More than 70% of Americans are obese or overweight. Any person with BMI value of above 30 is considered to be obese. One out of every 3 adults is either obese or overweight. And 2 out of every 7 children/adolescent in the age group (almost 13 million) of 2-18 years are obese according to the study given by NHANES. Overweight and obesity can give rise to various health problems like heart attack, hypertension, diabetes, kidney malfunction and liver problems. Most of the people diagnosed with cardiovascular problems are overweight or obese.
Body mass index is the right instrument used to determine whether your weight is healthy or not. BMI can be found easily by dividing your weight in pounds/kilogram with height in feet, inches/square meter. Amount of fatty molecules present in the body is directly proportional to BMI and vice versa. In other words, if your BMI score is high you have got heavy volumes of fat accumulation in your body and are risk to many health problems.
BMI is universally measured by dividing your weight in Kg with height in meter square. It depends on factors like your age, sex and waist circumference.
- If your BMI value is in the range of 18-25 you are considered to be in healthy weight.
- If the BMI value is between 25 and 29.9 you are overweight and in pre-obese stage.
- If the BMI value is 30 and above you are considered to be obese (Class 1 and 2)
- And people with BMI value of 40 and above are extremely obese (Class 3).
What Happens If Your BMI Is More Than 30 ?
- If the BMI is 30 or more, then the blood circulation can get disrupted and the heart has to work harder to pump blood to the organs.
- The fluid levels in your body may not be consistent and can easily get affected.
- You are at risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure and even some kinds of cancer.
- The blood cholesterol level LDL (bad) and triglyceride levels may increase anytime. And good cholesterol (HDL) level can become low.
- Overweight and obesity can be the cause of osteoarthritis and gallstones.
- And finally you are at risk of heart attack and stroke if you are obese.
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What You Should Do ?
- Firstly, you can check the BMI value based on your height and weight. Every adult should find his/her BMI value at least once in a year. Now you can make use of various online tools to find the BMI value.
- Once you know that you are obese or overweight talk with your doctor and dietician and take sincere efforts to reduce weight.
- Weight loss programs are being conducted by several organizations including the American Heart Association frequently. You can take part in such programs and reduce some pounds.
Obesity Causes :
Several factors including ethnicity, childhood weight and hormones can add more weight to your body. A person’s weight is based primarily on the calories he takes and on the calories he burns/spends per day. If you are eating more calories than you burn each day extra energy is stored in the form of fat. But if you are able to manage the intake of calories and burning of calories equally then your weight would remain stable.
At present, overeating and sedentary lifestyle are considered to be the prime factors of obesity. Genetics can largely affect your weight by altering the hormones that control fat regulation. Leptin is a hormone that controls your weight by sending signals to the brain to eat less when the body already has plenty of storage of fat molecules. Obesity can occur if there is insufficient secretion of leptin and you tend to eat more than the requirements of your body.
- Eating fat rich diet like fried food and fast foods can add more pounds to your body. Diet that has simple carbohydrates in large portion like sugars, desserts and soft drinks can cause weight gain.
- Eating small portion of food many times a day is good for your body when compared to eating 2-3 hefty meals.
- Certain medications like antidepressants, anticonvulsant drugs, and corticosteroids and using oral contraceptives and certain kinds of blood pressure drugs can contribute for weight gain.
- Psychological factors like extreme stress, boredom and anger can also induce you to eat more.
- Hormonal fluctuation and problems in thyroid secretion can cause obesity.
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Obesity Treatment :
- First line treatment for overweight and obesity is to learn the methods to control your weight.
- You need to understand that you should eat lesser calories than you burn each day. By following this simple equation you can shed few pounds every month.
- For achieving this, you should prepare a diet chart and know the calorific value of every item you put in your mouth.
- And start with aerobic exercise like walking or jogging for 20 minutes a day initially. Make sure you are healthy enough to practice workout in a gym.
- Once you have identified what went wrong in the eating habit and diet you can gradually reduce your weight.
- Drink buttermilk in the place of milk which can help in shedding weight.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables that can keep you “full” for hours together.
How Obesity Can Affect A Country ?
Each year there is steady increase in the percentage of obesity which contributes for added costs for treating obesity. Medical care costs for treating obesity is sharply rising every year and absenteeism due to obesity related health issues are costing about $3.5 billion.