDP (at 15.3% in 2004) has been almost 6% points higher than the average of other OECD countries. Even the per capita expenditure at $6,100 is almost 200% above the average expenditure in the other OECD countries. Expenditure, then, at the ends of obesity has been growing, as the obesity rates among adults remain the highest among the OECD countries. It must be noted here that Mexico and United Kingdom with the obesity rates of 24.2% and 23%, respectively, remain far behind the American 30.6%.

These expenditure patterns related to the conspicuous American consumption, cannot be ignored, when facts and figures related to the severe deficiency disorder in the rest of the world are considered. With 1.08 billion people living across the globe surviving below $1 a day, the American over consumption and subsequent expenditure could certainly have been directed at better ends. As Americans gain girth, it must simultaneously be noted that despite the world agriculture producing 17% more calories per person, almost every fourth child across the globe suffers from acute Protein Energy Malnutrition. So guess which side would the globe have tilted if the world were really a see-saw, with the Americans on one side and the rest of the world on the other? We aren’t waiting for the answer... run, the aliens are coming!

By:- B&E
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