The Effects Of Obesity On Health
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 16, 2014 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
The Effects of Obesity on Health
Obesity is defined as a condition in which a person has too much body fat. Obesity is different from being overweight which simply refers to weighing too much than the average weight for a person’s particular height and age. Although many people use the terms Obesity and being Overweight interchangeably, they are very different from one another.
Obesity is often the result of eating more than you are supposed to have in a day. Each person has their own individual caloric needs in a day and if you consume more than what you burn up through exercise, there is a risk for developing obesity. Along with living a sedentary lifestyle, a person’s genetic makeup, overeating and having a diet that is rich in fat, all predisposes a person to becoming somewhat obese.
Causes of Obesity
Obesity is caused by many factors but it is mainly as a result of taking in more calories than what you can burn. If a person eats a Westernized diet which is rich in energy-dense foods, is supplied in bigger portions and is cooked in rich fat, there is a great possibility of ending up obese.
A sedentary lifestyle also makes a person more susceptible to being obese. Eating more calories than usual plus a lack of exercise and any other type of physical activity can easily, and quickly, make a person obese.
Genetics also predisposes a person to become obese later in their lifetime. There are also quite a few medical illnesses that can lead to obesity such as a hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome. Psychiatric illnesses also increase the possibility of becoming obese. Finally, there are medications that can cause weight gain like insulin, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, steroids, contraceptives and many more.
Signs of Obesity
The most obvious sign of being obese is a person’s physical appearance. There is fat deposit in most areas of the body especially in the abdominal area, the chest, arms, legs and face. The most often used scale to determine obesity is using a person’s BMI. A person who is class I obese has a BMI (body mass index) of 30.0 – 34.9, a class II obese has 35.0 – 39.9 and for class III obese (≥ 40.0).
An obese person also has fat deposits in between the organs of the abdominal cavity and most likely, fat deposits within blood vessels that can cause serious complications. Obesity places a person at risk for developing heart disease, Diabetes, Osteoarthritis and certain types of Cancer.
Treatments for Obesity
Treatments for obesity starts first with weight reduction and a complete lifestyle overhaul. Here are some techniques that can be used to counter obesity:
1. Start a healthy diet that reduces your overall calorie intake. Consult a dietician on better food alternatives to still get your energy requirements in a day.
2. Start a weight loss exercise regimen. A fitness trainer and gym membership can help you reduce weight in no time at all.
3. Stop eating out, and instead opt to cook your own meals at home and shop for your own ingredients to make healthier food choices.
4. Eat small frequent meals to more easily burn calories through exercise and cardio training.
5. Stop smoking and drinking alcohol to easily lose and maintain your weight
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan