Obesity all you need to know

Obesity all you need to know

The Facts

The epidemic of obesity in the Americas has become a major contributor to healthcare costs and premature mortality. Definition: a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. The World Health Organization (WHO) now considers obesity to be an epidemic due to its widespread spread in recent years, particularly in the industrialised world.

Approximately 27% of adult Canadians are obese, and another 36% are overweight, according to data gathered from the general population. People who are overweight are more likely to develop health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, gallstones, and various cancers than those who maintain a healthy weight.


When calorie intake exceeds calorie expenditure, obesity develops. People used to believe that being overweight was all due to poor self-control, which manifested itself in a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity is a multifaceted medical issue that has multiple causes, including but not limited to these genetic, environmental, behavioural, and social factors. A person’s weight is affected by all these things.

The changes in appetite and fat metabolism that lead to obesity have been shown to have a genetic component in recent studies. People who have genes that make them more likely to gain weight (for example, a slower metabolism) and who also live a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle are at increased risk of developing obesity.

Obesity is not solely caused by one’s genes, though they may play a role. Weight gain is more likely to be the result of lifestyle and environmental factors, such as eating too many high-calorie, high-fat foods and not getting enough exercise. The accumulation of excess fat that characterises obesity may also be triggered by other factors, such as a lack of sleep or the use of certain medications. Long-term childhood obesity can make it harder for an adult to lose weight. Fifteen percent of pregnant women experience a permanent weight gain of 20 pounds or more.

Putting on extra pounds is a symptom of many diseases and disorders, not just PCOS and Cushing’s. Someone with BED suffers from recurrent binge eating episodes. These episodes are characterised by the rapid consumption of a large quantity of food coupled with a perceived inability to stop eating.

Obesity may be promoted by psychological factors as well. Overeating is a common coping mechanism for issues like low self-esteem, guilt, emotional stress, and trauma. Obesity risk is elevated in those who have experienced childhood maltreatment or other adverse events.

Symptoms and Complications

The health risks associated with obesity include:

These medical conditions may manifest in obese people in the ways described above. Common health issues include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, difficulty breathing, and pain in the knees and back.

The more obese a person is, the more likely they are to have medical problems related to obesity.

Obesity is associated with a number of psychological and social issues, including low self-esteem, prejudice, employment challenges, and a lower quality of life.

Making the Diagnosis

The diagnosis of obesity is usually based on a physical examination and a patient history (i.e., eating and exercise habits).

The body mass index (BMI) is not a direct measure of body fat, but it is helpful in determining whether or not an individual is at an unhealthy level of weight. It is generally agreed that a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 is within the normal range. Instead of using pounds and inches, the BMI is determined using kilogrammes and metres. To help you keep track, 1 lb is equal to 0.45 kg, and 1 inch is equal to 0.0254 m.

BMI is calculated as follows:

BMI = body weight (kg) ÷ height² (m)

Example: if you weigh 150 lbs (68 kg) and are 5’8″ (1.73 m) tall, divide 68 by (1.73 × 1.73), or 2.99. The result is 22.74, which is right in the middle of the healthy range.

*The above classification does not apply to people younger than 18 years of age, pregnant women, or breast-feeding women.

For people 65 years and older, the “normal” range is higher, beginning slightly above 18.5 and extending into the “overweight” range.

In addition to BMI, doctors may also take other measurements, such as waist size, to determine the dangers of abdominal fat. Whenever a person’s body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WCI) point to an elevated health risk, further diagnostics may be ordered.

Treatment and Prevention

The health risks associated with obesity are reduced and quality of life is enhanced through the management and treatment of obesity. An effective weight loss plan will involve regular exercise, a balanced diet, and new routines.

Psychological counselling and, in some cases, medication are also part of other types of treatment plans. Maintaining a healthy weight is difficult because of the many adjustments to one’s routine and routine foods that are necessary.

What’s important is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Fad and crash diets don’t work and can be dangerous.

It’s essential to get at least a certain amount of calories from food every day for the body to function normally. Diets containing less than 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day should never be used without first consulting a doctor.

“Crash diets” are never successful in the long term because once the diet is stopped, the weight usually comes back. Commercial weight-loss plans and clinics are successful businesses because they have so many return customers.

Lifelong changes in eating and exercise habits and an awareness of the mental and emotional triggers that lead to overeating are necessary for successful weight loss and long-term weight maintenance. The process also incorporates the establishment and completion of well-defined objectives. Medically obese individuals should work with a doctor or dietitian to create a weight loss plan that is both effective and safe for their unique needs. Modifying or undergoing therapy to alter one’s behaviour can also be useful.

Seeing a therapist or counsellor can help you learn to control your eating habits and gain insight into the mental and emotional factors that contribute to binge eating.

Maintaining a regular exercise routine is crucial when trying to control weight. Exercise not only aids in weight control, but it also boosts general health and lowers the danger of developing diseases like cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Regular physical activity doesn’t mean you have to join the nearest gym. It can be as simple as climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, walking or cycling to work and leaving the car at home (if at all possible), or going for a walk at lunchtime with coworkers.

What’s important is to add exercise to your daily routine, and to work towards a higher activity level. Choose activities and exercises you enjoy.

Medications may be part of a weight management program. Medications aren’t “magic cures” leading to permanent weight loss.

They are most effective when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle change such as a change in diet and increased physical activity. They are only intended for those who are clinically obese (defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher) or those with a BMI of 27 who have additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Some drugs can only be used temporarily. Orlistat*, which prevents fat from being absorbed by the bowel, is one type of weight-loss medication that can be purchased in Canada. Although liraglutide’s primary use is in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it has also shown promise as an effective weight loss aid due to its ability to reduce both hunger and food intake.

Naltrexone and bupropion may be used together to aid in reducing calorie intake and thus weight. Naltrexone is beneficial because it reduces hunger, and bupropion (typically prescribed for depression) alters the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, leading to less food consumption..

Your doctor will be the best person to advise you on the possibility of using medication. When all other methods of weight loss have failed, surgeons may be considered. Several procedures exist to treat obesity, but most involve making the stomach smaller so that only a restricted diet can be enjoyed at once.

Some of the terms used to describe the surgeries used to treat obesity include:

When reviewing suitable management options, it’s important to consider the risks and benefits of each option.

Your doctor and other health care professionals can provide you with the information you need to make an informed choice about what options are best for you.

Works Cited


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