Obesity: Causes, Risks and Treatment

Obesity is one a wide spread disease in that puts people at a higher risk for serious diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Obesity is simply having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is a calculation that takes a person’s weight and height into account. However, BMI has some limitations. Factors such as age, sex, and muscle mass can influence the relationship between BMI and body fat. Also, although BMI does not tell the difference between excess fat, muscle, or bone mass, nor does it provide any indication of the distribution of fat among different people, BMI continues to be widely used as an indicator of excess weight.

Obesity is majorly caused by eating more calories than you burn in your daily activities and exercise. This does not happen instantly but overtime, these calories add up and cause you to gain excess weight. Having a poor diet of foods that are very high in fats and calories, having a lifestyle that is inactive, not getting enough sleep can lead to hormonal changes that will 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, pregnancy (weight gained during pregnancy can be difficult to lose); all these can cause you to gain extra weight and eventually, lead to obesity.

Everyone is at risk of obesity. A complex mix of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors can increase a person’s risk for obesity. It is important to take certain tests to help diagnose obesity as well as obesity-related health risks. Such tests may include blood tests to examine cholesterol and glucose levels, liver function tests, diabetes screens, thyroid tests, and heart tests, such as an electrocardiogram.

Obesity does much more than simple weight gain. Excess fat in the body causes strain on the internal organs. It also causes inflammation in the body which can lead to cancer. Other related health complications include: Gall bladder disease, stroke, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease and high cholesterol amongst others.

You can help prevent excess weight gain by making good lifestyle choices. Get engaged in moderate exercise (walking, swimming, biking) for 20 to 30 minutes daily, have a healthy eating diet, eat nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. High-fat, high-calorie foods should be taken in moderation.

If you are obsessed and have not been able to loose weight on your own, it is advised that you seek medical help starting with your family doctor. If your weight cannot be controlled, you might need a weight loss surgery.


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