World Obesity Day: Get Involved and Make a Difference

World Obesity Day is an important annual reminder of the global obesity epidemic and the toll it takes on communities around the globe. At Herbalife Nutrition, we believe we have a responsibility to make the world a healthier place every day.

According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled over the last 40+ years, and there are over 650 million obese adults and more than 1.9 billion overweight adults worldwide. At the current rate, 2.7 billion adults will be obese by 2025.

Obesity is responsible for a significant proportion of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are among the leading causes of death across the globe, including heart disease and diabetes. These NCDs are not only serious but also costly. If we don’t take action, the global medical bill for treating diseases associated with obesity is expected to reach $1.2 trillion per year by 2025.

We are facing a global issue that requires worldwide action. And that begins by getting involved in the fight against obesity.

Supporting Education Programs

The phrase “knowledge is power” rings true when it comes to obesity prevention. People can make informed life choices if they understand the impact food and a sedentary lifestyle has on their overall wellbeing. And that education should begin at a young age, ideally at home, but also through school programs and community initiatives that encourage kids to get active, provide hands-on experiences like growing vegetable gardens, and offer resources to families so they can incorporate healthy foods into their meals.

Ensuring Access to Good Nutrition

The impact of good nutrition can be life-changing. Studies have found that malnutrition is a global disease that encompasses three different problems, known as the triple burden of malnutrition: undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency, and obesity. As a result, one in nine people globally is undernourished, one in three is impacted by some form of malnutrition, and one in ten is obese. These are sobering statistics – which is why ensuring people have access to good nutrition is a critical part of the equation to reducing the rise in obesity. Our Nutrition for Zero Hunger initiative is designed to do just that: it is our pledge to tackle global hunger through a $2 million donation over the next three years including key commitments to increase access to healthy foods and nutrition education for vulnerable populations around the world. This is just one positive step towards finding solutions to this important issue.

Investing in Community Initiatives

Elected officials and community leaders have a responsibility to their constituents to support programs and initiatives that will have a lasting impact in the communities in which they serve. To help in the fight against obesity, that includes creating more parks, walking trails and bike paths to help families to get out and get active. Take for example Mayor Acquanetta Warren of Fontana who took action when she learned that seventy-two percent of adults in San Bernardino County, of which Fontana is part of, are overweight or obese. She launched Healthy Fontana, a program created to inform, educate, and promote healthier eating and a more active lifestyle for her residents. Herbalife Nutrition is proud to support this community-based program that has become a social engine of change in the way people eat, exercise and live.

Commit Today

There’s no dispute that well-balanced nutrition coupled with regular exercise is vital to our health and wellness. And it doesn’t have to be over complicated. But it’s also important to get involved and support programs that encourage education, access to good nutrition and community resources.

We are all responsible for addressing the global obesity epidemic and reducing the prevalence of related diseases. So on World Obesity Day, let’s commit ourselves to working toward solutions not just today, but every day of the year.

John Agwunobi, M.D., MBA, MPH – Co-President and Chief Health & Nutrition Officer

John AgwunobiM.D., MBA, MPH – Co-President and Chief Health & Nutrition Officer

Dr. Agwunobi holds an MPH from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from Georgetown University. He completed his pediatric residency at Howard University and is currently a licensed physician in Florida and Maryland. In previous roles, he served as senior vice president and president of health and wellness for Walmart, as well as Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.