OBESITY

 

OBESITY


Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese. The issue has grown to epidemic proportions, with over 4 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese in 2017 according to the global burden of disease. 

Rates of overweight and obesity continue to grow in adults and children. From 1975 to 2016, the prevalence of overweight or obese children and adolescents aged 5–19 years increased more than four-fold from 4% to 18% globally.

Obesity is one side of the double burden of malnutrition, and today more people are obese than underweight in every region except sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Once considered a problem only in high-income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. The vast majority of overweight or obese children live in developing countries, where the rate of increase has been more than 30% higher than that of developed countries.

Symptoms

Obesity is diagnosed when your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. To determine your body mass index, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and multiply by 703. Or divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.

BMI

Weight status

Below 18.5

Underweight

18.5-24.9

Normal

25.0-29.9

Overweight

30.0 and higher

Obesity

For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. However, BMI doesn't directly measure body fat, so some people, such as muscular athletes, may have a BMI in the obesity category even though they don't have excess body fat.

When to see a doctor

If you're concerned about weight-related health problems, ask your doctor about obesity management. You and your doctor can evaluate your health risks and discuss your weight-loss options.

What causes obesity?

Eating more calories than you burn in daily activity and exercise — on a long-term basis — can lead to obesity. Over time, these extra calories add up and cause weight gain.

But it’s not always just about calories in and calories out, or having a sedentary lifestyle. While those are indeed causes of obesity, some causes you can’t control.

Common specific causes of obesity include:

  • genetics, which can affect how your body processes food into energy and how fat is stored
  • growing older, which can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight
  • not sleep enough, which can lead to hormonal changes that make you feel hungrier and crave certain high-calorie foods
  • pregnancy, as weight gained during pregnancy may be difficult to lose and might eventually lead to obesity

Certain health conditions can also lead to weight gain, which may lead to obesity. These include:

  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes an imbalance of female reproductive hormones
  • Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare condition present at birth that causes excessive hunger
  • Cushing Syndrome, a condition caused by having high cortisol level (the stress hormones
  • Osteoarthritis (OA) and other conditions that cause pain that may lead to reduced activity.

TYPES

6 Types of Obesity

·         Food Obesity.

·         Thickness due to Nervous Stomach.

·         Gluten diet.

·         Genetic metabolic Obesity.

·         Venous Circulation Obesity.

Health risks of obesity

    

People with obesity have a higher chance of developing these health problems:

·         High blood glucose (sugar) or diabetes.

·         High blood pressure (hypertension).

·         High blood cholesterol and triglycerides (dyslipidemia, or high blood fats).

·         Heart attacks due to coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.

·         Bone and joint problems, more weight puts pressure on the bones and joints. This can lead to osteoarthritis, a disease that causes joint pain and stiffness.

·         Stopping breathing during sleep (sleep apnea). This can cause daytime fatigue or sleepiness, poor attention, and problems at work.

·         Gallstones and liver problems.

·         Some cancers

 How is obesity diagnosed?

BMI is a rough calculation of a person’s weight in relation to their height.

Other more accurate measures of body fat and body fat distribution include:

Your doctor may also order certain tests to help diagnose obesity-related health risks. These may include:

A measurement of the fat around your waist is also a good predictor of your risk for obesity-related diseases.

 

How can overweight and obesity be reduced?

Overweight and obesity, as well as their related noncommunicable diseases, are largely preventable. Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (the choice that is the most accessible, available and affordable), and therefore preventing overweight and obesity.

At the individual level, people can:

  • limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
  • increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and
  • Engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).

Individual responsibility can only have its full effect where people have access to a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, at the societal level it is important to support individuals in following the recommendations above, through sustained implementation of evidence based and population based policies that make regular physical activity and healthier dietary choices available, affordable and easily accessible to everyone, particularly to the poorest individuals. An example of such a policy is a tax on sugar sweetened beverages.

The food industry can play a significant role in promoting healthy diets by:

  • reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods;
  • ensuring that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers;
  • restricting marketing of foods high in sugars, salt and fats, especially those foods aimed at children and teenagers; and
  • Ensuring the availability of healthy food choices and supporting regular physical activity practice in the workplace.

Summary

Many factors play a role in the development of obesity. Genetic traits can increase the risk in some people.

Eating a healthy diet that contains plenty of fresh foods and getting regular exercise will reduce the risk of obesity in most people.

However, those with a genetic predisposition to the condition may find it harder to maintain a moderate weight.

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