Did you know? Approximately 4 million people worldwide died because of being overweight or obese. Aren’t these numbers alarming? It is time to be proactive and follow special measures to shed down those extra kilos. Read here to know more about Obesity.
Obesity is a major health concern in both developed and developing countries, and the number of people affected by this condition is increasing day-by-day. Obesity is a condition in which an individual has an excess of body fat, which can lead to several serious health complications. It is usually determined by BMI, which is a measure of weight in relation to height.
BMI, or body mass index, is a measure of body weight relative to height. It is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. BMI is a simple and affordable tool used to assess an individual's weight status, indicating whether they are underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese.
BMI = weight in kg / height in metres2
- Below 18.5 –Underweight range
- 18.5 to 24.9 – Healthy weight range
- 25 to 29.9 – Overweight range
- 30 to 39.9 – Obese range
- 40 or above – Severely obese range
To give an example, if Ajay weighs 75 kilograms and is 1.75 meters tall. To calculate Ajay's BMI, we would use the formula:
BMI = 75 / (1.75)2
BMI = 75 / 3.0625
BMI = 24.47
So Ajay's BMI is 24.47, which also falls within the healthy weight range. Based on the BMI categories, we can see that Ajay is not underweight, overweight, or obese, but rather at a healthy weight.
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. It is associated with an increased risk of other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, gallbladder disease, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is also linked to psychological problems such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
The Major Causes of Obesity
The causes of obesity are complex and multifactorial. Most cases of obesity are due to an imbalance between calorie intake and energy expenditure. This can be caused by a combination of factors including an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, genetics, and certain medications.
How is Obesity Treated?
If someone has a BMI in the overweight or obese range, it's important for them to work with a healthcare provider to develop a personalized health plan to manage their weight and overall health. This may include a combination of healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, and potentially other interventions such as medication or weight loss surgery, depending on the individual's specific needs and health goals.
Managing obesity typically involves making changes to diet, physical activity, and behavior. Here are some general steps that can be taken to manage obesity:
- Set realistic goals: The first step in managing obesity is to set realistic goals for weight loss and overall health. It's important to set specific, achievable goals that can be worked on gradually over time.
- Change diet: A healthy diet is a key component of managing obesity. This may involve reducing calorie intake, increasing fiber and protein intake, and limiting processed and high-fat foods. It's recommended to work with a registered dietitian to develop an individualized meal plan.
- Increase physical activity: Regular physical activity is also important for managing obesity. This may involve a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training, with the goal of gradually increasing the amount and intensity of exercise over time.
- Address behaviour and lifestyle factors: Managing obesity also involves addressing behaviour and lifestyle factors that may contribute to weight gain, such as stress, sleep habits, and smoking. It's important to work on building healthy habits and making sustainable lifestyle changes.
- Consider medication or surgery: In certain cases, medication or bariatric surgery may be recommended as part of obesity management. These interventions are typically used for people with a BMI over 30, or over 27 with weight-related health conditions.
It is important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with obesity and to take action to make changes to your lifestyle. It is also important to get regular check-ups and screenings to ensure any health problems are detected and treated early. If you are having difficulty making lifestyle changes on your own or find that you are gaining weight despite your best efforts, you should talk to your doctor about getting additional help. Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian or a weight loss program that can provide support and guidance.
It Is Important to:
- Remember that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight takes time and dedication. It is not a quick fix
- Be patient and consistent in your efforts. You may find it helpful to set realistic goals, keep a food diary, and reward yourself for small achievements.
- Remember that it is ok to ask for help and support from family and friends.
Finally, it is important to be mindful of the potential consequences of obesity and to take action to reduce the risk of developing other health problems. Eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and seeking help if needed can all help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
“Obesity is a serious matter that needs to be addressed. Taking small steps towards a healthier lifestyle can make a big difference in reducing the risks associated with obesity and its related health problems”.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Managing overweight and obesity in adults: Systematic evidence review from the Obesity Expert Panel." Obesity (Silver Spring) 2009.
- American Heart Association. "Managing overweight and obesity in adults." 2014. https://www.heart.org/-/media/files/health-topics/weight-loss/managing-overweight-obesity-in-adults.ashx
- Bray, G.A. "Obesity: A time bomb to be defused." The Lancet 1998; 352:160-161.
- World Health Organization. "Obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemic." 2000. https://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/obesity/WHO_TRS_894/en/
- Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Apovian CM, et al. "2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society." Circulation 2014; 129(25 Suppl 2):S102-138.