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Obesity epidemic vs cOVID-19

The epidemic of obesity is not discussed as much as the COVID-19 pandemic for several reasons:


1. Lack of sudden, dramatic, and visible impact: Obesity is a chronic condition that has been growing over several decades, whereas COVID-19 is a sudden and dramatic global health crisis that has captured widespread attention due to its rapid spread and high mortality rates. The sudden and dramatic nature of COVID-19 has led to a greater sense of urgency and a more prominent media presence.


2. Complexity of obesity: Obesity is a multifactorial issue involving genetics, lifestyle, socioeconomic factors, and environmental influences. This complexity makes it more challenging to address and discuss in a concise manner, whereas COVID-19 is a more straightforward, single-pathogen disease that can be easily understood and communicated.


3. Limited public awareness and education: Obesity is often viewed as a personal issue or a matter of individual responsibility, which can lead to a lack of public awareness and education about its causes and consequences. In contrast, COVID-19 has been extensively covered in the media, and the public has been educated about its transmission, prevention, and treatment.


4. Prioritization of immediate health crises: The COVID-19 pandemic has required an immediate and global response, which has led to a prioritization of resources and attention towards addressing this crisis. Obesity, while a significant public health issue, is often viewed as a long-term problem that can be addressed through gradual policy changes and individual lifestyle modifications.


5. Limited political and economic incentives: There are limited political and economic incentives to address obesity as a public health crisis. In contrast, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant economic and political investments in response efforts, such as vaccine development, testing, and contact tracing.


6. Lack of a single, clear solution: Obesity is a multifaceted issue that requires a comprehensive approach involving dietary changes, increased physical activity, and addressing socioeconomic determinants. This complexity can make it difficult to find a single, clear solution or a simple message that can be effectively communicated to the public.


7. Media and public attention: The media and public attention are often drawn to sudden, dramatic, and visually striking events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Obesity, while a significant health issue, does not have the same level of visual appeal or dramatic impact, which can lead to less media coverage and public attention.


8. Funding and research priorities: Research funding and priorities are often driven by immediate health crises like COVID-19. Obesity, while a significant public health issue, may not receive the same level of research funding and attention due to its chronic and multifactorial nature.


9. Lack of a clear, single villain: Obesity is often viewed as a complex issue with multiple contributing factors, making it difficult to identify a single villain or scapegoat. In contrast, COVID-19 has a clear villain in the form of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which can be easily targeted and communicated to the public.


10. Historical context: Obesity has been a growing public health issue for several decades, and its impact has been gradually increasing over time. In contrast, COVID-19 is a relatively new and sudden crisis that has captured global attention due to its rapid spread and high mortality rates.

These factors contribute to the relative lack of attention and discussion surrounding the epidemic of obesity compared to the COVID-19 pandemic.



Sources

[1] Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on obesity and its risk factors https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-023-15833-2

[2] Understanding the Co-Epidemic of Obesity and COVID-19 - NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080486/

[3] Obesity and COVID-19 Pandemics: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and ... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10749174/

[5] Obesity and COVID-19: What are the Consequences? - PMC - NCBI https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9427204/

[7] Obesity, Race/Ethnicity, and COVID-19 | Overweight & Obesity | CDC https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/obesity-and-covid-19.html

[9] Obesity pandemic during COVID-19 outbreak: Narrative review and ... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923945/

[10] The Dual Pandemics of COVID-19 and Obesity: Bidirectional Impact https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13300-022-01311-2

[11] Will the COVID-19 pandemic worsen the obesity epidemic? - Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/s41574-020-0387-z

[12] Obesity and COVID-19 mortality are correlated | Scientific Reports https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-33093-3

[14] Excess weight can increase risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/excess-weight-can-increase-risk-of-serious-illness-and-death-from-covid-19

[18] Europe: Report highlights direct link between pandemic and childhood obesity https://news.un.org/en/story/2024/05/1149236

[19] New UN report: 43.2 million people suffer from hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the region has higher ... https://www.paho.org/en/news/9-11-2023-new-report-432-million-people-suffer-hunger-latin-america-and-caribbean-and-region


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