The term obesity has been used extensively and at times it is confused with being overweight. Obesity and overweight are not the same. While the former means having too much body fat, over weight means weighing too much. The weight may come from bone, fat, muscles and body water. However, both terms means that the person’s weight is abnormal considering his or her height. In this article we shall be looking extensively at the topic.
Obesity is a condition where excess body fat accumulates in a person’s body to the extent that it becomes harmful to the health. It is usually defined in terms of body mass index (BMI) and can be evaluated further using the terms of distribution of fat via the waist hip ratio and cardiovascular risk factors. Body mass Index (BMI) is defined as the weight of the person in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. It is a very valuable screening tool for the condition.
Health Effects of obesity
This ailment, that affects adults and child is known to be associated with various diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus type 2, cardiovascular diseases and some certain types of cancer, reducing life expectancy in the process. As a result, it is said to be one of the leading preventable causes of death in the world. In the United States of America alone, it is said to cause 119,000 to 365,000 deaths per year while about 7% (1 million) deaths in Europe is said to be caused by this ailment. On the average, severe cases of this ailment reduces life expectancy by as high as ten years.
There are many causes which differ due to circumstances. For example, lack of physical activities and a combination of some excessive food energy intake may explain most causes of this ailment at an individual level. Some number of cases could be also due to medical reasons, genetics and /or psychiatric illness. In a sharp contrast, increasing rate of this medical condition is thought to be felt at societal level due to easily obtainable palatable diet, overwhelming reliance on cars and modern mechanized manufacturing.
Medical researchers have also identified other potential causes to the recent increase of this ailment as insufficient sleep, decreasing variability in ambient temperature, decreasing rate of smoking due to the fact that smoking suppresses appetite, epigenetic risk factor which are passed on generationally, pregnancy at latter stages of life and a natural selection of higher body mass index among other causes.
Diets are playing a very big role in this condition as society relies on more of big portion, energy loaded fast food meals which is of a serious concern around the world. Also, as the world shift into a sedentary life style by doing less physical demanding work, people are beginning to suffer from insufficient exercises. This is primarily due to the increasing use of labor saving technologies and mechanized transportation.
The best and most common way of diagnosing this ailment is to calculate your body mass index (BMI) which gives an indication of normal weight, overweight, obese and extreme obesity. Normal weight have a standard BMI of 18.5- 24.9 , Overweight BMI is 25-29.9, Obese is 30-39.9 while extreme obesity returns a BMI of 40 and above. BMI have some limits despite being used for men and women because for athletes, it may overestimate body fat and also for some people with muscular build.
A simple way of preventing this ailment is by following a healthy life style. Common healthy life style such as healthy eating plan, watching out for food portion sizes especially in fast foods and restaurants, keeping an eye on calorie needs and focusing on balance of energy in and out. Other preventive activities include being active. For example, biking, walking and running are good ways. Limiting the use of modern gadgets like the videogames, computers, DVD’s and TV’s helps increase time for physical activities and improve overall well being. It is also important to keep track of weight and body mass index in order to avoid surprises.
In summary, it is important to note that this ailment although dangerous, obesity can be prevented by just living a healthy lifestyle as discussed above.
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