THE MODERN AFFLUENT SCOURGE: OBESITY

Obesity-overweight

Obesity-overweightAn individual is considered obese if the individual’s Body Mass Index (a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height ) is greater than 30kg/m2. BMI is not used to definitively diagnose obesity though, because people who are very muscular coupled with dense bone structures sometimes have a high BMI without necessarily having excess fat. However, in most individuals, it is a useful indicator of whether they possess a healthy weight, are overweight or outright obese. Obesity was once considered prevalent in affluent cities and societies due to availability of high -energy containing foods in such cities.

CAUSES OF OBESITY

Causes-obesity-overweight

Obesity is predominantly caused when energy input usually obtained from high-calories containing meals is greater than the energy output of an individual. Extra lipids, carbohydrates, proteins or alcohol can be converted into body fat,due to lack of physical exercise or energy expenditure,thus leading to the accumulation of such fats in the body.

HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF OBESITY

Various studies have shown that genetic susceptibility, endocrine disorders, certain illnesses and medications can precipitate obesity.
Being obese predisposes an individual to numerous health risks / diseases.

Obesity-overweight-diseaseOne of such diseases is the cardiovascular disease which arises due to high blood cholesterol level in obese individuals.

Other negative health conditions include; high blood pressure, greater tendency for atherosclerosis in the coronary artery with attendant heart attack in middle age, development of varicose vein, diabetes and some cancers such as gall bladder cancer. Arthritis and stroke are also common. Of course, due to the extra fat load on the skeleton, mechanical difficulties arise: movements become strained and awkward.

Also, in our contemporary society where emphasis is greatly placed on being slim or having a hourglass figure, obese individuals are usually subjected to emotional trauma and ridicule.

TREATMENT/MANAGEMENT

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It is not all gloom and doom, because with proper dedication, right attitude and mental strength, obesity can be extensively curbed. It is mostly prevented through a combination of social changes and personal choices. Changes to diet and continuous physical exercise are the main treatments. Diet quality can be improved by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods, such as those high in fats and sugars, and by increasing the intake of dietary fibers. Natural medications and tea may also be taken, along with a suitable diet, to reduce appetite or decrease fat absorption. Other notable treatments include liposuction and gastric balloon /surgery.

Obesity is easily attainable, yet it can be curtailed effectively; eat a calorie -balnced diet and always engage in adequate physical exercise. Hey, you’d be glad when you stare into that gigantic mirror in your bedroom and see yourself in great shape, plus the other good health incentives that come with being physically fit!

Author : James Agu

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