Advances in food and nutrition research

Type Book
Title Advances in food and nutrition research
Volume 70
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Publisher Elsevier
The tropics cover a large section of the world in which both developed and developing countries are situated. Rapid socioeconomic development, modernization, urbanization, and globalization have affected both the food market and physical activity (PA), which in turn have propelled the obesity epidemic in the tropics. There is growing concern that overweight and obesity are emerging as major health problems among children and adolescents in the tropics, despite the fact that undernutrition still exists in many of these countries. Physical inactivity, a low metabolic rate, and lack of physical fitness (PF) have been linked to overweight and obesity. Moreover, PF in several tropical countries is declining, and these changes may be a threat to future health, as low PA and PF levels are important risk factors for noncommunicable chronic diseases. Previous studies have reported that the relationships among PA, PF, overweight, and obesity are inconsistent and inconclusive. There is no indication that variances in the energy cost of physical activities lead to obesity. Despite a lack of definite evidence to prove a causal relationship, there is enough certainty that physical inactivity and low fitness levels are linked to overweight and obesity. Hence, people living in tropical countries need to be encouraged to lead a healthier lifestyle by increasing their PA levels and reducing sedentary behaviors to prevent overweight or obesity.

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