Obesity, one of the most common nutritional disorder. Obesity means deposition of excess fat in our body. Usually, fat is deposited in and around abdomen, waist, thighs, and buttocks. Generally, we measure obesity in terms of weight. If someone is above normal standard weight, we often consider them as obese but it’s not true always. Just because someone is above the standard weight we can’t say that is obesity. Sometimes people might weigh above the standards due to muscles or bone weight. If we take a boxer or a body builder, their weight is above the ideal weight but we can’t consider them obese as their weight is due to the strongly built muscles but not fat. So later, other parameters came into existence to measure obesity like body mass index (BMI), waist-hip ratio, skin thickness over triceps and interscapular area. The most popular method among them to measure obesity is BMI.
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How to know BMI?
BMI means body mass index and it’s a popular parameter to measure obesity. You can find it out yourself in the following way.
Weight (kg) divided by height squared
Usually, normal BMI is 18 to 25. Less than this is underweight. More than 30 are considered as obese. Between 25 to 30 are overweight. Only the category is different but overweight people often have the same complications as obese people.
Ideal body weight for height
Draw a line from your weight to height diagonally and the point where that line intersects the BMI is your body mass index.
How to find out waist-hip ratio?
Waist-hip ratio is another parameter to measure obesity. In the case of women, if their ratio is above 0.9 they are considered obese. Whereas in the case of men if it’s above 1. If you take only waist circumference, people with more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women are considered obese.
Health complications of obesity
Just cause of obesity, people are prone to so many health complications. We need to control obesity to avoid the following diseases.
- Obese people are prone to cardiac issues like hypertension, coronary artery diseases, strokes, hypercholesteremia.
- Pulmonary problems. Their lungs functionality will be compromised. They will be suffered from obstructive sleep apnoea and obesity hypo ventilation syndrome.
- Obesity often leads to Diabetes.
- They are prone to develop gall stones. Male hypogonadism.
- Menstrual abnormalities. Polycystic ovary disease.
- Due to obesity, they are also prone to develop cancers of colon, rectum, prostate, gall bladder, bile ducts, breast, endometrium, cervical, ovaries.
- Osteoarthritis, gout, plantar fasciitis, and spondylosis.
- Acanthosis nigricans (blackening of the skin). Friability of skin increases which lead to fungal infections.
- Venus stasis leads to deep Venus thrombosis and also leads to pulmonary embolism.
- Extreme obesity has some psychological issues. Disfigurement, loss of self-confidence, bullying.
Causes of obesity
Let’s see what are the causes of obesity first before we go to the prevention part.
1. Genetic tendencies
The genetic tendency is the major cause of obesity. If the parents are obese, the children will also be prone to obesity if they don’t take proper precautions.
2. Eating habits
Consuming excess food is also one extremely important cause of the obesity. If a person requires 2200 calories and he consumes 2500 calories, the excess 300 calories will be deposited as fat. Every 7500 excess calories will be deposited as 1 kg fat.
These days there’s no scope for much physical activity due to the advancement in technology so, exercising every day is a must.
Also, check out why do people become obese.
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Distribution of fat
Nowadays prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing rapidly when compared to 40 years ago. This is the precursor for adult obesity. The main reasons for childhood obesity are lesser activity and junk food. Children are playing Xboxes rather than physical games and at the same time, they’re taking more junk food which leads to obesity. Even when parents are aware of the consequences of obesity and want to prevent it, they’re asking their children simply to eat less which might make them sick in their growing age. Parents should know few things before they ask their kids to eat less. Read on to know how to prevent obesity.
Know how many calories your body needs
We must know how many calories we require every day before we talk about the prevention of obesity. Here’s the formula for it.
REE (resting energy expenditure) + 10 (w)× weight of the person
REE is different from men and women. For a male, it is 900 and for a female, it’s 700. Also, the weights change. For men, it’s 10 whereas it’s 7 for women. The answer you got above should be multiplied with 1.2 for people with a sedentary lifestyle, 1.4 for people with moderate physical activity, 1.6 for people with severe activity. If you need 2000 calories every day and you intake just that, there won’t be any weight loss or gain. But if you want to lose weight you need to take lesser calories than you need.
The best way to prevent obesity or lose weight in a healthy way is to take balanced diet in limited portions. Roughly take 50 to 70 percent of the calories you require every day. This is considered as the healthiest way to weight loss.
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What is a balanced diet? And it’s importance for the prevention of obesity
A balanced diet is an important thing if one wants to control obesity. A balanced diet consists of 50% carbs, 30% proteins, and 20% fats. One must maintain these proportions in their diet. And exercises are a must. Never over eat and remember obesity is a preventable disease. And measure your weight regularly and if there are any weight discrepancies make changes to your diet accordingly. And your diet should contain lots of fruits and vegetables.
People whose body weight is more than 100% above the ideal body weight are called moribund obese and may require surgical procedures like bariatric surgery, and liposuction.
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*Under the guidance of Dr. Ch. Prasad Babu*
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