Obesity As A Human Killer: Meaning, Causes, Diagnosis, Complications & Prevention

Obesity As A Human Killer: Meaning, Causes, Diagnosis, Complications & Prevention

Obesity As A Human Killer: Meaning, Causes, Diagnosis, Complications & Prevention

Obesity As A Human Killer: Meaning, Causes, Diagnosis, Complications & Prevention: Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.

Causes Of Obesity

Causes Of Obesity

Eating more calories than you burn in daily activity and exercise (on a long-term basis) causes obesity. Over time, these extra calories add up and cause you to gain weight.

Common specific causes of obesity include:

  • eating a poor diet of foods high in fats and calories
  • having a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle
  • not sleeping enough, which can lead to hormonal changes that make you feel hungrier and crave certain high-calorie foods
  • genetics, which can affect how your body processes food into energy and how fat is stored
  • growing older, which can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight
  • pregnancy (weight gained during pregnancy can be difficult to lose and may eventually lead to obesity)

Certain medical conditions may also lead to weight gain. These include:

  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): a condition that causes an imbalance of female reproductive hormones
  • Prader-Willi syndrome: a rare condition that an individual is born with which causes excessive hunger
  • Cushing syndrome: a condition caused by having an excessive amount of the hormone cortisol in your system
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid): a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones
  • osteoarthritis (and other conditions that cause pain that may lead to inactivity)
Diagnosis Of Obesity

Diagnosis of obesity. World Obesity Day. Silhouette of a fat man. Infographics. Vector illustration on isolated background

Diagnosis Of Obesity

Obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or more. Body mass index is a rough calculation of a person’s weight in relation to their height.

Other more accurate measures of body fat and body fat distribution include skinfold thickness, waist-to-hip comparisons, and screening tests such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Your doctor may also order certain tests to help diagnose obesity as well as obesity-related health risks. These may include blood tests to examine cholesterol and glucose levels, liver function tests, diabetes screen, thyroid tests, and heart tests, such as an electrocardiogram.

A measurement of the fat around your waist is also a good predictor of risk for obesity-related diseases.

Complication Of Obesity

Complication Of Obesity

People with obesity are more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:

  • Heart disease and strokes. Obesity makes you more likely to have high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart disease and strokes.
  • Type 2 diabetes. Obesity can affect the way your body uses insulin to control blood sugar levels. This raises your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
  • Certain cancers. Obesity may increase your risk of cancer of the uterus, cervix, endometrium, ovary, breast, colon, rectum, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate.
  • Digestive problems. Obesity increases the likelihood that you’ll develop heartburn, gallbladder disease and liver problems.
  • Gynecological and sexual problems. Obesity may cause infertility and irregular periods in women. Obesity also can cause erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Sleep apnea. People with obesity are more likely to have sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
  • Osteoarthritis. Obesity increases the stress placed on weight-bearing joints, in addition to promoting inflammation within the body. These factors may lead to complications such as osteoarthritis.

Prevention Methods Of Obesity

Prevention Methods Of Obesity

Whether you’re at risk of obesity, currently overweight or at a healthy weight, you can take steps to prevent unhealthy weight gain and related health problems. Not surprisingly, the steps to prevent weight gain are the same as the steps to lose weight: daily exercise, a healthy diet, and a long-term commitment to watch what you eat and drink.

  • Exercise regularly. You need to get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week to prevent weight gain. Moderately intense physical activities include fast walking and swimming.

 

  • Follow a healthy-eating plan. Focus on low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid saturated fat and limit sweets and alcohol. Eat three regular meals a day with limited snacking. You can still enjoy small amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods as an infrequent treat. Just be sure to choose foods that promote a healthy weight and good health most of the time.

 

  • Know and avoid the food traps that cause you to eat. Identify situations that trigger out-of-control eating. Try keeping a journal and write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you’re feeling and how hungry you are. After a while, you should see patterns emerge. You can plan ahead and develop strategies for handling these types of situations and stay in control of your eating behaviors.

 

  • Monitor your weight regularly. People who weigh themselves at least once a week are more successful in keeping off excess pounds. Monitoring your weight can tell you whether your efforts are working and can help you detect small weight gains before they become big problems.

 

  • Be consistent. Sticking to your healthy-weight plan during the week, on the weekends, and amidst vacation and holidays as much as possible increases your chances of long-term success.

 

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