Obesity – Causes and Prevention
Obesity has been called the silent killer. It is considered a public health problem that has serious health, economic, social, and political implications. Obesity often leads to a variety of other health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and other diseases.
Overview. Obesity is a medical condition where an individual has an unhealthy or toxic level of body fat. It increases the risk of a number of serious medical conditions. Excessive body fat also places undue stress on the internal organs and bones.
One of the major cause of obesity is high blood pressure
High blood pressure causes the arteries to expand and become inflamed and thicker. When the arteries inflate, they are unable to deliver blood to the heart properly. This can lead to heart disease. High cholesterol levels are another major cause of obesity that is often overlooked.
Other causes of obesity are due to excess fat deposits in various parts of the body including
- The brain
- The heart
- The kidneys
- The joints
One of the most serious side effects of obesity is liver disease. Fat accumulates in the liver causing inflammation and eventual breakdown. Another serious concern related to obesity is cirrhosis of the liver. This disease occurs when the liver is constantly exposed to fat and it cannot tolerate any more.
Here are some of the health problems associated with obesity
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Obesity is associated with heart disease in two ways
- Through increased risk factors
- A weaker immune system
Obesity increases the likelihood of developing heart disease by raising the chances of fatty deposits within the arteries. The good news, however, is that you can curb some obesity-related risk factors.
- Being overweight is a health risk factor because obesity places excess pressure on the cardiovascular (cardiovascular) system
- Being overweight increases the likelihood of having a heart attack or a stroke. Both of these health problems result in decreased blood flow to the heart. If there is not enough blood flow to the heart the person will eventually suffer a heart attack or a stroke
- Being overweight also increases the risk factors for diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disease that relates to having excess body fat
Obesity also has an effect on the mental and emotional health of an individual
People who are obese have higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Many of these health issues are associated with other health problems. Studies have shown that adults who are obese have greater risks of suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Other studies have indicated that adults who are overweight are more likely to engage in sexual behaviour that is disordered, have low self-esteem, and engage in dangerous behaviour such as drug use and unprotected sexual intercourse.
The cardiovascular risk factors associated with obesity include high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels
High blood pressure is known to result in clogged arteries and coronary heart disease. High cholesterol levels are associated with the development of heart disease. Both of these cardiovascular diseases increase the likelihood of experiencing hypertension.
Both of these health conditions lead to stroke. Being overweight also increases the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. Older adults tend to be heavier than younger adults. This trend can be attributed to an increased tendency toward obesity among older adults.
When adults become obese, they typically continue to gain weight throughout their adult life. As a result, they may have ongoing issues with being overweight. By the time they reach five years of age, most young adults are not obese.
Obesity tends to lead to health problems in other ways as well
Those who become obese are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. In addition, those who become obese are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. By the time children reach five years of age, they are rarely obese.
This means that most children remain at a healthy weight. In fact, many children experience weight problems throughout their childhood and adolescence. It is important for parents to become aware of the potential risks associated with obesity.
In particular, the risk of serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke is greater in obese adults
The good news is that obesity can be prevented in its early stages. Adolescents and young adults can start by maintaining a healthy diet and doing regular exercise. Overweight adults can also take steps to prevent becoming obese through regular exercise, diet and healthy lifestyle choices.
There is an increased risk of gout with rapid weight loss. Gout is the formation of uric acid crystals within the joints and can be symptoms of the onset of arthritis. Rapid weight loss can also lead to high blood pressure and stroke. Although it has been proven that rapid weight loss can cause some degree of dehydration, recent studies have shown that even rapid weight loss can increase the chances of developing kidney stones or suffering from kidney failure. Both conditions can be fatal if untreated.
The only way to prevent these potentially fatal diseases is to avoid gaining excessive weight
Most overweight adults want to lose weight to look better and feel healthier, but they do not realize that their excessive weight places them at a greater risk for serious health problems. Regular physical activity is the best way to lose weight and keep it off.
Obesity is not contagious; it is caused by faulty body chemistry. The best way to avoid obesity is to make changes in the lifestyle of an adult. Scientists have established that obesity has a genetic component, but the evidence is not conclusive. Several genes are involved in the process of body weight and cannot be changed. However, several environmental factors have been implicated in causing obesity.
Environmental factors include the amount and frequency of physical activity, the gender of the person, the age and overall health of the person and the diet of the person. Studies have also revealed that both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels are elevated in people who are obese. However, the results of meta-analyses have not established whether or not obesity is caused by genetic factors or by environmental factors simultaneously.
So what can be done to treat obesity?
Diet and exercise regularly can help in treating obesity. However, a healthy lifestyle means maintaining weight within the recommended limits. Your doctor is the best person to advise you on a healthy diet and lifestyle. Obesity also predisposes individuals to certain other medical conditions.
Two conditions that are commonly seen with obese people are diabetes and heart disease
These two diseases are associated with excess weight gain. Both diabetes and heart disease are associated with increased cholesterol levels. Excessive cholesterol levels are common in individuals who are obese. Diabetics also face increased blood sugar levels, which increases the likelihood of developing obesity.
If you are overweight, you are at increased risk of developing heart diseases and diabetes. Obesity also increases the chance of developing osteoporosis. These are just some of the diseases that are associated with being overweight. So if you are obese you need to take steps to lose weight. Treating obesity is not the solution to these medical conditions. You need to adopt a healthy lifestyle so that you can prevent the onset of these conditions.
You can adopt a healthy lifestyle by adopting a regular exercise routine and losing weight gradually
A healthy diet includes eating healthy food like fruits and vegetables. Having a well-balanced diet is important. You should avoid eating junk foods and other food that contain a high amount of fat content. It is important to have regular consultation sessions with your doctor for treating obesity.
Being overweight may contribute to developing other health problems because of increased calorie intake
People who are obese may gain weight because they consume more calories than they burn during daily activities. People who eat high-calorie food on a regular basis gain more body mass, which increases their chances of becoming obese. Some of the calories may be stored as fat and contribute to the development of other health problems.
Overweight or obese people have greater risks of developing many serious health problems. These include complications of
- High blood pressure
- Cardiac diseases
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancer
How obesity predisposes people to developing type 2 diabetes
This is one of the most common diseases among African Americans. When the condition develops, it is imperative that you consult your health professional so that you can start on an effective weight loss program for preventing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to heart attacks and other complications.
To avoid obesity-related type 2 diabetes, you should stop eating food that is high in sugar level. The intake of sugar is not restricted but you need to eat food that is low in sugar. In addition to that, regular exercise is required for keeping the blood sugar level within normal limits.
If you are obese, you should do everything you can to lose weight to avoid these complications. Regular physical activity can help reduce your risk of gaining weight or obesity. Moreover, there is no known cure for obesity but there are several preventative measures and treatment available
Another problem linked with obesity is depression
Depression is increasing among people who are obese. Stress is also another problem that is linked with obesity. Thus, obesity is becoming an increasingly common problem in our society. Obesity and depression are common risk factors for many other medical conditions, such as
- Type II diabetes (mentioned above)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Joint and hip arthritis
- Sleep disorders
- and other disorders.
These conditions can be avoided by following a comprehensive treatment program designed to reduce risk factors, Depression and weight gain are closely linked. When one condition is present, the other usually accompanies it. For instance, when one has diabetes, they often experience depression.
If they gain weight, they often become depressed because their symptoms of depression are worsened by their new weight. It’s like a vicious cycle – if one is obese and depressed, then they are more likely to get both conditions. This is why some physicians feel that obesity and depressed mood are closely linked.
In previous research, mood and obesity were examined using two different kinds of analyses
A mixed-effects analysis uses multiple regression, while an unconfounded incidence analysis only examines the effects of obesity and depression simultaneously. Because the link between obesity and depression is present, the physician may suspect depression when there are other symptoms present as well.
Body weight is a composite of fat, muscle, and bones, and the presence of a variety of other characteristics that make up a healthy body weight. Body weight is a common factor that associates with depression. In studies of over 1.5 million adults in Finland, those who were overweight or obese had higher prevalence of depression than those who were of normal weight.
Researchers also believe that depression is exacerbated by body weight. In a sample of Finnish adults, those who were overweight or obese were found to have a higher prevalence of depression than those who were of normal body weight.
These studies provide preliminary evidence that obesity and depression do not have to go hand in hand. Instead, there may be a way to simultaneously treat the symptoms of both conditions without having to eliminate one of them. The present study looked at whether weight gain was correlated with change in BMI – but did not test for body dissatisfaction or a general illness, which could be the underlying cause of body dissatisfaction.
The current study tested the hypothesis that depression worsens as caloric intake (food intake) and physical activity increased, but was not predictive of the other outcomes. The results showed that there was a significant effect of caloric intake and physical activity on BMI; however, there was no significant effect of caloric intake and physical activity on depression.
Researchers recommended further study to test the hypothesis that the correlation seen between depression and obesity is causal. Dietary changes were suggested as a method to reduce obesity and BMI. Although the majority of the participants in this study chose not to make changes in their dietary intake or physical activity, other work is needed to test the link between depression and obesity.
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