Is obesity all in the head?

Melody* stands huddled in an oversized jacket. Her hands try to hide her protruding stomach. She hunches down into its folds, trying to make herself as small as possible.

But it is not working. The jacket does not hide the pants pulling over extra padding on her thighs, the fat clinging to her chin and disappearing into her neck, or the fact that, at 21 years old, Melody is health-threateningly overweight.

She is one of the many faces of the growing obesity epidemic.

About one in three people in the world are overweight or obese, according to research published in the medical journal Lancet in May. In South Africa this situation is even worse: the study found nearly 70% of the South African population is overweight or obese – more than double the global rate.

Read it at the M&G.

Image – Reuters