Obesity economics

 

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Let’s start by a question: are there more people in the world today who suffer from obesity or is it the people suffering from hunger?

The answer would be shocking for most of us. According to the WHO statistics, there are over 1 billion obese people in the world as opposed to 800 million who suffer from malnutrition which apparently tells us that there are more obese people.

These numbers are calculated on the basis of the body mass index (BMI).
body-mass-index-formula
, where a BMI higher than 30 implies obesity.

Obesity has become a huge problem in the world today. About 40% of the population of US above 16 years of age is obese.

Once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.

I shall seek to analyze the impact obesity has on industries like clothing, automobiles, etc.

The obese people of the US account for only 20% of the total sales of clothing.

What, according to you can be the problem? Is it the demand problem or the supply problem?

Indeed a supply problem!

The plus size still largely remains a stigma in the fashion industry, despite the increasing market. Many emerging entrepreneurs are now trying to tap this category of the population.

The best example is the leading Chinese online shopping website taobao.com which caters to the demand of the plus size population.

Other leading brands have also launched these ranges like FOREVER 21+ and H&M+.

Even the famous Italian suit maker CORNELIANI altered its collection to suit the ‘Indian belly’.

The automobile industry is also making certain changes as regards to the seats, airbags and the seat belts.

But obesity has many ill effects on the health. Approximately every third person in the US can trace back his/her chronic illnesses to obesity. The obese people become very prone to a multitude of diseases and health issues including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, thus spending a chunk of their income on the healthcare services.

Although we can take benefits from the situation that the world is facing today with high rates of obesity, even among the children; it is important to realize and curb this condition to make the world better, healthier and more productive.

 

 

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