UTG Medical Students’ Association
Obesity is one of the health risk factors that most people are taking slightly and just see it as having fats in the body or having a huge body size ignoring the effects it has on one’s health. Obesity can be deadly if it’s not managed. Knowing what obesity is, its causes and its management is key in living a healthier lifestyle.
Obesity is a condition in which one has abnormal or excessive accumulation of body fats. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify obesity in adults. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2). If one’s BMI is equal to or more than 30kg/m2, he or she is considered to be obese.
Causes of obesity
o An increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars.
o Little or no physical activity that enhances enough usage of the excess energy gotten from the fat and sugar rich meals we take in. This in summary is having a higher energy intake than energy output.
o Research shows that genetics plays a role in obesity. Genes can directly cause obesity in such disorders as Prader-Willi syndrome.
o Some hormone problems may cause overweight and obesity, such as underactive thyroid, Cushing syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome.
o Certain medicines also may cause weight gain, including some corticosteroids, antidepressants, and seizure medicines.1
o Some people eat more than usual when they are bored, angry, upset, or stressed.
o Studies also have found that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to have obesity. This is partly because hormones that are released during sleep help control appetite and the body’s use of energy
Symtomps of obesity
One may not necessarily have all the symptoms below to be considered obese, symptoms may differ from person to person but one must manifest at least few of these.
o Difficulty in sleeping. Sleep apnea, daytime drowsiness.
o Back and/or joint pains.
o Excessive sweating.
o Intolerance to heat.
o Infections in skin folds.
o Feeling of shortness of breath
o Body Mass Index
o Waist hip ratio
Health risk associated with obesity
The health implications of obesity are far-reaching and multifaceted. Individuals affected by obesity are at a higher risk of developing chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and certain types of cancer. Moreover, the psychological impact of obesity can lead to decreased self-esteem, depression, and social stigmatization, further exacerbating the overall well-being of affected individuals.
A holistic approach to prevention and management
Tackling the obesity epidemic requires a multi-faceted approach that encompasses public health interventions, education, and policy changes. Encouraging healthy eating habits, promoting regular physical activity, and fostering a supportive environment for individuals to make informed lifestyle choices are essential steps towards preventing and managing obesity. Furthermore, raising awareness about the importance of mental health and well-being in the context of obesity is crucial in addressing the stigma associated with the condition.
Empowering individuals with the necessary tools and resources to make healthier choices, ensuring access to nutritious foods, and promoting physical activity from an early age are vital components of any comprehensive obesity prevention strategy.
Prevention and control
o Eating a balance diet; food with all the classes of food in the correct proportion
o Eating complex carbohydrates such as food rich in fibers
o Regular body exercise
o Avoid sleeping immediately after eating
o Avoid eating junk food
o Sleep well and avoid being stressed
o Report to your physcian for any unusual reaction from medications you are taking.
Obesity can be deadly an we all can play our role by preventing it. Choosing a healthy lifestyle is a choice we all need to make to live longer. Let us eat to live but not live to eat!