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What is Obesity?

Article by <em>Adult Health Care Center</em>Article by Adult Health Care Center

© Ines Obregon (2021-07-08)
What is Obesity?  Globally, obesity is one of the leading causes of health problems. It is a phenomenon that involves the accumulation of fat in an person's tissues thereby making such gain excess weight and become overweight. Research has revealed that an astonishing 45 - 70% of the adult population in the world is obese or overweight. Around the world, the prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled from 1980 to 2008. This however, is a serious concern to the world at large.

Obesity and Diseases

Obesity increases the risk of several devastating and debilitating diseases. These include:

  • Arthritis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Malignancies such as colon, prostate, breast as well as pancreatic cancer.
However, there are also certain underlying disorders or illnesses that can sometimes contribute to weight gain such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland). It is imperative to understand that health disorders such as this do not typically cause weight problems if properly check with the correct medications.

What is Obesity?

What is obesity? Obesity is identified when an individual's body mass index (BMI) is thirty or higher. Basically, the body mass index of a person is calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in meters (m) squared.

A BMI of thirty or higher indicates that the individual is considered obese. An individual's weight status can be estimated using the chart below:
Below 18.5Underweight
30.0-34.9Obese Class I
35.0-39.9Obese (Class II)
40.0 and higherExtremely Obese (Class III)

Causes of Obesity

The major cause of obesity is the excess calorie intake than such an individual burns. As a result, the body stores the excess in certain tissues leading to obesity. However, obesity has been known to be caused by several conditions as well as activities. These may be behavioral, genetic as well as hormonal effects. Basically, the major causes of obesity are:

Inactivity: An individual who isn't active deprives the body system from burning calories. However, with a sedentary way of life, there is high intake of high calories meals everyday without burning the calories via exercises as well as normal activities.

Unhealthy Eating Habits: For an individual who consumes more calories that he burns, tt is imperative to understand that weight gain is unavoidable.

When you're obese, your overall quality of life may be diminished. You may not be able to do things you used to do, such as participating in enjoyable activities. You may avoid public places. Obese people may even encounter discrimination.

Other weight-related issues that may affect your quality of life include:

  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Sexual problems
  • Shame and guilt
  • Social isolation
  • Lower work achievement

Obesity Management

Achieving obesity management goals is a very complex task. The most basic goal is to reduce body weight and promote healthy body composition by exercising, eating wholesome foods at a right quantity, and sleeping enough. Weight loss is achievable through many methods including diet and exercise.

Another challenge in obesity management is to reduce body fat. The goal is to lose the fat mass (body fat) that is more than three percent of lean body mass. The challenge in the weight loss process is to achieve a good level of physical activity by including exercise in the day. To reach the goal, a person will need to learn to identify when and how to increase physical activity, and then to increase it to the highest level possible while avoiding all the potential negative consequences like heart rate and blood pressure.

While obesity is a complicated issue with multiple variables, such as gender, genetics, age and even nutrition, there's still one important variable that is common in all areas of life - calories. So how do you get started?

Calories in Obesity Management

Calories are critical! They determine the type of food you eat, the energy you expend and your body's response to exercise. Your goal is to create a healthy number of calories for you - this will be referred to as your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Your BMR is also measured even when you're healthy: you're not overweight or obese because you eat right. Your basal metabolic rate will continue to increase over time if you eat appropriately. The goal varies depending on how much fat you have to lose, how lean you are, and to what intensity you are at your workouts.

The most common way to get started on calorie maintenance and weight loss is through an online calorie-tracking platform. You would start by creating a profile and logging your workouts and your activities. You'd then track your calories, and after a month or so, you'd check the results to see how you're doing.

Once a person has achieved this target number of weight loss, he needs to maintain his weight loss.

How to reduce fat and treat obesity? 

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