Obesity alarm in Italy. As reported by the data from the XX Osservasalute Report, prepared by the Osservatorio Nazionale sulla Salute nelle Regioni (National Observatory on Health in the Regions) in 2022, 12% of the Italian population (6 million people) is obese. This data is closely linked to physical inactivity, with over a third of adults not engaging in any physical activity during leisure time.
This situation has worsened in the last two years, especially due to the forced closures during the Covid pandemic. Many people have not resumed exercising after the end of the health emergency, leading to an increasingly widespread sedentary lifestyle. Currently, 30.3% of men and 36.9% of women are inactive.
The health consequences are dramatic. Over 46% of adults over 18 years old are overweight, a condition characterised by excessive accumulation of body fat resulting from sedentary behaviour and improper diet. This represents one of the main risk factors for the development of chronic diseases. One of the main diseases associated with obesity is diabetes, affecting 15.5% of obese individuals and 12% of those who do not engage in sports, including young people. Between 2020 and 2021, there has been a significant decrease of up to 15 percentage points in sports participation among children and adolescents (aged 3-17 years). Currently, only 36.2% of minors engage in regular sports activities.
Physical inactivity and obesity, as numerous studies have shown over time, are also directly linked to depression. Notably, between 2020 and 2021, the consumption of antidepressant drugs increased by 2.4%.
These numbers reflect a complex phenomenon that is overall concerning, considering the psychophysical consequences for those directly involved. From a scientific perspective, as well as at the institutional level, addressing such a problem requires a systemic and multidisciplinary approach. Aware of this, UniCamillus has established a MSc in Human Nutrition Sciences in 2021.
As a university specifically dedicated to healthcare and prevention, UniCamillus aims to contribute to fight this problem by training qualified professionals in the field of nutrition who can work in both public healthcare and research, as well as in the corporate or individual sectors. The International Medical University of Rome aims to provide future specialists in the field with interdisciplinary skills and knowledge necessary for promoting human health through nutrition. Hence, this course of study covers both medical and pharmacological aspects, as well as topics related to dietetics and sports science.
However, for UniCamillus, it is not only about playing an important role in education at the academic level for the care and prevention of chronic degenerative diseases related to obesity. The MSc in Human Nutrition Sciences, like all activities directly managed, organised, or supported by the university, ultimately aims to contribute to the overall improvement of people’s quality of life.
To learn more, please visit the dedicated section of the UniCamillus website for the MSc in Human Nutrition Sciences by clicking on this link: https://www.unicamillus.org/en/bachelor-degree-course-in-human-nutrition-sciences/