Obesity and Its Associated Diseases

Posted by Pavithra Selvaraj on Wed, Mar 23, 2016  
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An abnormal accumulation of body fat, which is usually 20% or more over an individual’s body weight is called Obesity. When more calories are consumed than the body burns, the excess calories are stored as fat. Large amounts of stored fat and excessive weight gain are the major symptoms of obesity.

The recent guidelines for obesity use a measurement called BMI (body mass index), which is the individual's weight multiplied by 703 and then divided by twice the height in inches. BMI of 25.9-29 is considered overweight and BMI over 30 is considered obese. The World Health Organization terms obesity a worldwide epidemic, and the diseases which can occur due to obesity are becoming increasingly prevalent. Excessive weight gain results in many serious, potentially life-threatening health problems, like hypertension, Type II diabetes mellitus (non- insulin-dependent diabetes), increased risk for coronary disease, heart attack, infertility, a higher prevalence of colon, prostate, endometrial, and possibly, breast cancer.

Obesity can also give rise to several secondary conditions, including: arthritis and other orthopedic problems, such as lower back pain, hernias heartburn, adult-onset asthma high cholesterol levels, gallstones, high blood pressure, menstrual irregularities. Recent studies have indicated that the amount of fat in a person's diet may have a greater impact on weight than the number of calories it contains. Carbohydrates like cereals, breads, fruits, and vegetables and protein (fish, lean meat, turkey breast, skim milk) are converted to fuel almost as soon as they are consumed. Most fat calories are immediately stored in fat cells, which add to the body's weight and girth as they expand and multiply. A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to weight gain. Psychological factors, such as depression and low self-esteem may, in some cases, also play a role in weight gain.

Following a healthy lifestyle can help prevent obesity. Many lifestyle habits begin during childhood. Thus, parents and families should encourage their children to make healthy choices, such as following a healthy diet and being physically active.


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