Obesity is a condition that is mainly associated with having an excess of the body fat, defined by environmental and genetic factors that are difficult to control when dieting. Obesity is usually classified as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or greater. BMI is a tool widely used to measure obesity. Obesity enhances the risk of developing related conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension, to name a few. Several individuals are affected by obesity and are not aware of it. Today, 2.1 billion people – nearly 32% of the world’s population are either obese or overweight, according to a new analysis of trend data from 189 countries.
Causes of Obesity
There are mainly two types of obesity- type 1 and type 2 obesity. Type-1 obesity is caused by lack of exercise and excessive eating habits. Type-2 obesity accounts for less than 2% of obesity cases and it is mainly caused by a disease; abnormal weight gain occurs with type-2 obesity even when little is eaten. There are several causes of obesity. Here we have jotted down a few common causes.
• Genetics: A man is more likely to develop obesity if both parents are obese.
• Overeating: Usually Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if the regular diet is high in fat. Foods high in sugar or fat (for example, fried food, fast food, and sweets) have very high energy density (the foods that have a lot of calories even is small quantities).
• A diet high in simple carbohydrates: Carbohydrates enhance blood glucose levels that in turn stimulate insulin release by the pancreas, and insulin regulates the growth of fat tissues and can cause weight gain.
• Slow metabolism: Men have more muscles than women. Muscle burns more calories than another tissue. For this reason, women have a tendency to put on more weight than men.
• Physical inactivity: Sedentary men and women burn fewer calories than people who are active. A recent survey shows that physical inactivity is intimately correlated with weight gain in both sexes.
12 Dangers Related to Obesity
Some of the symptoms of obesity or overweight include: breathlessness, snoring, increased sweating; feeling extremely tired every day, inability to cope with sudden physical activity, back and joint pains, having extra fat around the waist and a higher than normal body mass index and waist circumference. Overweight problems greatly raise the risk for other health problems.
Coronary Heart Disease
As the body mass index rises, so does the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD (coronary heart disease) is a serious condition, caused when a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. The arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart.
Cardiovascular diseases killed 18.4 million men and women in 2012 that is 3 in every 10 deaths. Of these, 6.9 million people died of ischaemic heart disease and 7.1 million from stroke. Obesity also can lead to heart failure. This is an extremely serious medical condition in which the heart can not pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.
High blood pressure is an immensely serious medical condition that can cause a heart failure, stroke, coronary heart disease (CHD), heart attack, kidney failure and other serious health problems. The major symptoms of high blood pressure include severe headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, vision changes and nose bleeds. The chances of having high blood pressure are greater if one is overweight or obese.
Being obese or overweight may lead to building up of plaque in the arteries. Eventually, a portion of the plaque can rupture, causing a blood clot to form. If the blood clot is very close to the brain, the blood clots block the flow of the blood and oxygen to the brain and cause a stroke. The risk of having a stroke raises as BMI (Body Mass Index) increases.
Type 2 Diabetes
There are several bad effects of obesity on the body. Diabetes is a harmful disease in which the human body’s blood glucose or the blood sugar level is too high. Normally, the body breaks down the food into glucose and then carries it to various cells throughout the body. The cells utilize a hormone called insulin to turn the glucose into energy. In type 2 diabetes, the cells of your body do not use insulin properly.
At first, the body reacts by producing more insulin. Over time, however, the body can not produce enough insulin to control the blood sugar level. Type 2 Diabetes is one of the leading causes of early death, stroke, CHD, blindness and kidney disease. Most men and women who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Abnormal Blood Fats
If one is obese or overweight, one is at enhanced risk of having abnormal levels of blood fats. These include high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and low levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Abnormal levels of blood fats are a risk factor for the coronary heart disease (CHD).
Being obese or overweight immensely enhances the chance of developing breast cancer. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that primarily begins in the cells of your breast. A malignant tumor is a set of cancer cells that can slowly grow into surrounding tissues or spread to distant portions of the human body. Breast cancers occur almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too.
There are two main types of breast cancer: Lobular carcinoma and Ductal carcinoma. Ductal carcinoma begins in the tubes that usually carry milk from the breast to nipples. Most breast cancers are of this type. Lobular carcinoma begins in the area of the breast, called lobules, which produce milk.
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint problem of the hips, knees, and lowers back. The condition occurs if the tissues that protect the joints wear away. Excess body weight can put extra pressure and wear on joints, causing severe pain.
Sleep apnea is the most widespread sleeping disorder in which the patient experiences one or more pause in breathing while sleeping. A person who has sleep apnea can have more fat stored around the neck. This can narrow the airway, making it immensely hard to breathe.
Gallstones are hard pieces of stone-like substance that form in the gallbladder. They are mainly made of cholesterol. Gallstones can cause back or stomach pain. People who are obese are at enhanced risk of having gallstones. Also, being overweight can result in an enlarged gallbladder that does not work well.
Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a severe breathing disorder that affects many obese men and women. In OHS (Obesity hypoventilation syndrome) poor breathing results in too little oxygen and too much carbon dioxide in the blood. Obesity hypoventilation syndrome can lead to various health problems and can even cause death.
Gout is a disease that severely affects the joints. It happens when one has too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid can form small crystals that deposit in the joints. Gout is more common amongst overweight men and women. The more one weigh; the more likely one is to get gout. Over the short term, sudden weight changes can lead to a flare-up of gout. If one has a history of gout, check with a doctor for the best way to lose weight.
Obesity-Related Health Problems in Children and Teens
Obesity in children increases the chance of various health risks. Type 2 diabetes once was rare in Indian children, but an enhancing number of children are gradually developing the disease. Overweight children are more likely to become obese as adults, with the same disease risks.
Following a healthy lifestyle can help you immensely in obesity prevention and obesity management. Therefore follow a healthy eating plan. Make healthy food choices; keep your calorie needs, and the family’s calorie needs in mind and focus on the balance of energy IN and energy OUT.