World Obesity Day is commemorated on March 4 every year to raise awareness on the condition. Obesity is now a global crisis that affects around 800 million people worldwide with millions more at risk. Almost one in every six adults worldwide is living with obesity. Once viewed as a problem for the most developed countries, obesity is rising on every continent with the largest increases now taking place in South Asia and parts of Africa – areas where there was previously minimal prevalence. If nothing is done to reverse the epidemic, 1 billion adults may become obese by 2030. Furthermore, it’s not just adult obesity rising on every continent but childhood obesity is growing too. At present, no country stands a chance of reaching its 2025 obesity targets. This is why everybody needs to act and if we all come together, we can achieve big things.
One of the root causes of obesity for example is ultra-processed foods. According to the WHO, one of the ways to tackle or prevent obesity is through healthy diets. Emerging ag is proud to work on behalf of the Prairie Oat Growers of Canada (POGA) to promote healthy diets. Through the project Avena Canadiense, Emerging ag and POGA promote the consumption of oats especially in countries such as Mexico where obesity rates are high. Oats have many nutritional benefits, in particular for weight management, diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention. Oats are also easy to prepare and can be adapted for use in several recipes. Over the years, POGA has organised annual recipe contests to encourage people to incorporate oats in their daily meals. These recipes are also shared with the public through step-by-step videos.
Obesity is a major health issue which deserves attention and global interventions. It is our hope that everyone will take an action to give everybody the chance to live happier, healthier and longer lives. This action may be as small as taking the step to eat healthier meals. Remember, everybody needs to act. Let’s join hands to promote healthy diets and healthy lives. Happy World Obesity Day!