Obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980. The fundamental cause of obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, coupled with an decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
Taking steps to tackle obesity is important because it can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions including diabetes, coronary heart disease and cancer. Obesity can also affect your quality of life and lead to psychological problems, such as low self-esteem or depression.
Campaigners are calling for tighter regulations around the marketing of food and drinks to reduce the exposure of children and adolescents to unhealthy foods. Ideas currently being floated include a 9pm watershed on TV adverts for junk food, and a tax on sugary drinks. A sugar tax was introduced in Mexico and has already reduced sales of sugary drinks by 6% in its first year. On a corporate level, supermarkets are being pressurized to remove food with high sugar content from checkouts to reduce children’s exposure to sugary snacks.
As well as encouraging people to eat less sugar, it is also important for governments to promote an increased consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts. Engaging in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes per week for adults) is another key message that needs to be promoted.
There is still much to be done to tackle obesity, with health services around the world struggling to cope with the increase in weight related diseases such as diabetes, action must be taken to prevent this epidemic becoming unsustainable.
WHAT ARE THE EXPERTS SAYING?
We reached out to some of the top 20 influencers to ask them for their views on Obesity. We spoke to Neil Floch MD (#3). Dr Arya M. Sharma (#6), Dr Alessandro Demaio (#13), Ted Kyle (#18). Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on Obesity!
“The prevalence of obesity continues to rise as the leadership of nations neglect the multiple fundamental causes of this complex disease which has altered our hormonal, microbial, genetic, and epigenetic compositions. Until the blame of obesity is taken away from the patient and cast upon our social, political and economic systems we will continue to see an ominous trend. We need to reverse our perception of what is healthy food and reject that simply dieting and exercising will reverse what is now a global epidemic. Governments must support the production of wholesome, non-toxic, healthy foods and penalize the production and consumption of food that results in illness and ultimately over stressed and costly health systems. The public should avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates while focusing on a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats as well as high fiber. Access to care in the form of insurance coverage for the treatment of those afflicted is mandatory. It is the obligation of nations to address the health and welfare of those who already afflicted by obesity and the more than 70 other associated diseases by providing access to medical and surgical care.”
“Once established, obesity becomes a chronic, often lifelong disease – the only difference to other common chronic diseases, is that we are trailing way behind in finding effective treatments and are doing a miserable job of delivering the few treatments we do have, to the patients who need them the most.”
“The public health community does not use the word “crisis” lightly. We are not in the business of grandiose statements. But when one in four Australian kids and two-thirds of Australian adults are overweight or obese, we do have a crisis. Obesity costs us $21 billion a year directly and $35 billion indirectly – a tab that all taxpayers must all pick up. In an age when we have less and less to spend on education, healthcare and public infrastructure, doesn’t it make good economic sense to support measures that plug this fiscal hole?”
“Thirty years of simplistic thinking about obesity has made things worse, not better. Since 1980, it’s grown from affecting 15% to 38% of adults. Most people assume obesity simply results from bad personal choices about diet and exercise. But the truth is much more complex. Scientists, health professionals, and people living with obesity are slowly learning it is a chronic disease that results mostly from genetic susceptibility and community risk factors. Personal choices can make obesity worse or help to address it. But it takes a lot of work, a lot of help, and a little luck to overcome obesity.”
MAPPING THE COMMUNITY
We were very interested in seeing which professionals and brands were leading the online discussion on obesity, so we analysed 717K+ tweets from October 13th, 2015 to January 10th, 2016 mentioning the keyword “Obesity”. We then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter. What we discovered was a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands. Below you can see a network map of the online conversation created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). Be sure to click on the map to enjoy the full size network diagram in greater detail.
If you are interested in learning more about our IRM software click here!
Below you can see another network map created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM) showing the #2 brand PHE Obesity at the centre, and the conversations to and from the different influencers in their field. If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click here to get in touch!
TOP 100 INDIVIDUALS
We looked at all the individuals engaging in discussion around obesity, including campaigners, academics, medical professionals and journalists to give you the top influencers on obesity. Be sure to hit the button below to get the full top 100 list!
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||Company||Influencer Score|
|1||@jamieoliver||Jamie Oliver||Jamie Oliver||53.83|
|2||@DrAseemMalhotra||Dr Aseem Malhotra||NHS||32.88|
|3||@NeilFlochMD||Neil Floch MD||Fairfield County Bariatrics||22.3|
|4||@sarahwollaston||Sarah Wollaston MP||The Conservative Party||19.47|
|5||@YoniFreedhoff||Yoni Freedhoff, MD||Bariatric Medical Institute||16.49|
|6||@DrSharma||Dr Arya M. Sharma||Canadian Obesity Network||13.22|
|8||@whsource||Stephan Guyenet, PhD||Whole Health Source||10.52|
|10||@garyruskin||Gary Ruskin||Right to Know||8.52|
|11||@RobertLustigMD||Robert Lustig MD||IRN||8.4|
|13||@SandroDemaio||Dr Alessandro Demaio||WHO||7.97|
|14||@CaulfieldTim||Timothy Caulfield||University of Alberta||7.49|
|15||@picardonhealth||André Picard||The Globe and Mail||7.05|
|19||@MichaelMossC||Michael Moss||NYT, WSJ||5.88|
|25||@davidludwigmd||Dr. David Ludwig||Harvard||4.8|
|26||@RebeccaDRobbins||Rebecca Robbins||Stat News||4.61|
|27||@bigfatsurprise||Nina Teicholz||The Big Fat Surprise||4.36|
|29||@mwbloem||Martin Bloem||Johns Hopkins University||4.18|
|30||@ProfTimNoakes||Tim Noakes||The Noakes Foundation||4.15|
|31||@ProfKevinFenton||Kevin Fenton||Public health England||4.09|
|32||@BoydSwinburn||Boyd Swinburn||University of Auckland||3.98|
|33||@EustacedeSousa||Eustace de Sousa||Public Health England.||3.87|
|34||@hbottemiller||Helena B. Evich||Politico||3.81|
|35||@Eggface||Michelle Vicari||Independent Consultant||3.67|
|36||@DanTaber47||Dan Taber PhD||University of Texas||3.56|
|37||@DavidAKesslerMD||David A. Kessler MD||David Kessler||3.31|
|38||@mtmdphd||Mike Thompson, MDPhD||University of Wisconsin||3.27|
|40||@JDonzeBlack_Pew||Jessica Donze Black||The Pew Trusts||3.04|
|41||@nutrevolve||Kevin C. Klatt||nutrevolve||2.89|
|42||@NutritionNerd||Tanya Halliday, RD||Virginia Tech||2.87|
|43||@DrTomFarley||Dr. Tom Farley||The Public Good Projects.||2.86|
|44||@rtoomath||Dr Robyn Toomath||Fight the Obesity Epidemic||2.77|
|45||@gbentley1||Guy Bentley||Daily Caller||2.65|
|47||@CorinnaHawkes||Corinna Hawkes||Food Policy City||2.6|
|48||@Dmozaffarian||Dariush Mozaffarian||Tufts University||2.58|
|49||@profpaulgately||Prof Paul Gately||More Life||2.39|
|50||@jcolemanmp||Jonathan Coleman||New Zealand National Party||2.35|
Top 100 Brands
In the top 100 brands we can find a great selection of medical institutions and organisations as well as useful resources such as media publications and forums. Be sure to hit the button below to get all the insights!
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||Influencer Score|
|6||@ObesitySociety||The Obesity Society||17.92|
|8||@harvardmed||Harvard Med School||15.69|
|12||@MailOnline||Daily Mail Online||10.64|
|17||@CR_UK||Cancer Research UK||8.24|
|22||@BBCNews||BBC News (UK)||7.74|
|29||@DailyCaller||The Daily Caller||6.96|
|30||@hereandnow||Here & Now||6.77|
|35||@actiononsugar||Action On Sugar||6.01|
|37||@AmerAcadPeds||Amer Acad Pediatrics||5.64|
|42||@DietDoctor1||Andreas Eenfeldt, MD||5.48|
|44||@BostonGlobe||The Boston Globe||5.2|
|50||@UK_HF||UK Health Forum||3.98|
At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to give back to our loyal readers as much as we can. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Digital Health, Health and Fitness and GMO vs Organic Food) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter? We also build some very cool software to manage all of these influencers. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!
Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion on obesity.
The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations are independent of a user’s number of followers, but we do filter our lists based on how much a user is engaged in the conversation and the influence they drive through their networks.