Humanity is facing a fast growing serious health problem called Obesity
Around 35% people around the world are suffering from obesity.
What is Obesity?
If a person’s body weight is more than what is considered healthy for his height, then he/she is said to be obese. In other words, when a person accumulates fat in his body to such an extent it produces ill health, it is called obesity.
How is obesity measured?
Obesity is measured using the unit called Body Mass Index ( BMI ).
It is calculated by dividing that person’s body weight (in kilograms) by square of his/her height ( in meters)
Example: Person’s weight: 80 kilograms.
Person’s height: 1.60 meters.
BMI : 80/1.60X1.60 = 31.25
BMI below 18.5 – Underweight.
BMI 18.5- 24.9 – Normal
BMI 25- 29.9 – Over Weight
BMI above 30 – Obesity
BMI above 40 – extreme obesity.
What causes Obesity?
The main cause of obesity is the energy imbalance. The amount of energy taken (as food and drinks ) should be equal to the amount of energy spent for the normal functions of the body. If the amount of energy taken in is more than necessary, it produces obesity.
Diet: Energy imbalance is due to consuming large quantities of high-calorie diet, junk foods, deep fried foods, aerated sweet drinks, ice creams etc.
Reduced Physical activities: Previously we used to walk to our workplace or for shopping. Now we use vehicles and buy things online. We used to climb stairs, now we use lifts or escalators. Previously children used to play outside. But now they play games on smartphones or computers. They also watch television for hours together munching some fried food like chips. This reduced activity produces obesity.
Other causes of obesity
Diseases like Hypothyroid, polycystic ovaries, and Cushing’s disease can produce obesity.
Not having enough sleep at night also produce obesity.
Mental Stress and psychological problems like depression can also produce obesity.
Obesity can be caused by drugs like steroids, antiepileptics, antidepressants and antipsychotics.
What are the complications of obesity?
Many people take obesity as a cosmetic problem. But it can produce severe health problems.
Most people with obesity develop type 2 diabetes. It can also produce heart attack, high blood pressure, gall bladder stones, chronic kidney disease and cancer. Obesity is one of the main causes of knee pain (osteoarthritis). Obesity produces breathlessness while walking. It is the cause of sleep disorders like snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea, which produces daytime drowsiness.
What are the treatments for obesity? (How to lose weight?)
Reduce empty calories like sweetened aerated drinks. Reduce deep fried foods, junk foods, high carbohydrate diet and ice screams.
Take more organic fruits and vegetables. Change cooking oil to coconut oil or olive oil.
Increase physical activities
Increase physical activities like walking and daily exercise.
Reduce mental stress.
Treat diseases like mental depression, anxiety, hypothyroidism and type 2 diabetes.
Medicines may not give the same results to all the obese patients. Anti-obesity drugs like Phentermine (Qsymia), Orlistat (Xenical), Bupropion (Contrave) and meta-amphetamine can be taken under physician’s care.
Surgery is necessary if the patient is having severe obesity ( BMI 35 and above).
Surgery is called Bariatric surgery.
Sleeve gastrectomy: Here part of the stomach is removed to reduce the capacity.
Adjustable gastric band: A band placed around the upper part of the stomach to reduce the capacity.
Gastric bypass: The upper portion of the stomach is separated and connected to the small intestine.
These surgeries are invasive and have complications.
So it is better to prevent obesity or treat it naturally.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE