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          Obesity, A World Epidemic

          Based on current trends it is predicted that 2.7 billion people worldwide will be overweight or obese by 2025.

          Without urgent action, the annual global medical bill to treat the effects of obesity is estimated to be an astonishing $1.2 trillion per year by 2025.

          Obesity has been described as a world epidemic and is one of the biggest health challenges globally and cited to be one of the top three causes of chronic ill-health.  The rise in obesity is generally attributed to people eating more food energy than they need. In many areas of the world, food has become more readily available, attractive and cheaper than ever, at a time when economic development has reduced the need for high levels of physical activity.

          As a first step, the World Health Organization set a target to get obesity back to the 2010 levels, by 2025. As part of this year’s World Obesity Day, the World Obesity Organisation (WOO) will be focussing on increasing knowledge and understanding of obesity, and what can be done to overcome it.

          WOO will also be encouraging governments around the world to help fight obesity. With the consequences of being obese including health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver disease and depression, it is in their interest to act.

          We, as health insurers also have a responsibility. So, through our apps and the members' portal, Generali Global Health help our clients make healthier choices. GGH offers Bria, an app service that helps members identify health risks and take preventative steps. The service also offers access to specialist health advice, tailored to each members' unique situation. Bria will also connect seamlessly with over 1,000 popular health and activity trackers.

          Through Bria we can offer tips, practical advice and support on how to eat healthier, keep fit and lose weight. Users can choose a health goal and adopt action plans to help maintain healthy habits. Our online wellbeing tool, accessible via the members' Portal, provides a variety of ways to identify health risks and prevent ill health. These include health and fitness calculators that measure BMI, set desirable body weight and a waist-to-hip calculator.

          It is a small step to help the cause and we are just one health insurance provider taking steps to support and offer advice to our members and corporate clients. And, if just a small percentage take our advice we will be helping the battle against obesity. If you want to find out more about World Obesity Day or want to find out how to get involved visit www.obesityday.worldobesity.org and on social media use #WorldObesityDay.