Focused on the wrong global threats?
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Obesity (Risk factors)
Obesity (Analysis)
Pub Date: 09/22/2008
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Fall, 2008 Source Volume: 11 Source Issue: 3
Accession Number: 187049607

Despite the influx of world unrest, war, and terrorism, some experts believe that the focus needs to be turned to overcoming another major world issue--obesity. Poor diet, smoking and other unhealthy habits, and inactivity are rapidly creating deadly risks for millions of people around the world.

Global terrorism is undoubtedly a present concern, but it poses far less of a threat than the risk for obesity-related diseases. Lawrence Gostin, a professor of health law, stated, "Ever since September 11, we've been lurching from one crisis to the next, which has really frightened the public."

Gostin, who attended the fifth annual conference of the Oxford Health Alliance, has likened the issue of obesity to a "political paralysis." The Alliance seeks to bring together experts from a wide variety of fields to promote change.

"We need to build the physical activity back into our lives, and it's not simply about bike paths," said Tony Capon, a professor of health studies at Australia's Macquarie University. "It's about developing an urban habitat that enables people to live healthy lives, ensuring that people can meet most of their daily needs within walking and cycling distance of where they live."

According to figures quoted by Macquarie University, insufficient exercise is a risk factor in many chronic diseases. It is estimated to cause 1.9 million deaths worldwide per year, said Capon.

Agence France-Presse. (2008, February 25). Obesity more dangerous than terrorism: experts say. Retrieved July 18, 2008, from obesity-more-dangerous-than-terrorism-experts-20080225-1umw.html
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