World Obesity day is observed on 11 th Oct globally, to create awareness and find solutions to check the epidemic called “ Obesity”
Obesity is sometimes genetic but normally builds up over a period of time due to sedentary life style and excessive intake of calories, more than what are being burned by daily activities and exercise.
Obesity is usually defined as excess of body weight, atleast 20% higher than normal which has an adverse affect on the body.
It is normally calculated using a ratio of height to weight called as Body Mass Index ( BMI)
A person having a BMI( Body Mass Index) of over 30, is classified as “Obese”. A BMI between 25 and 30, classifies as “overweight”.
What causes Obesity ?
Obesity builds up largely due to a combination of factors, such as excessive intake of foods, lack of physical activity, intake of sterioids, certain types of medication, endocrine disorders, medication for mental illnesses and sometimes even genetic susceptibility. A genetic mutation in the FTO gene, significantly increases risk of obesity.
Other medical conditions, which lead to obesity are as follows:
- Hypothyroidism caused by under activity of thyroid gland slows metabolism causes weight gain.
- PCOD, or polycystic ovarian disease also leads to obesity. Vice versa, women who are over weight or obese often have PCOD.
- Over production of hormone cortisol by adrenal glands also known as Cushing’s syndrome, leads to weight gain and full in the upper body, face and neck.
- Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare condition which leads to constant eating also leads to obesity.
What are the medical complications associated with Obesity?
A few medical conditions associated with Obesity are coronary heart disease, needing angioplasty or even an open heart surgery, diabetes, gallstones which require gallbladder removal , hypertension or high blood pressure, wearing out of knees due to excess weight and subsequently osteoarthritis which may require knee replacement, sleep apnea, several type of cancers and infertility whuch may require an IVF.
The list of cancers due to obesity is fairly long with 25% of cancers being attributed to an increased risk due to obesity.
These include breast cancer, multiple myelomas a type of blood cancer, cancer of the gall bladder, oesophageal cancer or cancer of the food pipe, thyroid cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancers, kidney cancer and even some of the brain tumours.
The important question here is “ How to treat obesity?”
Regular exercise, diet modification, eating small healthy meals, avoiding junk , high carbohydrate and fat rich food has benefits and helps lose weight.
Maintaining a journal or a food dairy, to record what’s being consumed helps and so does keeping a record of exercise being done everyday.
Using fitness wearable’s is a good idea too.
A weight loss surgery may be considered only when the BMI exceeds 35 or if there is a serious medical condition associated with obesity.
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