What is obesity, causes, its effects and how to prevent it

What is obesity, causes, its effects and how to prevent it

Obesity and overweight are sometimes confused. The two terms are related, but obesity refers to the chronic or excess amount of body fat. The body requires a certain amount of fat or weight for heat insulation, energy storage as well as shock absorption. When it is excess, it is associated with health risks.

What causes obesity

Several factors determine a person’s weight. The most important amongst them is the energy expenditure and calorie intake. When a person takes in more calories than the body requires, such the person will gain weight, and this means that the body stores the excess fat which it could not metabolize. On the other hands when the person takes fewer calories, such a person will shed weight. You now have a basic idea of the primary cause of obesity which is overeating and less of physical activity. Apart from that, there are several other causes of obesity. Some of them are examined below.

Common causes of obesity

Genetics: This suggests that obesity is inherited. If any of your parents were obese, the chances of one becoming obese are high. Genetics can affect those hormones which are responsible for weight regulation. The primary genetic factor often pointed out as causes of obesity includes leptin. When there is leptin deficiency in the body, it can lead to fat cells in some parts of the body especially the placenta. Leptin is useful in weight control because it directs the brain as to the right quantity of food to be consumed. When it is deficient, it means that the critical function would no longer be performed.

Overeating: Perhaps the primary cause of obesity is overeating. When one eats more than the body requires or more than the body metabolizes, the excess would be stored in the body. This implies that it would lead to weight gain. The problem is more in food rich with fat or in sugar. Foods like fried food, fast food as well as sweets are some of the fatty foods. Diets which are very rich in high fats are responsible for obesity when they are taken excessively.

Carbohydrates: Furthermore, diets rich in disaccharides could be responsible for the problem. This is because carbs are known to increase the glucose level in the blood. It, in turn, would lead to insulin releases by the pancreas. Again this is not good for the body. Research has shown that insulin enhances fat tissue especially those that can promote weight gain. Because of that, simple carbs such as fructose, sugars, wine, beer, as well as soft drinks and desserts can lead to obesity.

Eating habit: Frequency of eating can also cause obesity. When one frequently eats more than the body requires, the excess can be stored in the body cell. Eating more fatty foods could spike the insulin level in the body. This is known to be detrimental because it can lead to weight loss and obesity.

Physical inactivity: Sedentary live is not suitable for overweight people. The reason is that inactivity leads to fewer calorie consumption. It implies that excess fat would be stored in the body. This would lead to obesity.

Also, some medications are known to cause obesity. Some of them are the antidepressant medications, anticonvulsants as well as valproate and so on. There are several other causes of obesity. These are the major causes.

Is obesity a disease

There was a debate as to whether to classify obesity as a disease or not. The issue was finally settled in the year 2013 when the American Medical Association AMA came out with the decision that obesity should be treated as a disease. They came to that conclusion after considering the various challenges and the social consequences associated with the condition. These health experts believed that obesity has to do with indiscipline and laziness on the part of patients. These experts concluded that like other medical conditions that can be diagnosed, obesity could be diagnosed. The problem is associated with insufficient willpower on the part of the patients as well as the bad choices they make. There is a need for more research. The classification as a disease will spur more research. Apart from the fact that it requires discipline and proper nutrition, there is the need to carry out more research to discover other ways of dealing with the problem other than behavioral changes that are often canvassed. There is a need for more efforts to effective treatment.

It is a disease because it can affect the normal functioning of the body. Furthermore, like other diseases, it comes with its symptoms and signs. Obesity Medicine Association described that condition as chronic, multi-factorial, as well as relapsing neurobehavioral disease. If not adequately addressed, it could lead to adverse psychosocial, biomechanical and metabolic consequences. Such an individual would suffer from impaired metabolic pathways.

The pathology of that condition is vast. It also varies, and it depends on the factor responsible for a particular situation. Just like other diseases, the problem cannot be traced to one factor. There are several factors already pointed out to be the primary cause of the problem. Besides, there are several types of obesity, just as the case with several other medical conditions. Some of the models are menopause related, stress induced as well as those that are congenital. Furthermore, there are those that are MC4R deficient and so on.

Moreover, research about the condition further revealed that it is related to physical, genetic, metabolic, psychological as well as hormonal and neurological factors and a few others. Furthermore, the condition does not end there, as it is linked to other conditions such as sleep apnea, heart disease, and cancer. Besides, it can influence interpersonal and social relationships negatively.

As scientists become aware of fat mechanics, it is clearer while obesity should be classified as a disease. It is has become a health problem responsible for the death of millions of Americans and people from other parts of the world. There is, therefore, the need to confront that pandemic and the best way to do that is to label it a disease so that global attention would focus on that. It is not different from other conditions that attracted medical attention. If the situation is not tackled the symptoms can lead to death. Even if it does not lead to instant death, it can make a living condition to become more worrisome. It is, therefore, a disease.

Causes of childhood obesity

One of the problems confronting many children across the globe is child obesity. This condition manifests when the child weight is well above the standard weight, and it exposes him to enormous health challenges. It is certain that almost the same factors that are responsible for excess weight among adults are responsible for childhood obesity. Such other factors like genetics and behavior are factors. Research has shown that at that younger age, the primary cause of childhood obesity is genetic factors. This implies that such people always inherit that from any or both of the parents. Besides, genetic issues, as well as unhealthy eating patterns and absence of physical activities, are responsible for that problem. In children, it is only in rare situations that the condition can be associated with medical issues such as hormonal challenges.

Research has shown that in most cases of children suffering from the condition, the cause can be traced to family factor. However, not all children born to the obese family would eventually develop that problem. This implies that apart from the genetic issues, life pattern is another cause among children. It is possible for somebody to suffer from that problem while none of the parents suffered obesity.

Even in families where that problem is rampant, it could be caused by shared family behaviors. Some of the actions include the family eating pattern as well as their activity habits and so on.

When it comes to a child’s weight, two issues are very important, and they include the diet habit as well as the activity level of that child. Research has shown that many of the children who are suffering from that condition prefer to be inactive. This means that they refuse to engage in any physical activity. They like to stay indoors and live a sedentary life which is not suitable for the health of that child. Today, it is common for such children to spend much of their times watching television, videos and so on.

This condition is exactly what you get when the child indulges in an excessive daily caloric which is less than caloric which the child expands. The worst is that those foods that are taken excessive calorie do not take healthy ones, but what is known as food junk. If there is excessive consumption of such big food, one needs to indulge inadequate physical activities so that the excess fats can be consumed. If the child engages in physical activities, it would be to his advantage because such a person is going to be more functional. When he or she is more functional, it will lead to the breakdown of those dense foods.

Perhaps those children should be helped by their parents to come out of their condition. To go about it, parents can monitor and regulate the quantity of food they consume. If they consume less food, then there would not be excess storage. When those junks do not find its way to the fat cells, the problem of overweight would not be there. They would remain healthy and very functional in society.

Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity are used interchangeably. While there may be a little difference between them, the two have lots of things in common. Both conditions relate to excessive accumulation of fat in the body system, and this impairs their health. The problem is ravaging millions of people in American, and it is believed that many others have died as a result of that condition. Both conditions are determined by the BMI which is the Body Mass Index, which is the person’s weight measured in KG divided by the height squared. This is measured in meters.

Obesity is common in both adults and children. For adults, one can say that somebody is suffering from overweight when the BMI is more or equal to 25. On the other hands, the condition can turn to obesity when the BMI has reached or more than 30.

Through that measurement, it is easy to determine the number of people in American that are suffering from any of the conditions since it is now easy to say when somebody is suffering from obesity and when such a person is suffering from overweight. When it is determined, the appropriate treatment can then be formulated to deal with that problem.

Obesity in children is not the same as those of adults. This is because there is the age difference between the kid and adults. When it comes to children, there could be classifications as to the number of years. Those below the age of 5 can be described differently from those more than five years and so on. Age differences mattered a lot when it comes to adult and childhood obesity.

Research has shown that the problem of childhood obesity is more in female children than it is in male children. The problem of obesity and overweight is a problem not only in developed countries. Many countries in the developing world have more of the problem even than those advanced countries. People used to assume that obesity is because of surplus food available to the patients. The problem used to be more manifest in the developed countries. It seems that the reverse is the case as people in the third world countries have more patients than the developed world. As at the year, 2016, it was assumed that well of 40 million people of children are suffering from that condition. These are children who are within the age of 5 years.

Just as the number of obese and overweight patients are on the increase across the globe, the number of deaths associated with it is also on the rise. In many parts of the world especially the developed world, it appears that the number of people suffering from the two conditions is more than those regarded as underweight individuals.

The same factors that are responsible for obesity are also responsible for overweight. In most of the cases, it arises as a result of energy imbalance between consumed calories and expended ones. Research has also shown that these are on the increase. Many people now resort to the consumption of unhealthy foods.

Effects of obesity

Obesity is a big problem in America and all over the world. This is because of the adverse health effects it has on the individual and their relations as well as society generally. It is reported that well over 150 billion dollars were expended yearly for the treatment of obesity-related problems. Apart from that, this problem has led to the death of hundreds of people across the country. Most of these deaths are premature deaths. The worst is the health challenges brought about by the condition. Here are some of the health and other problems that are associated with it all over the globe.

High blood pressure: One of the significant challenges of the problem includes high blood pressure. Because it flooded the body with more fat tissue, there is still the need to keep these fat tissues alive, and the best way to do that is to supply sufficient quantities of essential nutrients and oxygen to the body. Blood vessels have to supply more blood to those fatty tissues. This is not good for the heart because it increases the workload. The more blood to circulate also entails more pressure to the artery wall. This will increase the blood pressure. Apart from that, another problem of that extra pounds of weight is that it can increase the heart rate. When that is persistent, it can lead to death.

Causes diabetes: Perhaps the worst negative effect of obesity is diabetes. Research has shown that it remains the primary cause of type 2 diabetes among patients. The worst aspect of this is that this kind of diabetes which used to occur only in an adult can now occur in children. It is more in children, and this is a big worry to people all over the world. The best way to deal with diabetes is the application of insulin. The problem is that it can resist insulin which the diabetic patients need to survive.

Heart disease: Research has shown that one of the adverse side effects of the condition is heart disease. It can lead to a condition which is known as atherosclerosis, which means the hardening of the arteries. This condition is more in obese people. Research shows that the ratio is ten times to 1 time of a person that does not suffer that problem. Furthermore, it could lead to a coronary artery. This problem is always there. It is because of the fatty deposits which eventually finds its way to the arteries. This means that the smooth flow of blood would be highly impeded. The consequences of this are that it can lead to heart pain and finally, it can cause a heart attack, which can also cause death. When blood clots are formed in the arteries which means that it narrows down the artery, it can cause an instant stroke.

Most importantly, it is responsible for joint problems. One of the joint problems that can result from that condition is osteoarthritis. When it affects the essential joints of the body such as the knee as well as the hip. The reason is that the extra weight places the severe burden to the joint and this result in a joint problem.

How to prevent obesity

Preventing obesity is possible. In medical parlance, prevention is the key to every medical condition. Much will be achieved if it can recognize those symptoms before it becomes severe. In the case of obesity, it is not difficult to tell when one is suffering from that. This is because the sign is visible. If you measure your weight and health experts warn you of the danger you would likely encounter, then you must begin to work on that problem before it becomes manifest. This is what prevention is all about.

You must be active: The first thing to do is to be active if you want to avoid this problem. Take an active lifestyle such as walking, climbing upstairs and other sports activities. All these are to ensure that you are active and very functional. This can no doubt increase your metabolic activities. If you can make it to the gym, it is welcomed, but that is not a must. Just go out of your home and spend a few hours exercising. When you do that, those sedentary activities and boredom that lead to overweight would no longer arise.

Eating healthy: Another cause of the problem is an unhealthy diet. If you can regulate the way you eat and consume an average of 2000 calories daily, then you can avoid that problem. Moreover, you must be careful about the type of food you eat. Because of that, it is recommended that you consume such diets like legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains, meats as well as the diary. These can help you by not adding unnecessary fat to your body cells. Study FDA food standard and adjust your dietary provision to meet that standard.

Watch your weight: Besides, you must watch your weight from time to time. Check your weight routinely to ensure that you are still within the healthy weight consideration.

Water: Besides, you require constant water to remain strong and healthy. Water flushes out unhealthy toxins out of the body. You should stick to the FDA standard which is eight to ten glasses of water. If you take that daily, you would be better off as the problem of obesity would hardly arise. When you drink enough quantities of water, it will ensure that you are well hydrated. While water is recommended, you must not take it out of proportion. This means that you have to take it naturally. There is no need to take all these glasses of water at once. It could be counterproductive. Moreover, drink only water and not flavourings and so on. You should not confuse sugar or juice with water.

Eat healthy food: The primary cause of the problem is eating junk food. The best thing that you have to do is to ensure that you do not take any of the junk foods. You can also check with the FDA for those foods that are classified as junk foods. The much you avoid this inferior food the best for you. You have to eat, but that would be only when you are hungry.