Obesity is a multifaceted disease that is characterized by an abnormally high level of body fat. Having a lot of weight isn’t just a cosmetic issue. It raises the chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and some types of cancer as a medical condition.
Many factors contribute to the inability of some people to shed pounds. When it comes to obesity, genetics, physiology, and the environment all have a role, along with individual decisions about food intake, physical activity, and exercise.
The good news is that even a minor reduction in body weight can alleviate or avoid many health issues linked to obesity. Weight loss can be aided by a healthier diet, more physical activity, and behavioral changes. Additional treatment options for obesity include prescription drugs and weight-loss surgery.
Obesity can be diagnosed using a person’s BMI.
BMI is calculated by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters): Weight (kg) / height (m)² = BMI
To use pounds and inches instead of kilograms and meters, you use the following formula: weight (lbs) / height (in)² x 703 = BMI.
BMI Weight status
Below 18.5 Underweight
30.0 and higher Obesity
There is an elevated risk of health concerns for Asians with BMIs of 23 or above.
BMI is a reliable predictor of body fat for most persons but not all. According to the formula, bodybuilders with a very low-fat percentage may fall under the obese category. BMI doesn’t directly assess body fat.
In addition to height and weight, physicians often use a patient’s waist circumference to aid in treatment planning. More men and women over 35 inches in waist have weight-related health issues, as do those over 40 inches (102 cm) in circumference (89 centimeters).
Your Health Care Provider
Ask your doctor about obesity management if you’re concerned about your weight or weight-related health issues. With your doctor, you can assess your health risks and weight loss alternatives.
A person becomes obese when their caloric intake exceeds their caloric expenditure during their typical daily activities and exercise. Obesity can have genetic, behavioral, metabolic, and hormonal causes. Extra calories always find their way into your stored fat.
When it comes to diets in the US, most individuals consume far too many calories – generally from fast food and sugary beverages like soda. Obese people may consume more calories before they are satisfied, experience hunger sooner, or overeat out of habit if under stress or anxiety..
Many people in Western countries have jobs that are less physically demanding. Thus they don’t burn as many calories at work. Conveniences like remote controls, escalators, internet shopping, and drive-through banking reduce the number of calories burned even during routine daily activity.
Obesity, like everything else in life, has many aspects. Some factors that contribute to obesity are listed below.
The amount and location of body fat that you accumulate may be influenced by the genes that you receive from your parents. It is likely that due to your genetics, your body may be able to convert food into energy more efficiently, regulate your appetite, and burn calories when exercising.
Families with a history of obesity are more likely to suffer from it. This isn’t merely because they share a set of genes. Families prefer to eat and exercise in ways similar to one another.
- Diet – Calorie-Dense foods packed with calories and sugary drinks but deficient in fresh fruits and vegetables easily contribute to obesity.
- Liquid calories – A large number of calories can be consumed without feeling satiated, particularly those from alcohol. Many other high-calorie beverages, including sugared sodas, also contribute to weight gain.
- Inactivity – A sedentary lifestyle makes consuming more calories than you burn easier via exercise and everyday activities. Sedentary activities, such as staring at a computer, tablet, or phone screen, can lead to obesity. There is a strong correlation between screen time and weight increase.
Certain diseases and medications
A medical disorder like Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing syndrome, and others can induce obesity in some persons. Osteoarthritis, for example, might cause a decrease in physical activity, which can lead to weight gain.
If you don’t adjust to diet and exercise, several drugs can make you gain weight. They include antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, diabetic medicines, antipsychotics, and beta-blockers.
Social and Economic
Obesity is linked to socioeconomic and social issues. To avoid obesity, you must have safe places to stroll or work out. In the same manner, you may not have been taught healthy cooking methods, or you may not have easy access to better-quality food sources. A person’s social circle can also impact their weight; being around obese relatives or friends raises your risk of becoming obese as well.
Any age, including children, can lead to obesity. Obesity increases as you get older because of hormonal changes and a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, as you become older, your muscular mass decreases—the lesser the muscle mass, the lower the metabolic rate. As a result, these alterations can reduce calorie requirements, making it more difficult to lose weight. Weight gain is inevitable if you don’t take control of your diet and increase your physical activity as you get older.
- Pregnancy – Pregnancy can lead to weight increase. Eating for two, along with hormonal changes, makes it difficult for some women to lose this weight following the birth of their child. As a result of this weight increase, women may be more likely to become obese.
- Quitting Smoking – Weight gain might be a side effect of quitting smoking. Some people can gain so much weight that they become obese. Often, people turn to food to cope with the impact of smoking cessation. It would help if you chose your battles. Smoking could harm you in ways obesity may never do. Win the battle against tobacco and then seek professional help to lose weight and keep it off.
- Lack of Sleep – Poor sleep quality. Sleep deprivation or oversleep can alter hormone levels, increasing hunger. You may also seek high-calorie and high-carbohydrate foods, leading to weight gain.
- Stress – Stress, or rather negative stress called distress, has two parts. An external event and the internal interpretation and reaction to it.
Overeating is one way to react to distress.
- Microbiome – You may gain weight or have a hard time reducing weight because of your food.
Obesity does not have to be your fate just because you have one or more of these risk factors. Most risk factors can be mitigated through diet, exercise, and behavioral changes.
Obesity is associated with a wide range of potentially serious health issues, such as:
All negative things related to the heart, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, seem to be increased in obese people.
- Diabetes type 2 – Obesity can alter the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Hyperinsulinemia and diabetes are consequently increased.
- Certain cancers -The risk of uterine, cervix, endometrial, ovarian, breast, and colon cancers, and esophageal, liver, and pancreatic cancers, increase in obese individuals.
- Irritable bowel syndrome – Heartburn, gallbladder disease, and liver problems are more common in overweight people.
- Sleep apnea – Challenged breathing for obese people during waking hours seems to be exasperated during sleep, contributing to sleep apnea during which breathing stops and starts repeatedly.
- Osteoarthritis – Obesity puts additional strain on the joints that hold the weight of one’s body and causes inflammation throughout the body. Osteoarthritis may be a result of circumstances such as these.
- Severe COVID-19 Symptoms – Coronavirus disease is more likely to trigger severe symptoms if you are obese, according to new research (COVID-19). COVID-19 patients with extreme instances may require critical care facilities or perhaps mechanical ventilation to keep them alive.
Quality of life
Obesity has the potential to impair a person’s quality of life negatively. I am not only talking about a negative body image and the possible emotional harm. I am also talking about engaging in simple physical activities such as going to the park with friends or enjoying taking your dog for a walk.
Doing physical activities may no longer be an option for you. You may want to avoid public locations. Obese individuals may potentially be subjected to prejudice.
In addition to this, you may have the following side effects as a result of your weight:
- Shame and guilt
- Social isolation