Being overweight or obese is not an American problem. It is a world problem. A November 2006 World Health Organization (WHO) projection indicated at least one in three adults in the world was overweight while one in ten was considered obese. The expansion of obesity and diabetes around the world provides international health experts new concerns, while they are still dealing with the problems of wide spread malnutrition. It is scary to think that today, many people around the world are more likely to die from issues related to being overweight than those that die from being underfed.
Recently, Reader's Digest interviewed 16,000 people from 16 different countries around the world to learn about weight related attitudes and behaviors. What did they find out?
While many in the U.S .are confronted with weight loss pills, powders and potions to tempt them as weight loss aids, the people in China (37 percent) lead the way in actually taking them. Because manufacturing is unregulated, this is a dangerous way for body conscious individuals in China to try to find a quick fix to their perceived ideal body. In the U.S., only 19 percent of us have taken weight loss pills and like in most all countries surveyed, women take them more frequently than men do.
For many people, doctor's orders to lose weight are the primary reason for weight loss efforts. The survey results found the Swiss (11 percent) to be the least motivated to make a change based on their doctor's recommendation while the French (39 percent) were the most motivated to change. People in the U.S. fall in between (29 percent) with men (33 percent) paying slightly more attention to the doctor's suggestions than women (27 percent).
When it comes to being aware of the dangers of obesity, Finland leads the way. The survey found that a wide majority (83 percent) of Finns have tried to lose weight at one time or another. The U.S. is not far behind with 72 percent of us having attempted weight loss with health reasons being at the top of the list of reasons why.
When people have a problem, the parents are a common culprit of blame and this is very common for people in Russia (70 percent) when it comes to weight. To be fair, what they are really blaming is the genes of their parents and the hereditary influences that they provide. Germans (61 percent) and Indians (50 percent) also use family heredity as a frequent excuse for weight issues while less than a quarter (21 percent) of Americans blame good ole mom and dad.
Do any of these study results surprise you? What do you see where you live?
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