“Obesity can be defined as the chronic condition which comes out because of the
excess fat stored within the body”. Some quantity of body fat is essential for
shock absorption, storing energy, heat insulation and for various other
functions. Women who have body fat of over 30% and men who have body fat of over
25% are considered to be obese.
What are the health risks of obesity?
Apart from the cosmetic consideration, obesity is directly harmful to a person’s
health. In USA, around three hundred thousand deaths every year are related
directly to obesity. If you are obese you have a greater risk of developing a
wide range of chronic diseases such as
Fat cells resist insulin more than that of muscle cells; thus, obesity is one of
the most important causes of insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes
The risk of type 2 diabetes increases if the duration and degree of obesity
increases. Type 2 diabetes is related to central obesity.
Hypertension or High blood pressure
High blood pressure is common in obese adults. According to a study, weight gain
tends to raise blood pressure in women considerably more than in men. People who
have obesity have high risk of developing hypertension.
Studies show that the risk of death due to coronary artery disease increases by
1 percent, with every 2.2 pounds or 1 kilogram increase in body weight. Obesity
can increase the chances of 2nd heart attack with the people who have
experienced a heart attack already. The other common disorders experienced due
to obesity are as follows:
Stroke or cerebro vascular accident (CVA)
Congestive heart failure
Osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis of the hips, lower back and the knees
What are the causes of obesity?
The balance between energy expenditure and calorie intake determines weight of a
person. A person will gain weight if his calorie intake is higher than what he
burns. A person will lose weight if his calorie intake is lesser than what he
burns. Thus physical inactivity and overeating are the most common causes for
obesity. The other causes are
Genetics is a cause of obesity. The probability of developing obesity increases
if 1 or both the parents are obese.
Weight gain can be due to overeating particularly when the diet is rich in fat.
Epidemiological studies show that high fat diet contributes to obesity. A diet
with high simple carbohydrates is also cause for obesity.
How many times do you eat?
Frequency of eating is also related to obesity. Scientists say that people who
eat 4 to 5 small meals daily have lower blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol
levels than people who eat 2 to 3 large meals.
The metabolism rate is slower in women than in men. They burn fewer calories
than men. Thus women have greater tendency to gain weight than men. Due to
slower metabolic rate it is also difficult for women to lose weight. The
metabolism rate tends to slow down as become older. so the tendency to gain
weight also increases .
People those who are inactive can burn less calories than those who are active.
Surveys show that physical inactivity has strong relationship with weight gain
in both sexes.
Medications related to weight gain includes certain anti-convulsants diabetes
medications, antidepressants and corticosteroids like prednisone and hormones
like oral contraceptives.
Diseases like insulin resistance polycystic ovary syndrome cushing's syndrome
and hypothyroidism can contribute to obesity.
The other factors associated with obesity are