Obesity is a medical condition where people have a BMI above 30. Often people get confused with the terms \’obesity\’ and \’overweight\’. There\’s a slight catch to it. If a person has a BMI between 25 to 30 he would be called overweight and the ones above 30 would be called obese.
Now, what is BMI? BMI is defined as the ratio between the weight of the body and the square of its height. The statistics show that 30% of people worldwide are obese. That\’s a whopping 2 billion people. India has around 5%, obese people.
Obesity can be caused by a variety of factors. For instance, a normal person might be obese because of an excessive amount of food intake and a lack of physical activity. Though there are a few cases that have pointed out to genetic reasons for the case of obesity.
Now, let\’s take a deep dive and discuss the various factors in detail. Common causes of obesity include:
• Binge Eating: Irregular eating habit is a kind of eating disorder which may have an ill effect on the body. Eating disorders include excessive or insufficient intake of food, and in the long run, it can damage a person\’s state of health. The usual forms of eating disorders include Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, and also binge eating disorder. One may not realize when he/she grew too close to eating hence it\’s important to keep a check on it right from the teens. Eat to fulfill your hunger and not your taste. Hence it\’s important to control yourself right from an early age.
• Sedentary living style: This lifestyle can be defined as a type of lifestyle where an individual does not receive regular amounts of physical activity. Today, surprisingly most of us live a sedentary lifestyle. The person may not meet the standards as specified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of the obesity epidemic. It has been found that living a sedentary lifestyle which includes sitting for longer than four hours per day, greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. It\’s said that it can cause much greater damage than smoking itself.
• Genetics: It\’s discovered that people whose parents are obese have an increased risk of being obese. However, there have been cases where people with obese parents are fit and healthy and may not show any signs of obesity even later in life.
• Physiological influences: For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat not because they are always hungry but in response to social feelings like sadness or stress. There was even a popular show run on the discovery channel on TV by the name –\’ My 600lb Life\’, where they depict the real lives of obese people. But as the show progresses it\’s shown how they recover themselves after a long battle with obesity. But case studies show that almost every overweight guy or gal experience the same psychological disturbances just like any other person.
• Weight history: A weight-history discussion is a full clinical and physical assessment to identify metabolic, genetic, and hormonal factors as well as medications that may be the reasons for weight gain.
• Pregnancy: When a woman gives birth to a child, she may gain extra weight post-pregnancy. It\’s important to note that the extra weight gained during pregnancy is the result of feeding not yourself but your baby as well. It takes time for a woman\’s body to return to normal after pregnancy. The fact that it takes nine months for the uterus to expand to accommodate the baby, it\’s not surprising if it takes much time to return to normal. Hence, patience is a virtue, and it\’s quite beneficial for women trying to lose weight.
• Drugs: Various drugs like steroid hormones and drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions can increase weight. For example drugs like Benadryl, Antidepressants, Beta Blockers, Prednisone, Seizure Drugs, Mood Stabilizers, Insulin & Other Diabetes Drugs.
Now the question comes if obesity can be controlled? Well with the advancements in science and increased awareness it can be controlled. All it takes is small and consistent efforts by your side. It would take a while but one can win. Before heading on to the various habits you can inculcate and various efforts you can put, it\’s important to bust up some myths floating around us.
There are myths like :
• People with poor self-control will remain obese throughout their life.
• Your genes are entirely responsible for your obesity.
• Lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables is responsible for the obesity epidemic
• Quick weight losses are likely to be gained back.
• Joining gym classes right from play an important role in the prevention of childhood obesity. It\’s important to distance yourself from these myths.
Now the various ways to avoid obesity is :
• You must say goodbye to your old lifestyle and start living an active lifestyle. Try to do simple chores like going out to buy some vegetables, using a staircase instead of an elevator.
• You won\’t return to balanced health overnight. But putting up small efforts like these would catalyze the process.
• Have a balanced eating diet in your schedule. The recommended daily intake of calories is 2000 for a healthy diet. Eat foods that contain fewer fats and more nutrients and avoid having high sugar content. Make sure you follow that religiously. Also, ensure that you eat only when you feel hungry. Filling your tummy unnecessarily will only put your efforts in vain.
• Drink as much water as you can. This would clean and detoxify your body which is good in the long run.
• Make sure that you keep junk food out of your house. It would take a while to control your love for junk food but if proper steps are taken you can surely avoid them.
• It\’s very important to keep track of your progress and for that, you must keep an eye on your weight and get yourself a medical check-up regularly.
• And lastly do not forget to exercise regularly. Your consistent efforts would be the key to attain a healthy body.