Obesity is a metabolic disease characterized by weight gain and accumulation of fatty tissue by excess food and a sedentary lifestyle.
Causes of obesity
The causes can be schematically reduced to an imbalance between energy intake and energy consumption
In other words, food abuse.
The second major cause of obesity after food abuse is physical inactivity. Energy consumption of sedentary people is low so that they can easily get overweight. It is generally the case with many people after the age 30, when abandoned sport while becoming sedentary and eating a better way.
In women, food abuse occurs mostly during the last months of pregnancy, while breastfeeding or menopause.
Sometimes, obesity occurs after an infectious disease or after a surgery, when, in both circumstances, food abuse during the convalescence period leads to the accumulation of fatty tissue.
One risk factor is heredity, that, in some people, there is a predisposition to obesity. This predisposition is usually more common in members of the same family, being a familial predisposition.
Often it is transmitted from one generation to another and is regarding the eating habits.
Habits are transmitted from one generation to another, leading to obesity through dietary learned since childhood food abuse.
Certain changes in the normal activity of the endocrine glands may create a predisposition to obesity:
- abnormal functioning of adrenal glands may lead, to certain conditions, to an increase in appetite
- in some pancreas disorders, the increased secretion of insulin can increase appetite and also can promote the transformation of carbohydrates from food into the fat deposit
- hypothyroidism leads to obesity due to a thyroid disorder
- ovarian disorders and especially menopause predispose to weight gain
- psychological factors favor the occurrence of obesity by altering appetite and lifestyle
Types of obesity
Obesity is a common disease being present in varying degrees of 20% to 30% of each well-developed country’s population.
They are known two main types of obesity – a type that begins in childhood, characterized by the increased number of fat cell and is difficult to be kept under control by diets and a second type that starts in adulthood, being characterized by the growth in volume of the fat cells and is easily influenced by diet and physical activity.
Obesity as a risk factor for other diseases
Obesity is a direct risk factor for other diseases, such as atherosclerosis.
The disease acts in association with hypertension, high cholesterol and fats levels, and diabetes.
It is well known that obesity increases the incidence of angina and sudden death. Obese people are more prone to some complications that create varying degrees of disabilities, and the risk of premature death is higher.
The most common complications of obesity are:
- diabetes (high blood sugar)
- atherosclerosis (increased concentration of lipids in the blood)
- heart attack
- cerebral hemorrhage
- varicose veins
- chronic eczema
- splay foot
Simply weighing and calculating the excess weight help us diagnose if we are obese or not and where to classify ourselves according to the obesity degrees scheme that calculates the percentage of extra pounds in proportion with the ideal body weight:
- Grade 1 (mild) below 30%
- Grade 2 (average) between 30% and 50%
- Grade 3 (severe or morbid) 50% and over
The treatment of obesity consists of a diet that has a chance of success only if it is done under medical supervision. Diet consists not as much in food restriction, but especially in seriously changing the lifestyle.
A few basic rule rules are to have more frequent meals less in quantity than one or two meals a day, to avoid sweets and sugar.
Physical activity must be done. The good effects of sport are to consume the excess energy, to burn excess fat and to accelerate the metabolism.
Appealing to weight loss supplements could also be a good idea, but not rely only on that. A weight loss diet and sportive activity are still needed.
Surgical intervention is possible, too, if obesity hasn’t affected other organs yet that would endanger your life during the intervention.
Obesity numbers overtake underweight population
More than 650 million adults (13% of the global adult population) are affected by obesity. The percentage will reach to 20% by 2025 if the current pace keeps going on, concluded a study.
The number of underweight population was reduced, but the reducing rate of underweight people is slower in comparison with the rapidly growing rate of the obesity and the health problems associated with excess body fat.
According to the World Health Organization, a person is considered obese when BMI (Body Mass Index) exceeds 30. Check your BMI here.
This study is the most comprehensive analysis conducted so far on this subject and is based on medical data from more than 16,000 other researches, which involved 20 million people from 190 countries. In 40 years, the percentage of obese men tripled worldwide to 10%, while that of obese women has doubled to almost 15%.
Majid Ezzati, from the Imperial College of London, was the leader of the study, and he explained that if the development of obesity continues on the same pace until 2025, about a fifth of men (18%) and women (21%) worldwide will be obese, and 6% of men and 9% of women will suffer from severe obesity.
The survey shows that in the same period of time, the percentage of underweight men decreased from 14% to 9%, while that of women was decreased from 15% to 10%.
Most overweight and obese people live in China and the US.
Women in the UK have the third highest BMI in Europe.
Nearly a fifth of the adult obese population, around 118 million, live in six English-speaking countries and the residents have high incomes: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and the USA.
On the other hand, India and Bangladesh are at the opposite pole with the highest percentage of underweight inhabitants.
Obesity is a plague that is increasing year-by-year in victims. If you are overweight or obese take action now and appeal to a diet, sportive activity, or even to a weight loss supplement.