Recent data from the World Health Organization evidenced that 50% of adults and 30% of children and adolescents worldwide are overweight or obese.

Figure 1. Mean BMI in the adult population worldwide. Data from the World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/topics/topic-details/GHO/body-mass-index 

Figure 2. Percentage of overweight and obese children in Italy. Yellow indicates overweight, orange indicates obese.

In Italy, 1 over 10 citizens is affected by obesity (18 million overweight adults and 5 million obese). The situation is even more dramatic in children, with 3 out of 10 overweight and 1 obese (Figure 2).

In the last 30 years, the incidence of overweight and obesity has increased by 30% and 60%, respectively; if this trend will continue, by 2030 they will affect the 70% of the population worldwide. Fortunately, we are still on time to ireverse this trend by changing our lifestyle towards a more healthy diet and physical activity. Thus we can work together to lower obesity incidence and its clinical and economic impact on our society. We must consider that obesity predisposes to chronic inflammatory states, metabolic syndrome and promotes neurodegenerative diseases, increases cancer risk, and fivefold the chances of developing diabetes.

At the Italian Liver Foundation we are awaring about one of the manifestations of the metabolic syndrome: The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is important to note that the metabolic syndrome is characterized by the coexistence of at least three metabolic and haemodynamic alterations (such as high blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, triglyceridemia, glycaemia). These alterations negatively impact in our body, mainly causing cardiovascular problems (such as heart attack and stroke) but also they predisposes to the onset of chronic diseases or various cancers: Ovary, breast, prostate, liver and pancreas, for example (Figure 3).

In conclusion, it is essential to highlight that prevention is crucial, and it can be achieved by controlling our weight, adequate physical activity, and balanced and healthy diet.

Figure 3. Obesity is a risk factor for the development of many cancers. Taken from https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/


Figure 1. Taken from https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/topics/topic-details/GHO/body-mass-index

Figure 2. License creative commons 

Figure 3. License creative commons, taken from https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/