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Obesity is when a person is carrying too much body fat for their height and sex. While a certain amount of body fat is required for heat insulation, storing energy, shock absorption, and other functions, when it exceeds above 30% in women and over 25% body fat in men, it is considered obesity.


[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

Globally there is an increase in obesity. According to a new study, there is a 2 percent increase in the number of obese adults in the US over the last two years. An estimated 25.6 percent of US adults were reported to be obese in 2007, compared to 23.9 percent in 2005.

[edit] Obesity and health

Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem but a very serious health issue. Although obesity is an individual clinical condition, it is increasingly viewed as a serious and growing public health problem. Morbid Obesity can result in

  • Insulin Resistance wherein the excessive fat lowers the effectiveness of insulin transporting glucose to the cells. This results in Type 2 diabetes that can lead to artherosclerosis.
  • High Blood Pressure or Hypertension- Studies have also shown that people who are apple shaped or centrally obese are more prone to High BP than the ones who are pear shaped and in whom the fat is distributed around the hips and thighs
  • Strokes and Heart attacks
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Dyslipidemia or high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides
  • Cancer -While not conclusively proven, some observational studies have linked obesity to cancer of the colon in men and women, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men, and cancer of the gallbladder and uterus in women
  • Gallstones
  • Arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • A 2008 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at Boston University shows a link between obesity and high worldwide rates of gum disease. They concluded that obesity interferes with the ability of the immune system to appropriately respond to gum infection, and also that obese people are more vulnerable to bacterial infections in general than people of healthier weight.

[edit] All about obesity

A person is considered obese if they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) - weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters squared - of 30 or greater. BMI, or Body mass Index is a simple and widely used method for estimating body fat.

BMI of 25.0–29.9 is overweight

A BMI of 30.0–39.9 is obese

A BMI of 40.0 or higher is severely (or morbidly) obese

[edit] Symptoms

It has been truly said- “ The longer the belt, the shorter the life”

Obesity is a serious health Hazard as the extra fat puts a strain on the heart, kidneys, and liver as well as the weight bearing joints such as the hips, knees and ankles, all of which shortens the life span. Overweight persons are susceptible to several diseases like coronary thrombosis, heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, gout, liver, and gall bladder disorders.

[edit] Causes

Most often the chief cause of obesity are

  • Poor Dietary habits or overeating

An intake of calories, beyond the body’s energy requirement is one of the chief causes of obesity. Over the last 50 years our diet pattern has changed considerably to include lots of processed foods, foods with saturated fat, food with high sugar content and less and less fruit and vegetables.

  • Unhealthy Lifestyle

Overwhelming work demands, which includes late nights and longer hours at work, sedentary lifestyle and lack of even moderate exercise.

[edit] Genetics

Besides environmental factors, genetic predisposition also increases the chances of becoming obese. Though it is not an overriding cause, it can make a difference.

It can also be as a result of disturbances of thyroid or pituitary glands. Glandular disorders though account for only about two percent of the total incidence.

[edit] Products to address obesity concerns

More and more experts are of the opinion that efforts need to be made to reduce obesity among people and food and beverage manufacturers need to come out with consumer products that address the obesity phenomenon.

Many have launched product ranges specifically targeted at particular dietary concerns, while others are reformulating their products to give them added health appeal. Trans fatty acids are increasingly being removed, whilst many savory snacks are now being baked or cooked in healthier oils.

Some of these products have become quite popular among consumers and demands are growing in places like the US and UK.

[edit] Obesity in children

Today obesity is considered among the most widespread of medical problems affecting children and adolescents. Obesity has a profound effect on a child's life. It not only increases the child's risk of numerous health problems but is also capable of creating emotional and social problems. Obese children are also more likely to be obese adults.

[edit] What can I do?

The best and most natural methods to fight obesity still remain controlling the diet and exercise. It involves making a change in one’s entire lifestyle, taking care of nutrition, adopting an active life, and sticking to these decisions.

  • Have a plan and work out a strategy that will gradually change your habits and attitudes
  • Avoid food triggers and distract yourself from your desire to eat with positive thoughts and ideas.

[edit] Alternative treatments

Individual treatment is considered vital, because a number of factors can combine to create the problem. Differences in metabolic rates are believed to be largely responsible, but emotional, psychological and social pressures also need to be assessed.

A crash diet is never seen as the answer, for not only is it not a safe alternative but it can also lead to weight gain as the metabolic rate slows even further.

  • Remedies

Lime Juice honey: Fasting on Lime juice and home water is highly beneficial. For this 1 tsp of fresh honey should be mixed with the juice of half a lime in a glass of lukewarm water and taken at regular intervals

Jujube- A handful of leaves of jujube or Indian plum should be soaked overniht in water and this water should be taken in the morning on an empty stomach. This should be continued for a month for effective results

Cabbage-Cabbage is supposed to be an excellent home remedy or Obeity. Recent research has shown that a valuable chemical called tartaric acid is present in this vegetable which inhibits the conversion of sugar and other carbohydrate into fat.

Finger Millet- It is effective because its digestion is slow and due to this, the carbohydrates take a longer time to get absorbed. By eating this, the constant desire to eat is curbed. At the same time it also supplies an abundant quantity of calcium, phosphorous and vitamins.

Roast barley seeds and powder it. Mix it with a little milk and honey. Make a small ball and take it in breakfast. A pinch of salt can be added with a little water and a small ball can be taken at noon.

Ten drops of tulsi leaf juice with two teaspoonfuls honey in water for one month.

Raw tomatoes and onions, mixed with the juice of one lemon is a very good salad for obesity.

[edit] Weight-loss surgery

In the case of morbid obesity, medical surgery is an alternative. These include liposuction and Bariartic or Gastric bypass surgery which changes the anatomy of your digestive system to limit the amount of food you can eat and digest. But they can have side effects and it doesn't guarantee that you'll lose all of your excess weight or that you'll keep it off long term.

[edit] CopperBytes

  • Every third American is obese
  • Obesity can be described as a chronic condition characterized by excessive deposition or storage of fat in the body.
  • It actually results from consumption of food in excess of physiological needs.
  • While Obese men were twice as likely to have diabetes as those of normal weight, Obese women were four times as susceptible.
  • 300,000 premature deaths associated with obesity annually
  • $33 billion annually spent on weight-loss products and services
  • Over the last decade, the occurrence of obesity has also steadily increased among all genders, ages, all education levels, and ethnic groups.

[edit] Unlearn

  • Myth: Overeating Is the Primary Cause of Obesity
  • Healthy foods too expensive

[edit] References

  • The Obesity Crisis: What's it all about?