Defeat Obesity

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Obesity is a condition of excess body weight and fat. A person is said to be obese when the body weight is 20% or more above ideal body weight.

How do we measure obesity?

The most convenient way of measuring overweight or obesity is to determine Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI can be measured by a simple calculation.

BMI Weight in Kgs/(Height in meters)2

(Precise measurements of height and weight are required)
E.g. A person who weighs 78 kgs and is 1.8 meters in height, his BMl would be
BMI- 75/ (1.8)2- 23.148

BMI can be compared with the following ranges
BMI
18.5 or less Underweight
18.5-24.9 Normal
25.0-29.9 Overweight
30.0-40.0 Obese
40.0& above Extremely or morbidly obese

What are the causes of obesity?

There are many factors that contribute to obesity; these can range from genetic factors to depression. Obesity may be caused due to the following reasons:

Genetic factors
Genetic inheritance probably influences a person’s chance of becoming fat more than any other factor. These genes enhance the storage of fat when food is limited and cause an increased risk of obesity when food is abundant and energy expenditure is reduced.

Eating Habits:
1. Nibbling between meals is a potential cause for obesity
2. Some people consume food faster, without enough time to chew, therefore tend to consume more food.
3. Obese people respond to external cues to eat rather than internal hunger signals. They eat when it is mealtime or when they are surrounded by tasty foods instead of when they are hungry.
4. People tend to overeat when they are depressed or in order to avoid wastage of food.

Physical activity
Obesity is found in persons who lead sedentary lives and pay less importance to physical education. Though obesity can occur at any age, this is more common during middle age when physical activity decreases without the corresponding decrease in food consumption.

Physical activity

Obesity is found in persons who lead sedentary lives and pay less importance to physical education. Though obesity can occur at any age, this is more common during middle age when physical activity decreases without the corresponding decrease in food consumption.

Endocrine factors

Obesity is found in hyperthyroidism, hypogonadism and Cushing’s syndrome.

Trauma

Obesity may follow due to damage of the hypothalamus after head injury because it is not able to regulate appetite or satiety.

Prosperity and civilisation
Obesity is common in prosperous countries like the UK and USA, and in people of the higher economic strata of society, in developing countries.

Who is at risk of Obesity?

People who fall into the overweight category leading a sedentary lifestyle & consuming junk food are at risk of becoming obese. Obesity can occur at any age.

What are the disorders associated with obesity?

  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of atherosclerosis
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Liver Disorder
  • Stroke
  • Increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus
  • Increased risk of some cancers(endometrial, breast & colon)
  • Infertility
  • Gall bladder disorders
  • Irregular menstruation in women
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory disorders

What are the treatment options for obesity?

Weight loss is the only solution for obesity. This can be achieved through diet, exercise, supplements, medications or surgery. Diet and exercise are of the utmost importance for weight loss. A dietician can advise you on your diet plan, while a certain amount of exercise for at least 15-30 minutes a day is necessary
Your doctor will be able to guide you as to the best medication or can suggest surgery after assessing your condition and risk factors. Even after that, you will have to stick to healthy habits throughout your life.
Certain health supplements like appetite suppressants, starch binders, fat binders may be of great help together with a healthy diet.

What are the preventive measures?

Overweight and obesity can be prevented by taking complete control of your lifestyle (excepting medical conditions).

  • Regular exercise/Adequate physical activity
  • Healthy diet to take care of your calorie requirement
  • Avoid overeating/binge eating
  • Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol intake
    This will not only will keep you fit but will add a new zest your life.

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