The World Health Organization defines obesity as “an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that presents a risk to health.”
When we consume more calories than our body burns, the body store the excess as fat. This eventually leads to excessive weight gain and obesity.
Being overweight is a major health risk factor for many diseases and for premature death. Individuals of all ages can become obese; the health of children. adolescents and adults are all affected by the excess body weight.
The approved method for assessing weight health is the body mass index ( BMI). The BMI uses the individual’s weight and height to compare the ratio of body fat to total body mass.
Another measure used to assess weight help is the waist circumference. A healthy waist circumference is below 35 for women and below 40 for men.
Causes-The main cause of overweight/obesity is an energy imbalance, eating too much and exercising too little. This leads to a calorie surplus. Childhood obesity, existing disease, drugs and hereditary factors play a role in adult obesity. Formula feeding predisposes a child to childhood obesity. Binge and emotional can cause an individual to become morbidly obese.
Effects of Overweight/Obesity on Health- Overweight/obesity is a health risk factor for many physical and psychological problems. They are major risk factors for non-communicable disease(NCD’s).
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Arthritis & joint pains
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Low self-esteem
The risk of being overweight/obese starts as early as during development in the womb. Maternal obesity can cause a large baby; formula feeding can result in an overweight infant. Maternal diseases such as diabetes or gestational diabetes affect an infant’s birth weight. These factors can cause childhood obesity.
Prevention therefore starts a early as during family planning. Mothers who are planning on starting a family can prevent childhood obesity by losing any excess weight before pregnancy. Other ways to prevent obesity are: Keeping physically active, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and developing healthy eating habits. Breast feeding can prevent childhood obesity.
Treatment of Overweight/Obesity
Overweight/obese people can lose excess body weight by focusing on weight control. There are several approaches to eliminating overweight/obesity as a health risk factor, they are diet, exercise, behaviour modifcation/counselling, surgery and medication.
This blog is about diet and exercise to prevent and treat excess body weight. Many weight loss programs are diet plans, but diet and exercise must be combined for effective weight control and must be used with the other treatment methods.
World Health Organization (WHO) defines obesity.
Article on Obesity.
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