Obesity

Obesity is a dangerous condition fraught with related health concerns. It is defined by having excessive body fat.According to the Obesity Action Coalition, more than 93 million Americans are obese. This is particularly alarming since obesity is directly linked to so many serious health concerns.  The heaviest person, Jon Brower Minnoch, weighed 1,400lb. At age 37, he was hospitalized because of serious health problems. He was later diagnosed with edema, a type of swelling in throughout the body, and soon died of it.

When is a person suffering from Obesity

When a doctor diagnoses you with obesity, it means that you have excessive body fat than the average. To understand whether a person is obese, a doctor will determine through the calculation of Body Mass Index (BMI).  BMI measures the body fat by relying on one's height and weight.  For instance, an adult with a height of 5’9 and a weight of 169 to 202 pounds has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 which is considered overweight.  With the same height, a person with over 203 lbs and BMI over 30 is considered obese. Although the terms obese and overweight seem interchangeable, the major difference is that overweight means “weighing too much” while obese refers to having copious amount of body fat. Other than that, both terms similarly mean a “person’s weight is greater than what’s considered healthy for his or her height.”  

Obesity related health conditions

Being obese, one has a greater possibility of acquiring different health problems like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other medical problems.   According to a Harvard study, people with obesity “increased the risk of diabetes 20 times” and “boosted the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and gallstone.”  In addition, another study found that obese people have a risk of 55% more in the likelihood of suffering from depression than people with average weight. Similarly, the study also found that people with depression had a 58% chance of becoming obese compared to a person with balanced weight. A 2013 National Institutes of Health study found that just 50 percent of adolescents in the United States get enough exercise. Three out of four U.S. adolescents were also found to follow unhealthy patterns of eating and exercise.  

Avoding obesity

There are many factors to becoming obese. Some of the main contributors are being inactive, having an unhealthy diet, weight gain during pregnancy, little sleep, intake of certain medications, and lastly, medical problems.  From the list, there are some that are definitely in our control. For instance, to increase physical mobility,  one can join the gym or commit to physical activities like sports clubs; junk food are definitely very devouring especially hot Cheetos'  and sugary drinks, but it is important to have a balanced diet that has green food included and be mindful of the amount of calories you intake; little sleep alters your hormones which might lead to an increase of appetite and sleep can always be traded for the trivial activities we do like watching TV or using the phone.  Some of the medications that can cause obesity without a healthy diet and an active body are antidepressants, diabetes medications, corticosteroids. Thus, we actually have a greater control and choice of what we want do with our body-whether we want a healthy or unhealthy body. When it comes to overcoming obesity, traditional weight loss methods may not be enough to make a significant impact. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends setting the goal of losing 5 to 10 percent of current body weight over a six-month period. (Losing between one and two pounds per week should be the target.) Shedding the excess weight at this rate increases the likelihood of keeping it off in the long term.  Another important factor in overcoming obesity involves behavioral patterns. In other words, examining the triggers that induce overeating, and learning strategies to help curb food cravings. Counseling or behavioral therapy can help with this. For some, overcoming obesity may take the form of bariatric surgery. This refers to stomach procedures that aid in weight loss. Some types are restrictive, which shrink the size of the stomach. Others procedures are malabsorptive, which means that they directly affect the digestion process.  

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