Obesity as many people think is not the same as being overweight. It means having too much body fat. Obesity is a chronic medical condition in which a person has accumulated excess fat to the extent that it starts affecting one’s health and day to day living. It can lead to reduced life expectancy and increased health problems. A person may be overweight for various reasons. It could be from extra muscle, bone weight, due to body water retention, and as well as from excess fat. In both the cases the weight is well above the normal healthy weight for a particular height.

People are considered as obese when their body mass index (BMI) exceeds 30 kg/m2 and are called overweight when their BMI exceeds 25 kg/m2. Obesity increases the chances of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain cancers, breathing problems, osteoarthritis, depression, and asthma. Obesity is caused by over eating, lack of physical activity, family history, endocrine disorders, medications, slow metabolism or psychiatric illness. Unhealthy eating habits, bad lifestyle, big meals, and reduced physical exercise lead to obesity.

To calculate your BMI, use our BMI Calculator

Obesity in America has slowly become more than just an epidemic. This epidemic is not limited to adults but can be seen commonly among children and adolescents. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than doubled in the past two decades. Sixteen percent of children and adolescents between 6 and 19 years old are considered overweight. According to World Health Organization (WHO) nearly 65% of US adults are overweight and of them 36% are obese. Obesity-related medical costs are estimated to be around $150 billion and nearly 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese. USA has the highest obesity rate in the world. According to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mississippi has the highest and Colorado the lowest obesity rate in the US.

Obesity is preventable and curable with a long term determined plan. It needs active participation from the individual, family and friends.

Obesity causes:

  • Consuming too many calories
  • Extra large meals
  • Sweet drinks
  • Potato chips
  • Junk Food
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Medications
  • Genetic or hereditary cause

Consequences of obesity:

  • Cardiovascular diseases due to high cholesterol
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Diabetes
  • Liver diseases
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Gynecological problems
  • High BP
  • Cancers
  • Sleep disorders
  • Social stigma
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Increased health costs
  • Economic losses
  • Shorter life span
  • Employment problems
  • Lower Productivity

Prevention:

  • reduce fatty food
  • increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, and legumes
  • include lots of whole grains and nuts in daily diet
  • reduce the intake of sugars
  • regular physical activity
  • keep a watch on the calorie intake
  • limit salt consumption and avoid adding salt
  • green tea
  • avoid oily and deep fried foods
  • eat small portions of meal
  • drink a glass of warm water after every meal
  • never miss your breakfast
  • black pepper, ginger, aloe-vera are very effective in controlling obesity

 

Treatment:

  • bariatric surgery
  • weight loss pills like Qsymia and Belviq
  • dieting
  • physical exercise

Read about some important weight loss tips.