Obesity Epidemic: Causes and the Ways to Avoid and Treat Them119 views
According to the World Health Organization, since 1975 the obesity ratio has nearly tripled. This excessive fat accumulation is a serious problem according to nutritionists and dieticians worldwide.
Over the years, our shift towards junk food, fast-paced lifestyle and pollution are leading us to these health problems. If we talk about the previous years, over 39 million children under the age of 5 have been overweight. So, what is causing us this, and how exactly can we avoid this, lies the question. Here’s a brief guide covering the details.
How Can One Know if They Are Obese?
Overweight and obesity both are excessive fat accumulations that may impact our health. To measure obesity levels, Body Mass Index or BMI is commonly used. BMI is a simple height-to-weight ratio that is commonly used where a person’s weight in kilograms is divided by a person’s height in meters.
Causes of Obesity
We often are under the misconception that a person is overweight just because of overeating. Well, apart from that are a list of reasons that lead to a person being obese and some of them are unavoidable too. Here is the list of causes of obesity.
We all are trapped into an endless circle of unhealthy lifestyles and at most of the time consuming one medication or another. These medicines have adverse effects and at times lead us to be obese. It is believed that consuming antidepressants, high blood pressure medicines and certain oral contraceptives lead to hormonal imbalance, and as a side effect leads to weight gain, depending on your body type.
Epidemiologic studies suggest that consuming high-fat food is one of the major reasons for weight gain. Adding to that, irregular dietary schedules and consuming food high in sugar and density immensely disrupt our health and lead to obesity. Also, it is advisable to take small 4-5 meals in a day instead of heavy 2-3 meals in a day. It is observed that multiple small meals have helped in keeping the cholesterol levels under check instead of consuming high-fat multiple meals.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has shown a correlation between weight gain and physical inactivity. Performing simple exercises or just brisk walks help in digesting our food and help in preventing obesity.
It has been observed that for a lot of people their emotions affect their weight and health. And contradictory to the misconception that stress or crying leads to weight loss, about 30% of people have stress, anger and sadness as the reasons for weight gain. These emotional rollercoasters also lead to binge-eating high-density food leading to obesity.
Quality of Life:
Following an unhealthy diet and consuming too many liquid calories can lead to gaining excess fat. Adding to that our irregular sleeping schedules and dependency on packaging food is also contributing to our deteriorating quality of life. All of these are the red flags and lead to obesity.
Genetics play a major role in obesity. If one of the parents is overweight, there are likely chances that their child might inherit the same from them. Leptin deficiency is one of the genetic causes which leads to obesity. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in fat cells and signals the brain to eat less.
People tend to link obesity with just appearance, but surprisingly it’s a lot more than that. There are certain health risks associated with it as follows.
Type 2 Diabetes:
Having excessive fat against the waist is known as central obesity, and people with central obesity are likely prone to get type-2 diabetes. Along with the degree and duration of obesity, the risk also increases hand in hand.
The transport of blood sugar in cells largely depends on insulin. But the fat cells create insulin resistance, leading to adverse effects on the pancreas and initiating a pre-diabetes condition.
Multiple studies suggest that every 1 pound a person turns overweight, the chances of having a heart attack increases by 1%. Coronary artery diseases are interlinked with obesity, and hence weight gain should be monitored by all means.
Obesity has higher chances that a person might experience issues of the gallbladder, liver problems and heartburns.
Excessive body weight leads to excess strain on weight-bearing joints such as knees and legs. This leads to creating issues such as osteoarthritis.
Cancers of Certain Kinds:
Obesity is believed to increase certain kinds of cancer like uterus, gallbladder, breast, ovaries and certain others.
Tips to Avoid Obesity
All the above topics prove that it is important more than ever to avoid obesity. Here are a few tips to avoid obesity and stay fit and healthy.
A few simple changes in the diet plan can work miraculously for avoiding obesity. Switch to a healthy diet, avoid processed foods and reduce your sugar intake. Adding to that, start adopting 5 small meals a day or 5 fruits/vegetable practices to keep the nutrients and carbohydrate levels in check.
Exercising for just 30 minutes a day can help you stay active and fit. If not exercising, you can opt for a short run or a brisk walk for a few minutes to burn the excess fat off your body.
Stress and lack of sleep is someone we all undergo in our daily lives, but they are harming us a lot at the same time. Having an adequate amount of sleep, and staying away from stress through yoga or meditation is highly recommended to stay away from obesity.
Medications and Weight-loss programs:
There are certain doctor-prescribed medications and weight loss centres that can help you get rid of excess body weight. But we highly recommend avoiding them, and just opt for this when it’s extremely important.
Obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, poor dietary choices are all slow death and killing us by affecting us immensely. Often we get lost in our work and ignore these small things which eventually lead to larger problems. For us at Regency Medical Centre, nothing matters more than the health and wellbeing of our patients. We have always recommended regular body checkups to our patients as well as to their families so they can stay fit and healthy. If you’re also experiencing obesity or feel it is something you wish to avoid beforehand, you can schedule an appointment with us for your BMI check. Stay fit, stay healthy!