The world is becoming more obese posing a considerable health problem. Obesity just doesn’t remain a cosmetic concern anymore. Unless comprehensive efforts are made across nations to curb the situation, soon the world may consider it to be an epidemic. In fact, it’s now considered to be an epidemic in the United States and still, the rest of the world has not started to take it seriously. Let’s discuss what obesity causes us.
Obesity is a common disease and its rates have risen over the years. Although there is a growing awareness of the related health risks associated with obesity, there are many myths and misconceptions associated with it. What obesity causes we still don’t know completely.
The longer a person has obesity—the harder it can be for them to lose weight. Recurring studies have shown that overweight and obesity are closely associated with higher risks for many health outcomes.
It can be confusing to know where to begin, but taking steps now to manage your health can prevent you from future complications.
Understanding what is obesity
Any kind of excess weight or body fat that might affect your health is called obesity.
In terms of body weight, people are usually categorized as normal weight, overweight, or obese by their body mass index (BMI) as a way to measure body size. In adults, people who are considered obese have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher taking into account a simple formula of height and weight. BMI as a measurement tool has its limitations with not distinguishing factors like age, sex, ethnicity, body fat percentage, muscle mass, and distribution of fat among individuals.
What Obesity Causes
Obesity is a key risk factor for a variety of health conditions and diminishes the overall quality of life. Knowing what obesity causes might surprise you. Obesity-related health problems affect nearly every part of the body, including the brain, blood vessels, heart, liver, gallbladder, bones, and joints.
Having a high ratio of body fat to muscle (meaning your body has fatter than muscles) puts strain on the bones and organs, causes complex changes in hormones and metabolism, and increases inflammation in the body.
Obesity is not a simple weight gain; it is a significant health issue that heightens the risk for several serious health complications. Here is the list of conditions that obesity causes.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Certain cancers (breast, colon, and endometrial)
- Gallbladder disease
- Fatty liver disease
- High cholesterol
- Breathing issues (Sleep apnea)
- Pregnancy complications
- Depression, anxiety, social isolation
It is not necessary that everyone who is obese has these health issues but if you have a family history of one of those conditions then the risk increases.
Obesity can impact not only physical health but also mental health. The physical activities that you used to enjoy can be limited. You may also avoid public places.
Causes of Obesity
Obesity is a multifactorial complex disease that may be associated with both nature and nurture. You may have grown up in an environment where highly caloric meals were the norm, and you may have experienced phases of emotional eating.
As mentioned earlier, multiple factors can increase a person’s risk for obesity. Mostly, consuming more calories than the body needs for a prolonged amount of time is the direct cause of obesity. But it’s not always just about calories in and calories out, or having a sedentary lifestyle. At times, overeating may be just a symptom of an underlying condition rather than a cause.
Evidently, diet and exercise are the most blamed factors for obesity but several unrelated factors can also play a significant part in obesity. Genetics, medications, stress, sleep disorders, hormones, chronic pain, underlying medical conditions (like PCOS, hypothyroidism, Osteoarthritis, depression), pregnancy, and many other environmental factors also show evidence for contributing to the rise in obesity.
Therefore, obesity management should be customized for each person diagnosed with the disease.
Home remedies to help manage obesity
Losing even a few grams of weight can make a big difference to your overall health and how you feel. Even with a few grams of weight loss, you may start seeing health benefits.
Losing as little as 5 % of your body weight can lower your risk for several of these health conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Here are some of the strategies to manage obesity:
- Take less “bad” fat and more “good” fat
- Consume less processed and sugary foods
- Eat vegetables and fruits more than other items
- Eat plenty of dietary fiber
- Avoid fast foods and fried foods
- Develop healthy snack eating
- Eat high-fat, high-calorie foods in moderation
- Reduce intake of high fructose corn syrup (sodas, candies, sweetened food, ice cream, sports drinks)
- Replace unrefined grains (white bread, pasta, rice, etc.) with whole grains (like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, etc.)
- Avoid processed meats and canned food
- Focus on eating low glycaemic index foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, etc.
- Engage in regular physical activity (try brisk walking, swimming, aerobics)
- Use stairs instead of the elevator
- Consider a weight training regimen
- Fill half your plate with vegetables
- Consume lean sources of protein (lean chicken, seafood, beans, soy)
- Avoid fried foods, fast foods, and sugary snacks.
- Take alcohol in moderation
- Consider quitting smoking
- Focus on reducing daily stress (try yoga, meditation)
- Take enough sleep
- Avoid sedentary lifestyle habits
- Avid crash dieting to avoid the development of other health issues
- Identify unhealthy triggers of emotional overeating
- Educate yourself on healthy food choices
- Take family support to follow your plan
The Bottom Line
Obesity means a person has a harmful amount of body fat or an unproportionate distribution of body fat. Many factors play a role to make a person obese.
Obesity affects nearly every part of the body. If the intake of calories is more than we use as energy, our body will store the extra calories as fat. In addition, food items rich in fats and sugars—are more likely to lead to weight gain.
To lose weight, simply be mindful to burn more calories (calories out) than you eat (calories in).
The key to long-term success is to consistently focus on making healthy choices about your diet and exercise, not just about the amount of weight you’ve lost. Even small changes, such as eating more vegetables and visiting the gym a few times a week, can help to prevent obesity. There’s no need to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. Success should be measured by health, not weight loss.
Weight loss can improve your overall health, but losing weight too fast can increase your risk of muscle loss and lower your metabolism. It’s also associated with psychological stress, hormone disruption, and metabolic complications.
A healthy weight is important in maintaining good health.