Obesity is one of the most complex health conditions resulting from factors like behaviour and genetics. Behaviours include physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, medication use, etc. According to WHO, obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. It is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and you are wrong if you think it is not a serious condition. Keep reading to know more about obesity.
What are the early signs of obesity?
- Shortness of breath (medically termed as Dyspnea)
- Sweating more than usual
- Skin problems
- Sleep disorders
- Pain in the back and joints
Excess fat accumulation especially around the waist
Types of Obesity
The most common type of obesity: This type of obesity is due to bad habits with the use of sugar and food.
Obesity due to stress: This type of obesity is caused by stress, depression and anxiety.
Gluten obesity: This type of obesity is usually seen in women who go through menopause and men who have hormonal imbalances.
Metabolic obesity: People with swollen stomachs accumulate fats in the middle part of the body. This kind of obesity is dangerous because it can affect other organs and can cause breathing problems.
- Venous obesity: This type of obesity is usually genetically inherited and most commonly seen in people who have swollen legs.
Causes of obesity
The fundamental cause of obesity is an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. But there are other causes as well like
- Physical inactivity
- Changing modes of transportation
- Increasing urbanization
- Change in diet
- Environmental and societal changes
How genetics play a role in obesity?
How people respond to an environment that promotes physical inactivity suggests that genes do play a role in obesity, however, there is not enough evidence to support this claim because genetic changes in human populations occur at a very slow rate. Variants in genes may contribute to obesity by increasing hunger.
A clear pattern of inherited obesity caused by a specific variant of a single gene is very rare (monogenic obesity) but results from complex interactions among multiple genes along with environmental factors are quite common (multifactorial obesity).
Consequences of Obesity
Obesity can lead to numerous non-communicable diseases such as:
- Cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, kidney and endometrial cancer)
- Osteoarthritis (a disorder that mainly affects joints)
- Cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke)
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Depression and anxiety
- High or low cholesterol
Treatment for obesity
Common treatments for obesity include adopting techniques to lose weight, being more physically active, taking medication, using weight-loss devices, or bariatric surgery.
Creating a balanced diet plan: A low-calorie diet with fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables can provide all the necessary nutrients for our body.
Weight-management programs: In a weight management program, professionals will curate a plan customized for you and help you carry out your plan. The plan will include a low-calorie diet and a schedule for workout sessions.
Weight loss medicines: Medicines prescribed by a specialist work in different ways like some medicines might help a person by reducing the urge to eat and other medicines might make it harder for your body to absorb fat.
Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting is another way of inducing weight loss. This technique includes alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting, and daily time-restricted feeding.
Weight loss devices: Weight loss devices have only been approved recently so there is not much data about their effectiveness. However, your doctor may suggest you to use weight loss devices if you are unable to lose weight even after trying out all the other techniques.
Electrical stimulation system: This device is placed in the abdomen which blocks nerve activity between the stomach and brain.
Gastric balloon system: The doctor places one or two balloons in the stomach through a tube that goes inside the mouth. The surgeon fills the balloons with salt water so that they can take up more space in the stomach and this makes the person feel fuller.
- Gastric emptying system: A pump is used to drain part of the food from the stomach after a meal. This device includes a tube that goes from the inside of the stomach to the outside of the abdomen and 30 minutes after eating, the pump is used to drain the food from the stomach through the tube and into the toilet.
Bariatric surgery: This surgery is carried out by doing several types of operations that help to lose weight by making changes to the digestive system. It has been observed that bariatric surgery can cure medical conditions that are related to obesity like type 2 diabetes or sleep disorders.
Home remedies/quick tips to deal with obesity
- Add sufficient protein to your diet
- Eat whole, single-ingredient foods
- Avoid processed and packed foods
- Drink sufficient water
- Drink (unsweetened) coffee
- Eat more fibre rich foods
- Avoid liquid calories
- Fast intermittently
- Drink (unsweetened) green tea
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Count calories once in a while
- Try a low-carb diet
- Eat more slowly
- Replace some fat with coconut oil
- Add eggs to your diet
- Brush your teeth after meals
- Use smaller plates
- Limit your intake of added sugar
- Limit your intake of refined carbs
- Stock up on healthy foods and snacks
What is BMI?
BMI (Body mass index) is a value derived from the weight and height of a person. BMI provides the most useful measurement of obesity. The formula for calculating BMI is = kg/m2, where kg is a person's weight in kilograms and m2 is their height in metres squared.
When a person’s BMI is 18.5 or below, the person is considered to be underweight.
When a person’s BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9, the person is considered to have a normal weight.
When a person’s BMI is between 25 to 29.9, the person is considered overweight.
According to WHO, obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
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