What is Obesity

Obesity is a condition where there’s an excessive amount of fat in the body, making it more prone to certain diseases. This is a major risk factor to a number of serious conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and cancer. An individual is considered obese if his body weight lies at around 20 percent more than the normal weight.

Factors Contributing to Obesity

Naturally, a person suffers from obesity when he consumes a certain amount of calories greater than what he’s burning. This simply means that the person eats excessively and is living a sedentary lifestyle. Aside from this factor, the following also adds up to why a person becomes obese.

Psychological Factors. These may affect one’s eating habits and may eventually lead to obesity. There are certain people who tend to eat as a response whenever they feel certain emotions like anger or boredom.

  • Age. When an individual becomes older, the body tends to become slower in metabolizing food. It also requires fewer calories for one to maintain his weight, which is why despite doing their normal exercise routine and diet they did in their 20s, they’ve been gaining weight in their 40s.
  • Physical Activity. More physically active people tend to require more calories compared to those who are less active in terms of maintaining weight. It is believed that a majority of the cases of obesity in the past 20 years is caused by lack of physical activity.
  • Gender. Women are at an increased chance of becoming obese than men. This is because men burn more calories during rest, which means they need to eat more to keep their weight. The difference in metabolic rate between women and men further increases when women reach their postmenopausal period.
  • Genetics. Obesity is believed to be hereditary. Scientific studies have shown that a person’s weight is closer to his biological parents than the adoptive ones. There is a 75 percent chance that one could be obese or thin, depending on his parent. However, this could be worked out with proper exercise and diet.
  • Drugs. There are certain medications that may cause one to become obese. These may include certain antidepressants and steroids.
  • Illness. Certain kinds of sickness may cause one to become obese. Hypothyroidism and depression are just among the many conditions that could cause an individual to overeat and suffer obesity.

How to Deal With Obesity

  • Diet and Physical Exercise. Engaging in regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet is one of the main treatments for obesity. The role of a diet program in reducing weight is short-term. This, however, could be maintained by being regularly active in physical activities.
  • Medications. There are certain drugs that have been promoted for losing weight. These include orlistat, which is said to be effective after long-term use. The reduction in weight, however, is modest, at 6.4 pounds after one to four years. In addition, little information is given regarding its effect on the complications of being obese.

Why Treat Obesity?

The detrimental effects of obesity may be significantly reduced even with losing little weight. By just losing about 10 percent of one’s initial weight, the following benefits could be experienced:

  • Lower cholesterol levels in the blood
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Lower risk of type-2 diabetes (down to around 50 percent)
  • Reduced risk of experiencing stroke
  • Lesser complications in the heart

While reaching the ideal weight is the primary goal of people trying to fight obesity, it is important to keep in mind that losing weight, regardless of the number of pounds lost, still means becoming healthier and reduces one’s overall mortality risks.

Related posts: