Obesity; A major health concern in adult and children


Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. It indicates a weight that is greater than what is healthy.

It is also a nutritional disorder among children and adolescents. This is evident when they take in too much calories less than what they burn in a day.

When obesity is not properly monitored, It increases your risk of other diseases and health problems. This problems includes heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

Likewise, obesity usually results from several factors such as the diet you consume. It could be inherited and some environmental factors contribute to it.

Also, it is important to note that certain amount of body fat is needed.

Such as that for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions.

However, if it exceeds that which is needed for this bodily functions, obesity sets in.

Symptoms and diagnosis of Obesity

The body mass index (BMI) is usually a way to measure obesity. This is calculated by
dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.

For adults, If your BMI is 30 and above, then one is said to be obese. Below shows other variation parameter range in BMI calculation.

For under weight, BMI = 18.5 – 24.9

For Normal weight, BMI = 25.0 – 29.9

A person is morbidly obese (extreme obesity) when his or her BMI is over 40.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors:

1 Family genes

The genes you inherit from your parents may affect the amount of body fat you store.

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It also affects and where that fat is distributed and how efficiently your body converts food into energy.

2 Hormonal influences

As you age, there is hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle increase your risk of obesity.

Also, not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can cause changes in hormones. This then increase your appetite.
This may in turn cause cravings of foods high in calories and carbohydrates. Consumption of this cravings can contribute to weight gain.

3 Unhealthy diet. 

Taking more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities is said to trigger obesity. Calories are high in sugary beverages, alcohol, fast foods and big sized food portions.

Likewise, a diet lacking fruits and vegetables contribute to weight gain.

Unhealthy junk foods

4 Pregnancy

Weight gain is a common phenomena during pregnancy. After the birth of the child, some women find it difficult to shed weight.
This weight gain may contribute to the development of obesity in women.

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Obese pregnant woman

5 Stress

Many external factors that affect your mood and well-being may contribute to obesity. People often seek more high-calorie food when experiencing stressful situations.

Complications that result with obesity

A number of health complications occur in people with obesity.
Some of this problems includes;

1 Type 2 diabetes
 Obesity can affect the way your body uses insulin to control blood sugar levels. This raises your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.

2 Digestive problems
Obesity increases the chances of developing heartburn, gall bladder disease as well as liver problems.

3 Gynecological and sexual problems
 Obesity may cause infertility and irregular periods in women. It can also can cause erectile dysfunction in men.

4 Heart disease and stroke
Obese people are prone to have high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels. This are risk factors for heart disease as well as strokes.

5 Cancers
Obesity may increase your risk of certain cancers. The cancer type are cancer of the uterus, cervix, endometrium, ovary, breast, colon and rectum.

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Likewise, cancer of the esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate are included.

6 Severe COVID-19 symptoms
Obesity increases the risk of developing severe symptoms if you become infected with COVID-19.

Also, treatment of people in this category may have to be in intensive care units. This may require mechanical assistance to breathe.

Steps to take to ensure a healthy weight

1 Follow a healthy eating plan at all times
Low calorie, fruits, vegetables as well as whole grains are very important for a healthy lifestyle.

2 Consistent monitoring of your weight gain

Monitoring your weight can enable you to determine small weight gains before they become big problems.

3 Regular exercise

Exercise is important to prevent weight gain and this has to be consistent.

4 Less screen time and more sleep

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