Obesity: Definition, Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment

What is Obesity

A disease that involves an excessive amount of body fat is called obesity. It increases the risk of diseases and health-related problem that includes heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancers.

There are several reasons why people find it difficult to avoid obesity. One of them is inherited factors and the other is the personal diet and exercise choices. Therefore, weight loss and medications help in fighting obesity and help to improve and prevent the health problems caused by obesity. 

Obesity is caused when the body mass index is 30 or more than 30. BMI can be calculated by dividing weight by the square of your height. One should consider making an appointment with a doctor if diagnosed with weight-related diseases or health problems.  

Causes of Obesity

  • Genetics 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Physiological influences 
  • Pregnancy
  • Medical conditions
  • Drugs (steroid hormones or drugs to treat psychiatric conditions 
  • Different lifestyle 

Overweight and obesity are the causes of imbalance of energy. It can be caused by a combination of different factors. Causes can be lack of exercise, intake of food in excess. Weight is gained when people eat more amount of calories than they burn. 

Risk factors of obesity 

In obesity, the body contains more amount of fat, therefore it is more about fat than weight. Some of the major risk factors associated with obesity are

  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Infertility 
  • High BP
  • Cardiac diseases 
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, colon)
  • Gallbladder diseases 
  • Fatty liver   
  • Breathing problems 
  • Sleep apnea 
  • Arthritis 
  • Lower back pain

In children: There may be some different risks for children for obesity, but gradually when they’ll hit puberty they will be having the same risks as adults discussed above. Some risks for children associated with obesity are:

  • Overweight
  • Lower self-esteem 
  • Stretch marks 
  • Early age puberty 
  • Breathing problems 
  • Irregular menstrual cycles (in girls)
  • Sleep apnea 
  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Metabolic syndrome 
  • Depression
  • High cholesterol and blood pressure 
  • Fatty liver disease 
  • Obese children from age 12 to 15 are more likely to get diagnosed with obesity in adulthood.
  • Some dangerous causes of obesity in children are
  • Higher chances of premature death 
  • Leads to obesity in childhood 
  • Develop NCDs at the young age 

The difference in lifestyle due to Obesity:

  • Unhealthy diet:
    It is a diet that contains less amount of fruits and vegetables and more junk food that is excess in calories.

  • Liquid calories:
    Without feeling full people can drink a lot of calories. High-calorie soft drinks can lead to significant weight gain.

  • Inactivity:
    In a sedentary lifestyle, we can consume more calories and burn them through exercise and daily activities routine.

  • Social and economic issue:
    The factors such as social and economic factors are also linked with obesity.
    Avoiding obesity can be difficult if you are surrounded by an environment where you’re not taught to cook healthy food and exercise daily. Therefore you’re more likely to get obsessed if you have friends or family with obesity.

Some other factors which promote obesity

  • Pregnancy:
    Women gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, and some find it difficult to lose weight after they are born. This weight gain can contribute to obesity, therefore breastfeeding can be one of the options to lose the gained weight during pregnancy.

  • Quitting smoking:
    Quitting smoking can often lead to sudden weight gain that can lead to obesity. Therefore, your doctor can help you to prevent obesity after quitting smoking.

  • Lack of sleep:
    Lack of sleep can cause hormone changes that can cause an increase in your appetite. You may also crave foods that are higher in calories that may lead to weight gain.

  • Stress:
    External factors that affect your mood may contribute to obesity. People often seek to eat higher-calorie food when they are under stress.

  • Microbiome:
    You’re your gut bacteria are generally affected by what you consume, therefore this may lead to weight gain and difficulty in losing weight.

  • Previous attempts to lose weight:
    Previous weight loss is followed up by rapid weight gain and can lead to further weight gain. This is called yo-yo dieting and can slow down your metabolism.

COVID-19 symptoms associated with Obesity

Obesity also increases the risk of developing symptoms of covid-19. And if you get infected by coronavirus you may need intensive care units and even mechanical care.

Affects quality of life:

  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Sexual problems 
  • Shame and guilt 
  • Less work achievement 
  • Laziness 

Ways to prevent Obesity

  • Exercise daily:

150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity is required to prevent weight gain. Activities such as fast walking and swimming are important.

  • Healthy diet plan:

Need to focus on low calorie, nutrient-dense food, like fruits, vegetable, whole grains. Avoid sweets, saturated foods and fats, and high calories dense foods.

  • Monitor your weight regularly:

Keep a check on your weight as it can tell you if your efforts are working or not and monitor everything accordingly.

  • Being consistent:

Sticking to the diet plan and the workouts are difficult. One needs to stay determined and focused to reach their goal.

How to get rid of obesity 

  1. By changing lifestyle 
  2. Diet and exercise 
  3. Consult a doctor: Consult a doctor and take medicines that might help you a bit in losing weight.

Take healthy food and cut down your calorie intake to lose more weight, exercise regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques. Who is called obese?
Ans. By determining someone’s BMI we can get to know if he or she is obese or not.  If your BMI is 30 or higher you are considered obese.

Ques. What are health risks related to obesity?
Ans. Obesity can put you at the risk of diseases like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, gall bladder disease, breathing problems, PCOS, etc.

Ques. Should I go for bariatric surgery?
Ans. You may be advised by your doctor to get bariatric surgery if your BMI reaches 25 or higher which may help you to lose weight. 

Ques. How does weight loss surgery help you to reduce weight?
The surgery leads to various hormonal changes that would reduce your excessive cravings for food and improve the satisfaction of eating.

Ques. How much weight do we lose in surgery?
Ans. The person loses 10 to 20 kg in the first month and 4 to 8 kg in the other month. The weight loss continues for 1 to 2 years.

Ques. How effective is weight loss surgery?
Ans. The main goal for the treatment is to get rid of the diseases and live a quality life, therefore around 7000 people on an approximate value were happy with the results over 16years.

Ques. How is life after bariatric surgery?
Ans. There are no side effects, it makes you more active and leads you to a healthy lifestyle, and makes you energetic in your daily routine.

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