Understanding Obesity – The Generation’s Most Common Health Condition

What is obesity?

Obesity is a medical condition where a person’s body has accumulated too much fat, which has adverse effects on their health. Obesity is not just a cosmetic concern; it is harmful to one’s health. It can lead to coronary heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression as well as several types of cancer. Obesity is diagnosed when your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. Your body mass index is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms (kg) by your height in meters (m) squared.

Fortunately, it is a preventable and treatable condition. Dietary changes, increased physical activity and behaviour changes can help you lose weight. Prescription medications and weight-loss surgery are additional options for treating obesity.

Causes for Obesity

  • Unhealthy Diet: Eating and drinking food that is high in calories such as fried and fatty foods, sweetened fizzy drinks, and fast foods is one of the primary reasons for weight gain.
  • Lack of physical activity:  Physical inactivity can have severe implications for people’s health. The lesser you move around, the fewer calories you burn.
  • Not getting enough sleep: Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite. You may crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.
  • Some Medicines: Drugs like anti-depressants, steroids, and diabetes medications can lead to weight gain if not compensated with diet and physical activity.
  • Genetics: Your genes affect the amount of body fat stored and its distribution, and the metabolism rates. If obesity runs in the family, your risk of being obese is greater.

If you think you or a loved one may be obese, and you are concerned about weight-related health problems, discuss with a doctor or specialist to evaluate your health risks and discuss weight-loss options.

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