Health and Economic Consequences of Overweight and Obesity Among Adults in Pakistan
Overweight and obesity is a global health problem. The rise in the 1. INTRODUCTION * prevalence of overweight and obesity since the 1980s has reached to an alarming situation for every nation [Ng, et al. (2014)]. The extent of overweight and obesity varies widely across different regions given their environment, sociocultural context, economic situation, food habits and lifestyle. Its prevalence is highly apparent in industrialised countries where more than half of the adult population is overweight and obese. Yet, the rates are also alarmingly high in developing countries. Presently the developing economies of the world are not only facing the problem of underweight population but are also at risk of excess weight; contributing to the double burden of malnutrition [Schmidhuber and Shetty (2005)]. The developed world has long since replaced nutritious diet with high caloric food. Moreover, physical inactivity is highly prevalent in these societies due to the invention of labour and time saving devices both at home and outside. All of this makes life sedentary leading to increased prevalence of obesity. [Blaylock, Smallwood, Kassel, Variyam and Aldrich (1999)]. The countries which are undergoing transition have now also started to imitate the diet pattern and sedentary life style of developed nations. Additionally, increasing urbanisation in these countries is also connected to changing behaviour related to the standard of living and food intake. All of this is contributing in the rise of overweight and obesity problem in the less developed economies also.