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Words in the News
Wednesday 05 June 2002
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

World Heart Federation obesity warning
Summary: The World Heart Federation is warning that obesity will overtake tobacco smoking as the biggest cause of heart disease unless the current trend of unhealthy lifestyles stops. At least a billion people across the globe are now extremely overweight, putting a massive strain on the world wide healthcare systems. This report from Emma Jane Kirby.
The News Listen  
  Obesity, which can cause heart disease, strokes and diabetes is on the increase across the globe. According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated twenty-two million children under five years old are now severely overweight. Nearly one in three children in the United States between the ages of five and fourteen is obese, compared to one in six, thirty years ago.

But obesity is not a condition which solely affects the Western World. Increasingly, low and middle income countries are suffering from the condition, often due to a change in their diets, as they substitute fibre intake for a much higher consumption of saturated fats and sugar. In Beijing, for example, one in five children of school age is now obese.

The World Heart Federation says obesity can also be blamed for spiralling health costs. The US spends almost a tenth of its national healthcare budget on overweight patients, and in Western countries as much as two point eight percent of the total sick care costs is attributable to obesity. The Federation warns that unless the world's population acts now to eat a healthier diet and to take more exercise, obesity will rapidly overtake smoking as the leading lifestyle risk factor for heart disease and strokes.

Emma Jane Kirby, BBC

The Words Listen
  on the increase

medical problem

  low and middle income countries
poorer countries

if you substitute something for something else you use it instead of the other thing

  fibre intake
the amount of fibre they eat

  higher consumption of saturated fats
eating of more fats that are considered bad for you

here, increasing rapidly

  attributable to
likely to be caused by

here, become a bigger problem than...

  lifestyle risk factor
something people choose to do which can badly affect their health

  Read more about this story  

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