Managing your weight is one of the most crucial things to do if you want to live a healthy life. If you are overweight or obese, you are at risk for multiple diseases such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes.
For someone who is obese, weight loss is a must to avoid such dangerous diseases and maintain a long and healthy life. Too much weight can take a significant toll on a person’s body, especially on the heart. On the other hand, even losing a bit of weight can start improving one’s health.
The meaning of obesity is not the same as the meaning of overweight. There is a difference between obesity and being overweight. When someone is suffering from obesity, they have too much body fat, whereas if someone is overweight, the extra weight can come from fat, muscles, bones, and body water. However, both terms come to one conclusion that a person’s weight exceeds the weight which is considered healthy for their height. Therefore, weight loss is essential for both.
Someone becomes obese when their calorie intake is too much than what is being used by their body. The balance between the intake of calories is different from person to person. Obesity can cause significant problems such as heart diseases, arthritis, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
Causes of Obesity
If a person is consuming more calories than what they are burning daily, they will eventually start gaining body weight, and if they are consuming fewer calories than what they are burning, they will lose weight. The most common causes for obesity are –
- Lack of Physical Activity – Again, people who do not have much physical activity would burn fewer calories than what they are consuming, which will lead to an increase in body weight. There is a strong link between physical activity and weight gain.
- Rich Carbohydrate Diet – Carbohydrates are responsible for increasing blood sugar levels in the human body. When blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas releases insulin, leading to fat tissue’s growth. Carbohydrate foods such as simple soft drinks, beer, wine, desserts, and fructose contribute to unhealthy weight gain. The higher the insulin release would, the more growth will be seen with fat tissues.
- Medications – Prescribed antidepressants, anticonvulsants, valproate, and certain diabetic medicines can cause weight gain. The reason behind weight gain from medications depends from medicine to medicine. One should always discuss their medications and side effects with their doctor before taking them.
- Genes – If someone’s parents are obese, the person would likely be obese as well. Hormones that are involved with fat regulation are often affected by genetics. One of the significant causes of obesity because of genetics is the lack of leptin in the body. Leptin is a hormone; its production takes place in fat cells. The way leptin works are by signaling the brain to consume less food when the stored fats in the body are high. If the body cannot produce enough leptin, there would be no signal for the brain to consume less food, leading to obesity.
- Overeating – Even simple overeating can lead to obesity in people. High-fat foods such as fried food, fast food, and sweets can contribute to unhealthy weight gain.
- Phycological – Some people tend to consume more food because they are influenced by their emotions. One might eat more if one is depressed, angry, stressed, or bored.
Risks Associated with Obesity
Obesity can harm a person’s health is really bad ways. Obesity can cause a person to develop diseases such as –
- Cancer – Colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer can all be caused if a person is obese. Therefore, the risk is very high for people who are obese.
- Heart Attack – Obesity can lead to blockage of arteries in the body which can cause a heart attack. Patients who have already had one heart attack can suffer from another one if they are obese.
- Resistance to Insulin – Blood glucose in a body is transported to muscles by insulin. Therefore, obesity can end up causing Insulin resistance which is harmful to the body.
- Type 2 diabetes – Someone suffering from obesity is more likely to develop the condition of type 2 diabetes.
Treatments for Obesity
There are multiple ways by which obesity can be dealt with. Before going for anything, it is essential to consult with a doctor about the risks and benefits associated with the treatment. Some of the treatments for obesity are –
- Diet Change – You can take the help of a dietician to make your everyday diet healthier and so that you can gain a few pounds in a week. For weight loss, you need to consume fewer calories.
- Prescribed Medication – People who suffer from extreme forms of obesity can benefit from prescribed medications by doctors. Before taking them, learn about their side effects. However, these medications can be expensive as well.
- Physical Activity – You can start by doing exercises for a small duration in a day and then gradually increasing your working out hours. It’s important to start slowly with these physical exercises as it will take the body to adjust to more physical activity.
- Surgery – If diet change, medicines, and increased physical activity are still not working for a person, they can go for surgery to reduce body fat. However, with these surgeries, there are multiple risks associated, such as infection and blood clots. In addition, these surgeries are not cheap.
Maintaining your body weight requires finding a perfect balance between the calories you are consuming and the calories you are burning daily. We are what we eat. If you consume healthy food, you will be free from conditions of being overweight and obese, but if you consume unhealthy foods, you’ll become unhealthy as well. Obesity can cause severe damage to your body but with the right social help, guidance, and will, one can escape this condition and live a healthy life.