Overview

Obesity is a complicated illness that involves an excess quantity of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a matter of appearance. It’s a medical condition that can increase the risk of other illnesses and health issues, like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

There are many causes why individuals struggle with losing weight. It is often due to genetic, physiological, and environmental influences, including eating habits, physical activity, and workout options.

The positive side is that even a small weight loss can help improve or stop the health problems associated with weight gain. Healthy eating, more physical activity, and behavioural changes can aid in losing weight. Prescription medications and weight loss procedures are other options to treat weight gain.

Signs and symptoms of Obesity

The body mass index (BMI) is frequently used to determine the degree of overweight. To determine BMI, Add weight by 703, then divide by eight inches, and after that, divide again by the height in inches. Divide kg weight by the size measured in meters.

BMI Status of weight

Below 18.5 Underweight

18.5-24.9 Normal

25.0-29.9 Overweight

30.0 or more Obesity

Asians with BMI aged 23 or more have a higher chance of developing health issues.

BMI gives a fair estimation of the body’s fat content for most people. However, BMI doesn’t directly gauge body fat, and therefore, some people, like athletes who are muscular, could be overweight. Therefore, BMI is within obesity, even when they don’t have excess body fat.

Many doctors also gauge the waist circumference of a patient to guide treatments. Health problems related to weight tend to be more prevalent in men with a waist measurement of over 40 inches (102 centimetres) and women with an average waist measurement of 35 inches (89 centimetres).

When should you see a doctor?

If you’re worried about your weight or related health issues, talk to your physician about weight management. You and your doctor will evaluate the health risks you face and discuss options for weight loss.

The Reasons for Obesity

There is behavioural, genetic, hormonal, and metabolic influence on the body’s weight; obesity results from consuming greater calories than you expend through your normal activities and workouts. The body stores these extra weights as fat.

In the United States, most people’s diets are packed with calories, usually from fast-food restaurants and beverages that are high in calories. The obese may consume more calories before feeling full, hungry earlier, or eat more because of anxiety or stress.

Many people in Western countries have less physically demanding jobs, which means they don’t burn the same amount of calories when they work. Even activities that are routinely performed consume fewer calories because of the modern conveniences like remote controls and escalators, online shopping, or drive-through bank.

Risk Factors of Obesity

Obesity is usually the result of a combination of factors and causes:

Influences and inheritance from family members

The genes you inherit from your parents could determine the amount of fat you store and how the fat is located. In addition, genetics is a factor in the speed at which your body converts food into energy and how your body regulates your appetite, and how you burn calories when exercising.

Obesity runs within families. It’s not only due to the genes they have in common. Family members are also likely to have the same food and exercise habits.

Lifestyle choices

  • Unhealthy eating habits. A diet filled with calories, lacking in vegetables and fruits, and fast food and beverages high in calories and large portions can cause a weight increase.
  • Calories from liquids. People can drink numerous calories and still not feel full, particularly the calories from alcohol. Other drinks high in calories, like sugared soft drinks, may result in significant weight gain.
  • Activity. If you have an active lifestyle, you can absorb more calories throughout the day than what you use with exercises and other routine activities. Watching TV, computers, or phone screens is passive. The time you spend looking at screens is strongly related to weight increase.

Certain illnesses and medicines

In some individuals overweight, it is possible to trace the cause to a medical reason, for example, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Cushing syndrome, and other diseases. Health issues, like arthritis, may cause a decrease in activity, leading to an increase in weight.

Certain medications can cause weight gain if you do not make up for it through exercise or diet. It includes antidepressants, anti-seizure medicines and diabetes medicines, and antipsychotic drugs such as steroids, beta-blockers, and steroids.

Economic and social concerns

Economic and social aspects are associated with weight gain. For example, it is hard to avoid obesity without safe places to exercise or walk. Also, you may not be taught healthy cooking methods or may not have access to healthier food choices. Additionally, the people you hang out with could affect your weight -it is more likely that you become overweight if you’ve got heavy family members or fat friends.

Age

Obesity can happen at any age, and even for children who are just beginning to develop. However, as you get older, hormonal changes and an active lifestyle may increase the risk of becoming obese. Additionally, muscles in your body are likely to decrease as you the advancing years. The general rule is that a lower amount of strength causes a decrease in metabolic rate. These changes can reduce calorie requirements and make it more difficult to keep off weight gain. If you’re not aware of your diet and get healthier and more active as you get older, you’ll probably gain weight.

Other aspects

  • The pregnancy. Weight gain is normal during pregnancy. Women who are overweight may find it difficult to lose once when the child is born. This extra weight could cause weight gain in women.
  • Smoking less. Quitting smoking is frequently linked to weight growth. It could cause enough weight gain for some people to qualify as obese. It is often the case when people turn to food to cope with withdrawal from smoking. The decision to stop smoking cigarettes will provide a much greater overall health benefit than continuing smoking. A doctor can assist you in eliminating weight gain following quitting smoking.
  • Sleep deprivation. Not getting enough sleep or too much sleep could trigger changes in hormones that boost appetite. There is also a tendency to want foods high in carbohydrates and calories, which can cause a weight increase.
  • The stress. Many external factors that impact mood and well-being could contribute to the development of obesity. People tend to seek out more high-calorie food during stressful times.
  • The microbiome. Your gut bacteria are influenced by the food you consume and can be a factor in weight gain or difficulties in losing weight.

Even if you’re suffering from some or all of these risks, it doesn’t mean you’re bound to get overweight. It is possible to counteract the majority of risks by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and exercising, and changing your behaviour.

Complications of Obesity

The obese have a higher risk of experiencing several grave health issues, which include:

  • Stroke and heart disease. Obesity makes you more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and irregular cholesterol levels, potential risk factors for heart diseases, and strokes.
  •  Type 2 Diabetes. Obesity can affect how the body utilizes insulin to regulate glucose levels in the blood. It increases the chance of developing insulin resistance and the development of diabetes.
  • Certain types of cancers. Obesity may increase the risk of cancers of the uterus and cervix, endometrium, and ovary. Breast colon, rectum, gallbladder, liver, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, and prostate.
  • Digestive issues. Obesity increases the chances of developing gallbladder diseases and liver issues.
  • Sleep Apnea. People with obesity are more likely to develop sleep apnea. It is a serious condition where breathing stops and then resumes in sleep.
  • Osteoarthritis. Obesity puts more stress on joints bearing weight and can also cause inflammation throughout the body. These causes can lead to problems such as osteoarthritis.
  • The symptoms of COVID-19 are severe. Obesity can increase the chance of experiencing severe symptoms should you are infected by the virus which causes coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19). Individuals who have serious symptoms of COVID-19 might require care in intensive-care units or even breathing assistance.

Life quality

Obesity may affect the general quality of your life. It could not be easy to engage in the physical activities you used to love. You might be unable to go to public places. Obese people may be subject to discrimination.

Other weight-related problems that can influence your lifestyle are:

  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Shame and guilt
  • Social isolation
  • Lower work achievement

Diagnosis

To determine obesity, your physician will generally take a physical exam and suggest a few tests.

  • Examining your medical record. Your doctor may look over how much weight you weigh, weight loss efforts in addition to your exercise and physical activity habits, eating habits and appetite control, other health issues you’ve experienced, and the effects of medications as well as stress levels and other health issues. Your doctor might also look over your family’s health history to determine whether you might be at risk for certain illnesses.
  • The general physical examination. It includes measuring your height, examining vital indicators like blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature, taking note of your lungs and heart, and looking at your abdomen.
  • Calculating your BMI. The doctor will test for your Body Mass Index (BMI). A BMI A score of 30 or greater or 30 or more is considered obese. If you have a higher than 30 figure, it increases your health risks further. Your BMI It is recommended to have a check-up at least once per year to determine your health risk overall and the recommended treatment options.
  • The waist circumference measurement is a good way to choose your waist size. The fat around the waist, also known as visceral or abdominal fat, could make it more likely to develop heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Women who have an estimated waist measurement (circumference) that is greater than 35 inches (89 centimetres) and males who have a waist measurement of greater than 40 inches (102 centimetres) could be at greater risk of risks to their health than people who have smaller waist measurements, as with the BMI Measurement of, waist circumference, must measure it at least every year.
  • Looking for other health issues. If you have known medical problems, Your doctor will examine the cause of your health issues. Your doctor may also test for other health concerns that may be present, like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and liver problems, thyroid issues, and diabetes.

Treatment for Obesity

Obesity treatment aims to achieve and remain at a healthy weight. It enhances general health and reduces developing health complications associated with weight gain.

You may need to work with a group of health professionals, such as a dietitian, a behavioural counsellor, and an obesity expert, to help you comprehend and alter your diet and exercise routines.

The primary goal for treatment is usually a moderate weight loss of between 5% and 10 percent of your weight. So, If you weigh 200lbs (91 kilograms), you’ll need to lose just 10-20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kilograms) for your health to improve. But as more pounds, shed more weight you shed, the better.

Every weight loss program requires changes to your diet and physical exercise. The suitable treatment methods will depend on your degree of obesity, overall health, and commitment to participating in your weight-loss program.

Dietary changes

Cutting down on calories and implementing healthy eating habits are essential for fighting the problem of obesity. While you might lose weight quickly in the beginning, gradual weight loss, in the long run, is believed to be the most secure way to shed weight and is the best method to ensure it stays off for the long term.

There isn’t anyone’s best weight-loss diet. Instead, select one that is healthy and includes foods you think will benefit you.

Changes in diet to help treat weight gain can consist of:

  • Cut down on calories. The key to losing weight is to reduce the number of calories you consume. It is the first thing to look over your drinking and eating habits to determine how many calories you typically consume and then where you can cut down. You and your physician will determine the number of calories you should finish each day to lose weight. However, a common amount is 1200-1500 calories for women and 1,500-1,800 for males.
  • Feeling fuller with lesser. Some foods -like candies, desserts, and processed food items are packed with calories for a tiny portion. Contrarily, fruits and vegetables offer more an amount and fewer calories. When you eat more portions of food items low in calories, you can reduce the urge to eat and consume fewer calories, and feel more satisfied with your food, which adds to the feeling of satisfaction you generally have.
  • Make healthier decisions. To make your general diet healthier, consume more plant-based food items, including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Additionally, it would help if you focused on the protein-rich foods that are low in calories, like beans and lentils and soya, and healthy meats. If you are a fan of fish, include fish at least twice each week. Reduce the amount of added sugar and salt. Consume small amounts of fats and make sure they are from heart-healthy sources like canola, olive, and oil from nuts.
  • The restriction of certain foods. Certain diets limit the amount of food in a certain food group, for example, full-fat or high-carbohydrate foods. Consult your physician about which diet plans work and may benefit you. Drinking sweetened drinks with sugar is easy to consume greater calories than planned. Eliminating these drinks or limiting these altogether is a great way to begin cutting down on calories.
  • Meal substitutes. These plans suggest substituting some or all meals with their products, for example, low-calorie shakes and meal bars. You can also consume healthy snacks and an energizing, balanced third meal that’s not high in calories and fat. In the short run, this kind of diet may aid in losing weight. But they don’t show you how to alter your lifestyle. Therefore, you might have to adhere to the diet to maintain weight loss.

Safety Precaution

Beware of quick fixes. You might be lured by popular diets promising fast and simple weight loss. Unfortunately, the truth is that there aren’t any miracle food items or quick solutions. Certain diets can be helpful in the short run; however, the long-term effects aren’t any more effective than other diets.

Like this, you might lose weight while on the crash diet; however, you’re most likely to regain it after you cease the diet. To lose weight and maintain it off, you need to establish healthy eating habits that you will be able to maintain for a long time.

Exercise and physical activity

Exercise or physical activity is a crucial aspect of treatment for obesity:

  • Training. People with obesity require 150 minutes each week of moderate-intensity physical exercise to avoid further weight gain or loss of weight. You will likely have to gradually increase how much of train as your endurance and fitness increase.
  • Maintain your movement. Even though regular aerobic exercise is the most effective method to burn calories and lose weight, every extra move aids in burning calories. Parking further away from entrances to stores and walking up the stairs instead of the elevator. A pedometer tracks the number of steps you walk during the day. A lot of people strive to complete 10,000 steps per day. Gradually increase the number of steps you walk each day to achieve that goal.

Changes in Behaviour

A program for behaviour modification will help you make lifestyle changes to shed weight and maintain it. It is important to examine your lifestyle habits to discover what causes stress, pressures, or other circumstances that could lead to weight gain.

  • Therapy. Talking with a mental health professional can help you address the emotional and behavioural issues associated with eating. The treatment can aid you in comprehending why you are eating too much and teach you healthy ways to deal with anxiety. It can also help you learn to keep track of your food and exercise and identify triggers to eating and deal with food cravings. Counselling can be conducted one-on-one or in groups.
  • Help groups. You can find the camaraderie and support groups with members who share the same struggles with being overweight. Talk to your doctor’s local hospitals, your local health centers, or commercial weight-loss programs for support groups in your region.

Medicines for weight loss

The weight-loss medication is designed to be used with exercise, diet, and behavioural changes and not in place of them. Before deciding on a treatment for you, your physician will look at your medical background and potential side negative effects.

The most frequently used drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the problem of obesity comprise:

  • Bupropion-naltrexone (Contrave)
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda)
  • Orlistat (Alli, Xenical)
  • Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia)

The weight-loss medication may not work for everyone, and its effects can diminish over time. If you quit taking a weight loss medication and begin to gain weight, you could regain some or all the weight you have lost.

Endoscopic procedures to help lose weight

These procedures do not require incisions on the skin. Once you’re anesthetized, the flexible tubes and instruments are introduced through the mouth and then down the throat to the stomach. The most common procedures are:

  • Endoscopic gastroplasty sleeve. This procedure involves inserting stitches into the stomach to limit the quantity of liquid and food stomachs can hold at a time. In time eating and drinking less can help the average person shed weight.
  • An intragastric balloon to aid in weight reduction. In this procedure, doctors insert a small balloon inside the stomach. It is filled up with liquid to reduce the volume of the stomach. It will make you feel fuller and eat less.

Weight-loss surgery

Also called bariatric surgery, weight loss surgery restricts how much food you can enjoy at a time or reduces the intake of calories and food. But, it can also cause vitamin and nutrition deficiency.

The most common weight-loss surgeries are:

  • Adjustable gastric banding. In this procedure, the band is inflatable and separates from the stomach into two pouches. The surgeon tightens the bar like a belt to create a small space between the pouches. The band prevents the bag from expanding and is made to remain in place for a long time.
  • The gastric bypass procedure. In gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y), surgeons create a pouch on the very top of the stomach. The small intestine is cut just a few inches beneath the stomach’s main area and joined to the purse. The liquid and food flow directly from this pouch to this section of the intestine, bypassing the stomach’s majority part.
  • Gastric sleeves. In this procedure, a part of gastric tissue gets removed, resulting in an even smaller food reservoir. It is a less complicated procedure than gastric bypass.

The success of weight loss after surgery is contingent on your determination to make lifestyle changes to your diet and exercise routine.

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