What is Obesity?
Obesity is a medical condition that is associated with excess body fat or weight and has the potential to affect your health adversely. It is a worldwide health concern that is caused by several factors such as lack of physical activity, excessive food intake, hormonal disorders, genetic susceptibility, etc. and can go beyond control if not treated at the right time. Typically, doctors measure obesity using a statistical tool called the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI measures your weight in regard to your height. Though BMI is not the accurate percentage of your body fat; it serves as the starting point for further investigation.
Causes of obesity
Obesity has become an epidemic and is the cause of several life-threatening health conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, blood pressure, fatty liver disease etc., which are collectively referred to as metabolic syndrome. To prevent such consequences, it is important to get to the crux of the problem. The fundamental cause of obesity is substantial energy imbalance in your body. When the number of calories you consume exceeds the number of calories you spent, it results in tremendous fat accumulation. Some of the other obesity trends include excessive consumption of energy-dense foods that are high in sugar and fat, heightened sedentary lifestyle, sleep deprivation due to stress, anxiety or depression, hormonal imbalances, and side-effects of various medications.
Effects of obesity
Obesity can hamper your health to a great extent. In fact, more than 50 percent of health problems are related to excess weight gain. Such obesity-related health conditions can affect your quality of life and even bring down your morale. Some of the common consequences of being overweight are
- Cardiovascular issues such as coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol level, etc.
- Endocrinological conditions such as diabetes, infertility, birth defects, complications in pregnancy, etc.
- Neurological problems include stroke, migraines, dementia, multiple sclerosis, etc.
- Orthopedic and musculoskeletal problems such as gout, osteoarthritis, lower back pain, etc.
Obesity in terms of BMI
Body Mass Index = Body weight (in kg) / Height (in m)2
Ideal BMI (Asian)
||18 - 24.9
||25 - 29.9
||30 – 37.4
Weight Loss Treatment
There are countless weight-loss strategies available to help shed the extra pounds off your body. But, as every individual is unique, a specific weight-loss strategy may not work for all. While a dietary modification can work wonders for some, others may need a more serious intervention such as surgery to overcome obesity.
Here are some of the common solutions available to help you bring down your excess weight –
- Healthy eating plan: Consumption of food with fewer calories such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and high fiber foods is the most required dietary modification for weight loss.
- Increasing physical activity: On an average, you need to burn 3500 calories if you want to lose one pound of fat. Some physical activities that will help you reach your weight loss goal are brisk walking, swimming, gym training, aerobics, regular participation in sports activities, etc.
- Weight-loss medications: If you have failed at the above attempts and are at the risk of a serious health condition due to excess weight gain, your doctor may also prescribe some medications for weight loss.
- Bariatric surgery: When none of the above work, the only way to circumvent the consequences of obesity is by surgical intervention. Typically, weight loss surgery involves altering the size of your stomach or bypassing varying lengths of the small intestine so that it limits your food consumption. This, in turn, limits calorie absorption and initiates weight loss.
Surgical Weight Loss Treatment
Bariatric surgery, aka, weight loss surgery, is a procedure that involves making slight modifications to your stomach and/or small intestine to limit the amount of food you consume and/or to reduce the absorption of nutrients. If your BMI is over 35 with no comorbidities or 32.5 with co-morbidities, then you are an eligible candidate for bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery not only helps you in weight loss but also reduces your comorbidities like Diabetes, Hypertension, Sleep Apnea, PCOS etc. It also improves fertility and provides relief from joint pain.