Obesity – Everything You Should Be Knowing About It!

Obesity – Everything You Should Be Knowing About It!

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By Dr. Kulin R Shah, Endocrinology

Obesity in India has reached epidemic proportion, with morbid obesity affecting 5% of the country’s population.

It is characterized by excessive body fat. People who are medically obese usually are affected by behaviour, genetic, & environmental factors that are difficult to control with dieting. Obesity increases the likelihood of certain diseases & other health related problems.

WHO IS AFFECTED?

The phenomenon is global & about 30 million Indians are obese. It is predicted to double in next 5 years.

HOW IS OBESITY CALCULATED?

It is most commonly calculated using BMI

BMI is a number calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by height in meter square

BMI = Weight in kilogram/height in meter square

18-23 Normal
23-25 Overweight
25-30 Mild obesity
30-35 Moderate obesity
>35 Morbid obesity

What are the health hazards of overweight &obesity?

These individuals are at risk of developing  multiple health problems

  1. Heart disease
  2. Stroke
  3. Diabetes
  4. Hypertension
  5. Gout
  6. Gall bladder disease
  7. Dyslipedima
  8. Sleep Apnoea
  9. Gout
  10. Cancer
  11. Gastroesophageal  reflux
  12. Polycystic ovarian disease
  13. Osteoarthritis

Weight loss can help improve the harmful effectcs of being overweight & obese

WHAT CAUSES OBESITY?

Obesity is due to an individual taking in more calories than they burn over an extended period of time. These “extra” calories are stored as fat. Although there are several factors that can lead to this energy imbalance in obese individuals, the main contributors are behavioural, environmental, & genetics.

BEHAVIOUR

In today’s fast paced environment, it is easy to adopt unhealthy behaviours that relate to food choices, amount of physical activity, &the effort to maintain your health.

ENVIRONMENT

It plays a key role in shaping individuals habits & key lifestyle. Society has developed a more sedentary life style. Basic physical activity has been replaced by technology & nutrition has been replaced by fastfood.

GENETICS

Genes can cause certain disorders which result in obesity. However, not  all individuals who are predisposed to obesity become obese

WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL EFFECTS OF OBESITY?

Individuals affected by obesity often face obstacles far beyond health risks. Emotional suffering may be one of the most painful part of obesity. Society often emphasizes the importance of physical appearance. People who are obese often face prejudice or discrimination in the job market, at school & in the social situation.

WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE  FOR OBESITY?

It is important to talk to your physician before beginning any weight loss program. There are several methods for treating obesity such as behavioural modification, physical activity, medically managed weight loss, & surgical treatment.