According to the World Health Organization, obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of fat in the body that may impair health. Obesity is one of those health issues whose incidence is increasing with every sunrise. Obesity itself would not have been an issue if it did not have a lot of secondaries. It is considered the mother of a lot of other health conditions which affect multiple organs of the body with different intensities.
The health status of a body in terms of weight is measured with different parameters but body mass index is used most widely. It is used for adults only (both sexes). For children, other parameters are used. It is calculated by dividing the weight (in kgs) with the square of the height (in meters), the unit being kgs/m2. It is considered normal up to 25. More than 25 are overweight and 30 or more than 30 are obese.
The causes of the increasing prevalence of obesity are so obvious that every person knows them and yet they are becoming more and more inevitable apparently. These causes include the sedentary lifestyle, eating junk foods, and lack of regular physical activities as major contributors. Among others is a genetic predisposition towards obesity and secondary to intake of drugs for medicinal purposes.
The simple mechanism of fat deposition is based on the input and output phenomenon. To sustain a constant weight, one should intake a similar number of calories as he/she is to spend in a day. When overeating happens, this ideal balance is disturbed and increment in input causes storage of the calories in the form of fats which are nothing but the depots of stored energy.
Some major causes of obesity:
The harmony between calorie consumption and energy expenditure decides an individual’s weight. A person gains weight when he consumes more calories than he burns. Therefore, eating more calories along with physical inactivity are the most common causes of obesity. Eventually, bodyweight is the aftereffect of hereditary qualities, digestion, climate, conduct, and culture. Some of the common causes of obesity may include:
SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE AND PHYSICAL INACTIVITY: Sedentary lifestyle is one of the most common causes of obesity. An individual with a sedentary lifestyle burns fewer calories than he consumes, so the excess then accumulates in the body in the form of fat leading to overweight and obesity. Moderate physical exercise daily like walking, running, swimming for at least half an hour
OVEREATING CAN LEAD TO OBESITY: Overeating may lead to obesity especially if the diet constitutes high fats, refined carbohydrates. Overeating leads to weight gain and obesity. Processed foods such as Fried eatables are cooked in oil which consists of fatty compounds. These are rich in trans-fat. They contain a high number of calories. Potato chips increase fat formation in the body and help in fat accumulation in the body. They contribute to more weight gain than any other food. Potato French fries also contain fatty compounds and salt that affect other parts of the body such as the respiratory system and cardiovascular system. Eating too many fries may lead to osteoporosis diabetes and weight gain.
FATTY FOODS MAY TRIGGERS THE OBESITY: Fats or fatty acids are used by the body to produce energy and meet the needs of the body. It is also a major storage form of energy in our body. A little and balanced amount of fats in our diet are always necessary, as it is the source of some essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make. All types of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that are not used are stored in the form of body fat and make a person obese. Too much fat in your diet, especially saturated fats, can increase your risk of obesity, hypercholesterolemia, heart diseases, and many other associated comorbidities.
THE ROLE GENETICS IN OBESITY: Genetics has a strong role in obesity. A person is more likely to get obese if his parents are obese. Hereditary deficiency of leptin hormone is considered to involve in the development of genetically related obesity. Leptin is involved in signaling the brain to stop eating desire when body fat stores are high. So, leptin prevents overeating and provides satiety. Genetic deficiency of leptin leads to obesity.
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS: Phycological factors may be responsible for obesity in some persons. These individuals have a psychological desire for overeating. Emotional factors, stress, anger, boredom may lead to overeating in some individual which cause weight gain.
DISEASES DISABILITIES MAY CAUSE OVERWEIGHT: Some of the health problems may lead to increased weight. These may include diabetes, insulin resistance, hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Similarly, disabled persons who are unable to do any kind of physical activity are more prone to obesity.
DRUGS AND MEDICATIONS MAY CAUSE OVERWEIGHT: Certain medications are involved to increase the weight. These may include antidepressants, antipsychotics, oral contraceptives, corticosteroids such as prednisolone, medications for diabetes, insulin, and some anti-hypertensive drugs are involved in gaining weight.
How to prevent these causes?
Although obesity is considered a major risk for several chronic diseases, moderate weight loss can help reduce the risks of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. Obesity can be prevented on a personal level by moderate physical exercise daily like walking, running, swimming for at least half an hour, eating well nutritious foods, and avoiding a high-fat, high-calorie diet, avoid overeating and consult your doctor if you have health problems which may aggravate obesity and its consequences.
Obesity is the major health issue of the day due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Obesity is defined as the accumulation of extra fatty compounds in the various parts of the body which has negative effects on health. The number of calories a person eats or drinks daily directly affects his body weight. Excessive calorie intake would greatly increase the body’s weight. We should avoid high calories food such as sugary drinks, baked foods, white rice, potatoes, French fries, dried fruits, alcohol, and candy bars during obesity. We should use food that burns body fat such as herbal teas, beans, nuts, vegetables and fruits, chili pepper, and eggs.