Worldwide rates of obesity have doubled since 1980, but levels of cholesterol and blood pressure are strikingly different between rich and poor countries, according to a study conducted by researchers from Imperial College London and published in The Lancet.
In 1980, 5 percent of men and 8 percent of women were estimated to be obese. By 2008, those figures had increased to 10 percent and 14 percent, respectively. An increase in obesity rates is expected to be accompanied by an increase in heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions, along with a worsening life expectancy.
“Obesity can take more than a decade off a person’s life span,” writes Melody Petersen in the book Our Daily Meds.
“Researchers reported in 2005 that the [United States’] growing epidemic of obesity may soon cause life expectancies to decline.”
Obesity levels have now reached problematic levels in all inhabited parts of the world with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Among wealthy countries, the United States had the highest average body mass index (BMI) at 28, which is considered overweight but not obese. The average Australian and New Zealander is also overweight. The highest BMIs in Europe were found in the Czech Republic and Turkey.
BMI is an obesity measure of weight relative to height. A BMI above 30 is considered obese. In some Pacific island nations, the average BMI is as high as 35.
Blood pressure and cholesterol levels increased in poor countries between 1980 and 2008, but fell in richer countries. Nevertheless, rich countries tended to have both the highest and lowest overall levels. Australia, Cambodia, Canada, South Korea and the United States had the lowest blood pressure levels, while Finland, Norway and Portugal had the highest. Cholesterol levels were lowest in Africa, and were lowest among rich countries in Canada, Greece, Sweden and the United States. They were highest in Iceland, Germany and Greenland.
“It’s heartening that many countries have successfully reduced blood pressure and cholesterol despite rising BMI,” lead author Majid Ezzati said. “Improved screening and treatment probably helped to lower these risk factors in high-income countries, as did using less salt and healthier, unsaturated fats.”
Yet researchers remain divided over whether decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure without lowering weight will actually lower a person’s risk of illness and death.
Sources for this story include: bloomberg.com
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Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD, physician from Germany, consultant and teacher in biological medicine, especially dark field microscopy known as Live Blood Analysis in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines. But he lecture also in the USA, Canada and the U.A.E. He speaks english and german.
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The mission of the Integrative Medicine is to search for the most effective treatments for patients by combining both conventional and alternative approaches that address all aspects of health and wellness – biological, psychological, social and spiritual. Biological Medicine is a big part of my work and so is Dark field Microscopy, what I use in my daily practice and what I teach more then 15 years in Asia and around the world: Live Blood Analysis in dark field based on Haematology.
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Heavy metal poisoning
Heavy metal poisoning is much more common than most people realize, and if you’re thinking that it doesn’t apply to you because you haven’t been exposed to any, think again. If you’ve eaten fish regularly, had amalgam fillings, received vaccinations, drank contaminated water, or done industrial or agricultural work or pharmaceutical manufacturing, there’s a good chance that you have a fair amount of toxic metals in your system..
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