Obesity
Physical Health

Obesity: What Research Says About Obesity

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Obesity
OBESITY

Obesity is a type of condition in which a person suffers from too much body fat in the body. It is a type of medical problem because it makes you highly prone to many other health-related diseases. Usually, adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30 are considered obese. Those with a (BMI) of 40 or higher are considered severely obese. It is, therefore, necessary to keep a check on body fat levels otherwise you could face severe consequences.

Is obesity a disease?

An obese person is easily targeted to chronic diseases along with numerous causes that contribute to excessive body fat as well as poor health conditions. The fact that excess body fat attracts diseases within one’s body is much more dangerous than the presence of excess body fat itself. 

In addition to this, a large amount of fat in the body can also impair the body’s ability to function properly. The effects of these changes can be detrimental to health. It is also important to note that if not treated within a short period of time, they can be progressive, and they can worsen as time goes on.

In recent years, this has become a major issue that threatens a large number of people. Fortunately, starting with losing only some excess body fat can help to improve health. Yes, it is possible indeed to make big effects on your health by dropping the extra weight of the body and even a little bit will make a big difference in one’s health. 

More importantly, losing weight is not the end of the journey, nor the conclusion that one must stop making progress once he or she loses weight.  For it to remain sustainable, one must continue making efforts. Additionally, there are different methods for losing weight that works for different people. 

Does your weight determine your obesity?

Obesity in the general population is commonly defined by the Body Mass Index (BMI) used by healthcare providers. Based on the average weight of an individual and the average height of that individual, the BMI is calculated.

Therefore, when it’s about obesity, it is generally accepted that obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.

Despite its limitations, BMI is a simple, easy-to-measure process for calculating the body weight of an individual. Moreover, it is an indicator of obesity-related health risks.

There is a common misunderstanding among people that if a person is not fat it means he is not obese. Obesity can affect anyone, irrespective of their size since it’s caused by extra fats being stored in the body. An obese person’s body weight may be fine according to their height, but their percentage of fat might be too high to be considered normal.

Is there another way to assess obesity?

Using waist circumference as another measure of obesity is also possible. Overweight and obesity-related diseases are statistically more likely to affect people with more body fat around their waist.

What are the ways in which childhood obesity is assessed?

A child’s BMI is also used by healthcare providers to calculate obesity, but their age and gender are taken into account. In children older than two years, obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than 95% of their fellow ones.

In what ways can obesity be classified?

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The severity of obesity is classified by healthcare providers into different classes. BMI is used to determine it. Those with a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 kg/m2 are considered overweight. Health care providers use three general classifications of obesity to determine which treatments may be most effective for each individual. The following are among them:

  • Class I Obesity: BMI 30 to 34.9 kg/m² is considered class I obesity.
  • Class II Obesity: An obese person with a BMI between 35 and 39.9 kg/m² falls into class II obesity.
  • Class III Obesity: Those with a BMI of 40.0kg/m² or higher are considered obese in class III(earlier termed as morbid obesity).

Morbid obesity: what does it mean?

Earlier, the name for class III obesity was used as morbid obesity. However, there is no longer a need to refer to class III obesity as morbid obesity now.

Morbidity is the term used in medical terminology to describe health risks associated with a condition. That is why the term “morbid obesity” was coined by doctors because class III obesity was most likely to come with health complications. However, the term is not in use anymore.

Does obesity have a high prevalence?

The prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled in the past 50 years worldwide. It has been noticed that across low-income countries, malnutrition has played a particularly significant role in the rise of this disease. 

Increasing access to high-calorie, low-nutritional foods has made these communities more vulnerable to obesity. These communities are now increasingly afflicted with obesity and undernutrition.

What are the physical effects of obesity?

A person who is obese can experience a wide range of health problems. A person with more body fat may experience some mechanical effects as a result of this.

A clear perspective requires recognizing points like extra weight on the body, which puts more pressure on the joints and skeleton. As well as these subtle effects, the chemical composition of a person’s blood can increase their risk for heart disease, diabetes, etc.

Uncertainties still exist about some effects. The risk of certain types of cancer increases with obesity, for instance. Although there is no clue why it exists, however, it does.

In other words, the term obesity is statistically associated with a higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause. Furthermore, studies indicate that even modest weight loss of approximately 5% to 10% can have a significant impact on these risks thereby preventing you from becoming ill with these ailments.

Changes in Metabolism

This section explains the working of metabolism in the body. In order to fuel the functions of the body, calories are converted into energy by metabolism. The extra amount of calories is converted into lipids by our body and stored in the adipose tissue when our body has more calories than it actually requires.

Over time, fat cells become larger when there is no longer any tissue in which to store lipids. Furthermore, the enlargement of these fat cells contributes to the release of hormones and other chemicals which cause inflammation in the body.

And there are numerous adverse health effects that have been linked to chronic inflammation.

Let’s see how it affects our body:

As a result of chronic inflammation in the body, people can develop insulin resistance, which can negatively affect their metabolism. Which causes our body to not be able to utilize insulin effectively to reduce blood glucose levels and blood lipid levels anymore. 

Apart from this, hypertension (high blood pressure) also results from high levels of blood sugar and blood lipids.

Metabolic syndrome: what is it and how does it occur?

The metabolic syndrome is caused by a combination of the aforementioned factors. Further weight gain is also the result of these factors only, and weight loss and weight maintenance become far more difficult for a person stuck in this kind of condition. 

Aside from obesity, it is also responsible for a number of ailments related to it, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes. Specifically, obesity increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes 7 and 12 folds in males and females. Even one point increase in BMI is enough to raise your risk of chronic disease by twenty percent, which means you’re at risk of developing health ailments once your BMI goes up by one point. Losing weight reduces it, on the contrary.
  • Cardiovascular diseases. Throughout the body, blood flows through blood vessels to other organs. Increasing body weight causes fat deposits to build up in blood vessels (arteries), causing clogging of the arteries. Coronary artery occlusion can cause a heart attack if the arteries transporting blood to the heart become blocked.
  • Fatty liver disease. Your liver filters your blood by removing excess fats from your blood, which circulates in your body. Fat storage in the liver may cause hepatitis that is a chronic inflammation of the liver and liver damage for a longer time.
  • Kidney disease. The kidneys can also be negatively affected by excessive weight gain. Eventually, it increases the risk of developing kidney diseases since it causes the kidneys to work harder. A person’s kidneys can also be damaged due to hypertension and diabetes caused by obesity.

Does being overweight directly affect one’s health?

Due to the excessive amount of fat in the body, organs of the respiratory system get crowded. Moreover, it also increases the stress on your muscles and skeleton. As a result, these factors contribute to:

  • Obesity hypoventilation syndrome: Due to which a person can experience symptoms like daytime sleepiness, dizziness, tiredness, breathlessness, and headaches.
  • Asthma: One experiences, pain in the chest, wheezing, coughing, sleep troubles, and short breaths.
  • Back pain: It causes severe pain anywhere in the back, sometimes in the buttocks or legs.
  • Sleep apnea: It includes excessive daytime sleepiness, heavy snoring, consistent awakening during nighttime sleep along with dryness in the mouth, trouble staying asleep, restlessness, and losing concentration.
  • Osteoarthritis: Patients experience pain in joints during movement, stiffness in joints, swelling, and bone spurs.

According to studies, your risk of knee arthritis increases by more than 30 percent with every 5 kilograms of weight gain. Hence exercise, combined with weight loss, is highly recommended for individuals suffering from excessive weight. It can lead one to maintain significant body weight and improve the pain associated with arthritis and improve the quality of life for people with arthritis.

Does being overweight have some indirect effects on the body?

Yes of course, being obese or overweight have so many indirect effects on a person’s body which include:

  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: These are associated with impaired memory and cognitive function.
  • Mental health disorders: Mental health of a person gets affected as it can lead to depression.
  • Infertility in women: It can cause complications during pregnancy and may result in infertility in females.
  • Various Cancers: It can indirectly lead to the cancer of the breast, colorectal, esophagus, pancreas, uterus, and ovary.

OBESITY: what causes it?

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A high caloric intake can lead to obesity, which can be exacerbated by the following factors:

  1. Aspects of Psychology

In modern society, overeating is often caused by loneliness or depression. It means when people feel depressed they may develop unusual eating habits like overeating. The same happens when they are lonely and bored. It may cause them to eat foods with high-calorie counts.

2. Relying on Junk Foods

People who consume highly-processed fast and convenience foods will consume a lot of calories, especially if they consume these foods on a regular basis. The foods in these categories mainly contain a high amount of sugar and fat, but they are low in fiber and other nutrients, which is the actual requirement of the body. So they can cause you to feel hungry a lot more frequently.

In addition, the ingredients of these types of food items contribute to the development of addictive eating habits in individuals. Moreover, almost everything is sweetened with sugar.

3. Marketing Strategies

Despite our need to buy less of these products, we are forced to buy a great deal of processed foods, sweets, and sugary drinks thanks to pervasive advertising. As a result of their advertising, these products appear as though they are part of daily life and are necessary. Several advertisements contribute to the sales of alcoholic drinks, which contain many empty calories.

4. A Hormonal Imbalance

We receive signals from our hormones when we are hungry and when we are full. It is possible to crave more food even when you do not need any additional calories because of hormonal imbalances.

5. Medications

There is a possibility that medications you take to treat other conditions can cause weight gain as well.

Treatment for obesity: how does it work?

Depending on your medical history, you will be prescribed a treatment plan specifically tailored to you. Health professionals basically follow a strategy that may start treating your most urgent health concerns. After that, a weight loss plan that will last longer will be recommended.

Each person is different, so figuring out which therapies work for one person may take time. People who lose weight and keep it off are more likely to be successful if their provider and themselves communicate frequently and personally.

Among the treatment options you may have are:

  1. Altering your diet

In order to lose weight, one must make dietary changes that are unique for him/her. If there will be a reduction in portion sizes, it may have a great effect on one’s health. The biggest change may be in what one eats rather than how much.

Additionally, plant-based food is more beneficial to almost everyone as compared to fat-laden processed foods. These food items are rich in nutrients and will make you consume very less calories.

2. Exercise or physical activities

There is no doubt that exercise plays an important role in maintaining accurate body weight and eliminating excess weight. Nevertheless, it is not essential to go to the gym for exercising or workouts.

As an alternative, one can lose weight by walking for 20-35 minutes a day (in the morning or evening).

3. Psychotherapies

Psychotherapy, counseling, support groups, and other methods can assist one in losing weight. A positive change is generally supported by this process, which rewires the brain. Besides managing stress, it can also address emotional and psychological factors that might be hindering your success.

4. Medication

You may be prescribed medications along with other treatments by your healthcare provider. However, note that medicine won’t cure weight loss all by itself, but it is true that it can help tackle it from another perspective. 

Obesity: How can it be prevented?

Taking steps to prevent obesity is easier than treating it after it has developed. 

Make reasonable changes to your habits now to prevent obesity and weight loss difficulties in the future.

For example:

  1. Sacrifice a little 

Do you consume calorie-dense snacks or “pick-me-ups,” such as sugary drinks, on a daily basis? It may be worth replacing. Otherwise, it can cost you an additional 10 pounds a year.

2. Engage in small activities

Another option would be to think about how you could spend 150 extra calories per day. Consider taking your dog for a 35-minute brisk walk or hiking for 25 minutes or using an elliptical machine for 25 minutes.

3. Plan your shopping

Keep healthy foods at home and reserve sweets for special occasions. Processed snacks and treats spike and drop your blood sugar, but whole foods do not.

4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle 

Go outside and take a walk instead of spending too much time on your screen. Stay stress-free and get enough sleep to maintain hormonal balance. Rather than worrying about how your weight changes as a result of your efforts, focus on positive changes.

What does Healthierfolks want to say?

It is likely that people with obesity have tried to manage obesity on their own several times, but stopped when they saw failure every time. The best course of action is to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

A healthcare professional may take some time to investigate your situation before prescribing the right formula. The health benefits of it will outweigh the negatives, however. As well as this, a few changes in one’s diet habits (consuming healthy meals) can lead to a healthy lifestyle if one wants to enjoy health benefits forever.

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