What is Obesity?
Obesity study explains the underlying cause of excessive fat accumulation. Obesity is not only a cosmetic concern, but it is a medical problem. This condition puts people at a higher risk for serious diseases and health conditions, including: 1) High blood pressure (hypertension); 2) High cholesterol (dyslipidemia); 3) Type 2 diabetes; 4) Coronary heart disease (heart attack); 4) Stroke; 5) Gallbladder disease; 6) Arthritis; 7) Sleep apnea; and 8) Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon).
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “There are factors which can influence the relationship between BMI and body fat such as age, sex, and muscle mass. The genes you inherit from your parents can affect the amount of body stored body fat. However, your inherited genes do not mean that you are sure to be obese but it is ultimately your choices in nutrition and activity that will determine your weight.
What is BMI?
BMI (body mass index) is a height-to-weight ratio which can help to define whether a person is overweight or already obese.
- A BMI rating 18.5 to 24.9 is considered the healthiest.
- A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered as overweight.
- A BMI of 30 is considered as obese.
What are the Causes of Obesity?
There are genetic, metabolic and hormonal influences on the body weight. Apart from these influences, obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat.
The common causes of obesity include the following:
- Eating a poor diet of foods high in fats and calories
- Lack of sleep leads to hormonal changes that make you feel hungrier and crave for high-calorie foods.
- Ageing can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate which makes it easier to gain weight.
- The weight gained during pregnancy can be difficult to lose and may eventually lead to obesity.
The following are certain medical conditions that may lead to weight gain:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that causes an imbalance of female reproductive hormones.
- Prader-Willi syndrome is a rare condition that an individual is born with excessive hunger.
- Cushing syndrome is a condition caused by having an excessive amount of the hormone cortisol in your system.
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition wherein the thyroid gland does not produce enough important hormones.
How is Obesity Diagnosed?
Obesity is diagnosed when your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more. To diagnose obesity, your doctor will physically examine you and may recommend some tests.
These exams and tests generally include:
Your health history – Your doctor may review your family’s health history, your weight history, weight-loss efforts, physical activity and exercise habits, eating patterns and appetite control, medications and stress levels.
Measuring your waist size – Fat stored around your waist is called visceral abdominal fat; it may further increase your risk of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches and men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches will have more health risks than people with smaller waist measurements.
Experts say that those who are carrying extra fat at the hips may be healthier than those having fat distributed around the abdominal organs. But if you are carrying extra fat at the hips, thighs and buttocks then your health risks are not high.
Physical examination includes checking vital signs such as heart rate; listening to your lungs and examining your abdomen. However, the measures of body fat and body fat distributions include skinfold thickness and waist-to-hip comparisons.
Calculating your BMI – Your doctor will check your body mass index (BMI) and obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more. Your BMI should be checked at least once a year because it can help to determine your overall health risks.
Examining for other health problems – Your doctor may recommend 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, thyroid tests and heart tests such as electrocardiogram.
What are Complications of Obesity?
Obesity is linked to several health complications, such as:
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- certain cancers (breast, colon, and endometrial)
- gallbladder disease
- fatty liver disease
- high cholesterol
- sleep apnea and other breathing problems
How is Obesity Treated?
Your doctor will prescribe weight loss medications in addition to healthy eating and exercise plans. Medications are usually prescribed only if other methods of weight loss have failed and if you have a BMI of 27 or more in addition to obesity-related health issues.
Your healthcare team can educate you on better food choices and help you develop a healthy eating plan that works for you. Counselling may identify unhealthy triggers and help you cope with overeating issues.
How Important Is Exercise for Obesity?
Other than not smoking, exercise is the best thing you can do to stay healthy and keep chronic diseases at bay. Some experts advise that daily exercise if done only for 30 minutes can be beneficial. But it is also suggested that even exercising three times a week can help one to avoid serious health problems in the future.
Exercise burns calories, and therefore walking is an excellent alternative to other types of physical activity because it does not require any special equipment, and can be done at any time and place. Brisk walking is recommended, not just taking a stroll.
Is Surgery the Best Solution for Obesity?
Some bariatric (obesity) specialists recommend surgical procedures. However, surgery is recommended only if your body mass index is above 40, which is an indication that you are severely obese.
Is liposuction the Best Solution for obesity?
Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery; it is not a weight-loss plan. Fat cells are sucked out of the body using a narrow tube inserted under the skin and several pounds are removed in one session. However, Liposuction is not a treatment for obesity and people with weight-related medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, are at increased risk of complications.
What are the Different Diet Types?
Some of the diet types suggested can be:
- Low Carb Diet
- Low Fat Diet
- Mediterranean Diet
- Lactose-free Diet
- Gluten-free Diet
What is a Diet Study?
- Study of diet sensitivity to individual
- Diet Pattern and food behavior
- Nutrient deficiency/requirements
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