Did you know that World Obesity Day takes place on the fourth of March every year? Whether you are overweight or you are aware of someone who happens to be struggling with this condition, it pays to take a look at what this event is intended to recognise.
Why was this holiday created? Are there similar events to appreciate? How might such an internationally recognised event help to promote an overall healthy lifestyle? These are some of the questions that will be examined throughout the remainder of our article.
A Quick History of the Day
This event was first established in 2015. Since this time, it has garnered attention from around the world. This is partially due to the fact that obesity rates in western countries have skyrocketed in recent times. For instance, did you know that obesity in the USA has grown to include more than 70 million Americans? This roughly equates to 39.6 per cent of the total population.
The number of individuals who have become aware of this event has likewise increased over the years. According to the official website, more than six billion individuals now understand the problems associated with obesity.
Is National Obesity Awareness Week the Same Thing?
It should be noted that World Obesity Day and National Obesity Awareness Week are actually two different events. The first takes place during the first half of January while the latter is celebrated on 4 March. However, the goals are quite similar in terms of what organizers and participants are attempting to achieve. This brings us to the next section.
Why Celebrate Obesity?
One of the primary reasons why both of these events are held involves the ability to raise awareness. After all, the only real way to solve a problem is knowing that it exists.
The main issue here is that obesity has become so prevalent that some consider it to be nothing more than a “normal” trend. This sense of apathy will only serve to exacerbate the problem at hand. As a result, more results could suffer from serious side effects such as:
- Heart disease.
- Adult-onset diabetes.
In the same respect, the social stigma often associated with obesity can cause a host of mental and emotional issues (feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression are a handful of well-known examples). By raising awareness of a growing problem, it is more likely that viable solutions will be implemented.
How are These Events Celebrated?
There are actually many ways in which individuals can recognise these times of the years. While raising awareness is obviously important, other actions may be taken such as:
- Teaching school children the importance of a balanced diet.
- Creating local events such as hikes, bicycle rides or walks in nature.
- Providing discounts at a nearby gym or exercise center.
- Counting one’s calories during the week in order to better determine if a diet is in order.
Another primary goal is to encourage discussions about obesity, as this can sometimes present itself as a rather sensitive subject. The organizers of these events aim to break down any preconceived barriers that may exist in order to empower the participants themselves.
Are These Realistic Goals?
Obesity rates are rising around the world. Indeed, those who are overweight are also more likely to experience grave health issues as they age. This will likely place a greater strain upon existing healthcare systems. So, are these events capable of addressing such a worrying trend?
Answering this question primarily depends on the individual. After all, not everyone will appreciate the seriousness of the current obesity epidemic (or more realistically, pandemic). This is why lifestyle changes must take place on a more personal level.
For instance, many individuals have taken powerful steps such as being fitted with an adjustable gastric balloon engineered by the team at Spatz3. This is an excellent way to control cravings, to reduce caloric consumption and ultimately and to effectively lose weight over time. Others instead choose to explain to their children why maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important.
The ultimate point is to understand the impacts of our present actions will affect our future as well as those around us. Whether or not you choose to celebrate World Obesity Day, there is little doubt that its benefits have already been felt.