Presence of excess fat in the body leads to a condition known as obesity. Although genetic and environmental factors too are responsible for increasing body weight, more often it is caused due to overeating and eating the wrong types of food such as fried oily snacks and sweets.
How to Measure Obesity?
To find out whether a person is just a bit overweight or falls in the condition of obesity, it is very important that you consider it on the parameters of Body Mass Index or BMI, which is its measuring unit.
- A person having more than 30 BMI is supposed to be obese.
- This measurement indicates morbid obesity and obesity in adults.
- The exact index is gained by dividing the weight of a person in kilograms by his height in square meters.
- Waist circumference is another method used for calculating obesity but is not very commonly followed clinically.
What Causes Obesity?
A person's weight is determined by the number of calories he intakes and the energy he spends. If there is a perfect balance between these two, the person remains on ideal weight. However, when a person eats more than he consumes through physical activity it leads to weight gain. This is the general cause. Some other causes include:
- Genetics: If a person has a family history of obesity, which means either of his parents is obese then there is more possibility that he will become obese as he becomes an adult.
- Sluggish Metabolism: People with fewer muscles such as women have a slower metabolism as muscles have the capacity to burn more calories. That is why, as compared to men women have to work harder to lose weight. Moreover, they also gain weight much faster than men do.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: According to a survey by The National Health and Examination, lack of adequate physical activity can also lead to weight gain in both men and women.
- Medications: Drug abuse and excessive use of certain medications such as antidepressants, steroids can cause obesity.
- Sleeplessness: Lack of proper sleep can also lead to obesity.
- Psychological Instability: Some people eat more when they are sad, stressed, bored or angry which ultimately leads to weight gain.
Health Risks Associated with Obesity
Obesity can lead to several health risks such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Gall stones and Gallbladder diseases
- Gout and Osteoarthritis
- Fatty liver diseases
- Pulmonary Problems such as sleep apnea
- Menstrual irregularities and reproductive problems such as infertility in women
- Heart problems
Inability to lose weight can also bring depression and sadness in some people and can lead to low self-esteem and decrease in a working capacity.
Obesity can be overcome only by following strict disciplinary actions.
- Regular and increased level of exercise and physical activity is important to reduce weight.
- Doctors advise exercising for at least 250 to 300 minutes per week to achieve visible weight loss.
- Level of exercising should increase as you lose weight because your body gets used to a particular set of activity and can stop losing weight.
- Walking, Jogging, cycling, treadmill are some of the exercises that work best in improving your fitness level.
Changes in Diet
- To lose weight you need to work out more and eat less.
- Although crash dieting can make you lose weight quickly, it comes back equally fast once you get back to your regular eating habits.
- Instead, counting your calories and eating all types of foods but in small portions is the best way to lose weight.
- This way you will lose weight slowly but will retain it for a longer time.
- Replace the fats and desserts in your diet with crunchy dry fruit snacks, vegetable portions and fruity desserts without sugar.
- Limiting the amount of salt and drinking more water also helps in losing weight.
Weight Loss Medications
In many cases, the caregivers prescribe weight loss medications because all the methods seem to fail. But these medications should be taken only on prescription and only for the prescribed period of time.
Not all medications are safe and hence you should never fall prey to the advertisements that misguide you by selling the herb combinations or medicines as a miraculous option for losing weight. No medicine can work if you do not exercise regularly and follow the proper calorie diet routine.
Weight Loss Surgeries
In case of excessive obesity, doctors can suggest weight-loss surgeries to reduce the stress put on the other organs by the excess amount of fat deposits in the body. Weight loss surgeries are of two types:
- Restrictive surgeries shrink the stomach size due to which your appetite slows down and hence you start eating less.
- In Malaabsorptive surgeries, a part of the digestive tract is bypassed so that the body can absorb only a limited amount of calories.
Another form of outpatient surgery is laparoscopy surgery in which the excess fat deposits in particular areas of the body are drained by making an incision in the tissues.
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