Obesity: Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

Everything To Know About Obesity

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Overview of Obesity

Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

You must have probably seen an extremely fat person and how would your reaction be like. Now lets move directly to the topic of this article, which is everything you need to know about obesity.

There is actually a difference between obesity and an overweight person, obesity means having too much body fat, while being overweight is having too much body weight which is not equal to your height. Being obese puts your body in greater risks, its just a slight difference between overweight and being obese. When you eat more calories than your body use, then by this obesity occurs.
According to WHO: ”Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A crude population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in metres).
A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight.

Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. 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”.

No human has the same type of body, you cannot expect the same amount of calories you eat to be the same with that of someone, it is never possible.

Most times or even generally, people who are obese find it difficult to do many things which clearly means they are not physically active. Obesity causes different health issues in the body and it also increases the risk of getting different types of disease such as the heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and others.

People carry fat around the body more frequently, most times instead of the fats to be excess in the hips regions, it mostly moves to the waist and the middle. People who carry fat in this region are likely to have health problems, most times those who have smaller waists also stand a chance of having other health issues.

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.

Causes of Obesity

You might have noticed you gain weight always no matter how much you try to slim down, now have we asked what causes this disease ‘Obesity’. Obesity is caused by when you take in more calories than you burn off, which now often result to extreme body fat and excessive weight gain. Most times, you might not be the type who is physically active, this also causes obesity, with our busy schedules, we find it difficult to eat the right set of meals.

This fast food or junk food we consume daily on a large portion are high in saturated fats and calories. Normally, after eating the large amount of food or even before consuming that amount of food, we do not have time to do exercise later on, because of our busy schedule forgetting that we are endangering our lives to different health problems.

Obesity can also be caused from genes, many times I have some cases where the disease is inherited, trust me definitely if you are one of those, you are likely to eat large amount of food they eat and overtime you start getting overweight.
Common specific causes of obesity include:

  • eating a poor diet of foods high in fats and calories
  • having a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle
  • not sleeping enough, which can lead to hormonal changes that make you feel hungrier and crave certain high-calorie foods
  • 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
  • pregnancy (weight gained during pregnancy can be difficult to lose and may eventually lead to obesity)

Certain medical conditions may also lead to weight gain. These include:

  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): a condition that causes an imbalance of female reproductive hormones
  • Prader-Willi syndrome: a rare condition that an individual is born with which causes excessive hunger
  • Cushing syndrome: a condition caused by having an excessive amount of the hormone cortisol in your system
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid): a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones
  • osteoarthritis (and other conditions that cause pain that may lead to inactivity)

Who is at risk for obesity?

A complex mix of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors can increase a person’s risk for obesity.

Genetics

Some people possess genetic factors that make it difficult for them to lose weight.

Environment and community

Your environment at home, at school, and in your community, can all influence how and what you eat and how active you are. Maybe you haven’t learned to cook healthy meals or don’t think you can afford healthier foods. If your neighborhood is unsafe, maybe you haven’t found a good place to play, walk, or run.

Psychological and other factors

Depression can sometimes lead to weight gain, as people turn to food for emotional comfort. Certain antidepressants can also increase risk of weight gain.

It’s a good thing to quit smoking, but quitting can also lead to weight gain. For that reason, it’s important to focus on diet and exercise while you’re quitting.
Medications such as steroids or birth control pills can also put you at greater risk for weight gain.

How is obesity diagnosed?

Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more. Body mass index 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 skinfold thickness, waist-to-hip comparisons, and screening tests such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Your doctor may also order certain tests to help diagnose obesity as well as obesity-related health risks. These may include blood tests to examine cholesterol and glucose levels, liver function tests, diabetes screen, thyroid tests, and heart tests, such as an electrocardiogram.

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

Complications

People with obesity are more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:

  • Heart disease and strokes. Obesity makes you more likely to have high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart disease and strokes.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Obesity can affect the way your body uses insulin to control blood sugar levels. This raises your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
  • Certain cancers. Obesity may increase your risk of cancer of the uterus, cervix, endometrium, ovary, breast, colon, rectum, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate.
  • Digestive problems. Obesity increases the likelihood that you’ll develop heartburn, gallbladder disease and liver problems.
  • Gynecological and sexual problems. Obesity may cause infertility and irregular periods in women. Obesity also can cause erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Sleep apnea. People with obesity are more likely to have sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
  • Osteoarthritis. Obesity increases the stress placed on weight-bearing joints, in addition to promoting inflammation within the body. These factors may lead to complications such as osteoarthritis.

Remedies that can help during obesity

  • Obesity can be one thing to be ashamed of, a very big body and also weight gain. However, there are also some basic things that can help out an individual.
  • Some of these remedies listed below are to help an individual who is suffering from obesity, do not expect these remedies to work instantly, as it is to be noted that it takes time for these and also it depends on you. Whatever effort you put into these a good result will eventually come out.
  • It is advisable to focus on your health not diets. Focusing on a diet is normally a difficult task and even when it works out, you might still eventually go to back to that shape again.
  • If you want to lose weight it is required for you to burn more calories than the amount you take in, eating healthy food and also a little amount is a start, fruits and vegetables can also help out.
  • Exercise and staying physically active is required or the change to place effectively. Regular exercise and avoid too much sleep.
  • It is advisable you have a good work out plan with your doctor and also keep track of what you eat or you feel you have eaten a lot.

NB: There are medicines and surgeries that can help out, but you still have to support them and make sure you do not go back to your bad eating habit anymore.
Changes are to be made for all these remedies to work out, such as eating habit, physically active state and many others. It is advisable for an obese patient, to avoid oily foods also which is not good for them, as little changes can cause heart attack for them. I believe with time and good work out, you can go back to your desired shape of your choice.
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