Obesity is a serious medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates to such an extent that it can have a negative effect on health. It increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
History of Obesity
Ancient Greek medicine recognized obesity as a medical condition. The ancient Egyptians viewed it in the same way, depending on both body size and strength. In the developed world, in the 19th century, both height and weight increased. During the 20th century, as the population reached its genetic potential for obesity, it began to gain more weight than ever before, leading to obesity. Rising wealth in the developed world in the 1950s reduced child mortality, but weight gain led to the spread of heart and kidney disease. Throughout history, many cultures have viewed obesity as a defect. Modern Western Culture perceives being overweight as unattractive. Moreover, people see obesity negatively. In the last two decades, obesity has become very high in Pakistan due to a lack of physical exertion and high consumption of poultry foods.
Causes of Obesity
There are individual, social, economic, and environmental causes of obesity, including diet, physical activity, automation, urbanization, genetic susceptibility, medication, mental disorders, economic policies, endocrine disorders, and endocrine disruptive chemicals.
The main cause of weight gain is excessive calorie intake. Consuming more food than we need can increase our body fat reserves. Obese children are often at risk for high blood pressure and diabetes.
Lack of Physical Activity
People who are lazy and avoid work and prefer to sit and work become obese. The mother’s weight continues to increase during pregnancy due to the increase in the amount of fat.
Certain physical and mental illnesses and the drugs used to treat them can increase the risk of obesity. Medical diseases that increase the risk of obesity include many rare genetic syndromes as well as some congenital diseases. Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s Syndrome, Growth Hormone Deficiency, and Some Eating Disorders are common diseases leading to obesity.
Some medications can cause weight gain or changes in body composition. These include insulin, over-the-counter antipsychotics, antidepressants, steroids, certain anticoagulants, and some hormonal contraceptives.
Body Mass Index
Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.
People are generally considered obese when their body mass index is 25.0 or higher.
Types of Obesity
Obesity is generally divided into four categories according to the level of BMI. These ranges of BMI are used to describe levels of risk:
- Overweight (not obese) if BMI is 25.0 to 29.9.
- Low-Risk Obesity if BMI is 30.0 to 34.9 (Class 1).
- Class 2 (moderate risk) obesity if BMI is 35.0 to 39.9.
- Class 3 (high-risk) obesity if BMI is equal to or greater than 40.0. It is also referred to as “severe obesity”.
Obesity and Depression: A Psychological Link
A link between obesity and depression has been found, in which obesity increases the risk of depression. Furthermore, depression also increases the chances of developing obesity. Obesity links with emotional issues, such as sadness, anxiety, and mood swings.
Effects of Obesity
Following are some of the effects of obesity on the human body and mind:
Mother of All Diseases
Excess body weight links to a variety of diseases and conditions, most notably heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insomnia, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and asthma. As a result, it shortens life expectancy.
Leading Cause of Death Worldwide
Obesity is a leading cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children. It is more common in women than men. Experts see it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.
In addition to health effects, it causes many problems, including loss of employment and increased business expenses.
These effects are felt at every level of society, from individuals to corporations to governments. Obesity can lead to job losses. Obese people face a lower employment rate and are therefore less likely to develop their careers. They are also paid less than their non-obese counterparts for equal employment. Specific industries, such as the airline, healthcare, and food industries, are of particular concern. Due to the rising rate of obesity, airlines are facing pressure to increase fuel costs and increase seating width.
Treatment of Obesity
Preventing or treating obesity requires a complex system of action, including community, family, and individual interventions. Following important advice from experts in diet and exercise can be beneficial.
Importance of Diet
Diet can help a lot to control obesity. So, for staying healthy, start eating vegetables and fruits instead of sweets and poultry. Overweight people should continue dietary restrictions to keep eliminating fat from their bodies. It is not possible to change the diet completely. These people should know what and what not to consume, and also their recommended quantities and calorie intake.
It is very important to eat a balanced diet. When the weight reaches 60 kg then the 1800 calorie diet should be restored but be careful not to use more calories as it will cause weight gain. If you want to lose weight, you must reduce the number of calories. If a person weighing 60 kg gains weight, he should consume about 1300 calories daily to lose weight. This way he can lose one kg in a week. In addition, it is necessary to include various salts and vitamins in the diet.
Reducing Intake of Energy-Rich Foods
Dietary quality improves by reducing the intake of energy-rich foods, such as reducing the amount of fat or sugar and increasing the amount of dietary fiber. It is very necessary to keep in mind that the diet should include adequate amounts of vitamins, proteins, and minerals.
Role of Dieting
Nowadays dieting is very much emphasized. Yes, eat very little food. But remember that it has benefits, but sometimes it also causes irreparable damage to the body. Keep in mind that fresh fruits, adequate amounts of vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, and fats make a balanced diet.
Medication and Exercise Helps A Lot
Proper medicines with a proper diet help to reduce appetite or reduce fat absorption. Proper exercise maintains and regulates body fat and keeps you healthy. Make it a habit of your life and that is regular exercise. Do NOT let exercise tire you as it is an essential part of life to control and maintain optimal weight.
Yoga can also help in weight loss as there are some yoga postures that are very effective in weight loss.
Gastric surgery may be performed to reduce the volume of the stomach or the length of the intestines, resulting in a feeling of fullness in the skin or reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food. Sometimes, surgery is done to reduce fat from certain parts of the body. Stomach shrinkage, gastric bypass, and small bowel surgery is also effective method of surgery.
Obesity is Not a Psychiatric Disorder
The main stem leading to obesity starts with many psychiatric issues. However, it is not a psychiatric disorder and is, therefore, not a mental illness. The risk of being overweight and obese is higher in patients with psychiatric disorders.
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