Obesity, classified as a disease by the American Medical Association in 2013, is one of the most prevalent threats to our health that plague our modern cultures.
Being obese, in plain and simple terms, means having too much body fat. Excessive body fat can interfere with daily functioning, and be detrimental enough to shorten life expectancy by as much as ten years or more.
Obesity puts people at risk for a lot of different health conditions. Some of these include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, certain cancers, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea, to name a few.
Obesity must be taken more seriously than merely passing it off as having put on a few extra pounds and some love handles. Unchallenged obesity leads to grossly overweight conditions. This developing weight gain makes your health risks all the more significant as your weight gain grows.
Those who are obese have generally struggled with issues related to weight loss for significant amounts of time. Many were even overweight from childhood.
Obesity numbers in the US have reached a catastrophic state. More than 2 in 3 adults (70.2 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese. Of those. 7.7% are considered morbidly obese with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or more.
Young people are also afflicted with this preventable condition. One in five of the population under 20 years old are classified as obese today. 30.4% of low-income preschoolers are obese, and ¼ of all 2 to 5-year-old kids are either obese or overweight.
44% of diabetes cases are related to obesity. 18% of all deaths in the US stem from obesity-related conditions.
Unfortunately, many people have no idea they are obese or, even worse, are obese and in complete denial. Worse yet, they are obese and have given up any hope of ever losing weight.
To determine if you are obese, look at a body mass index (BMI) scale and locate your rating.
BMI is a combination of your weight and height. If the number is 30 or higher, you are considered obese. A BMI of over 40 on the chart falls into the category of morbid obesity.
If you carry the bulk of your body fat in the stomach, this points to an increased risk of health problems. This is called visceral fat.
Visceral fat is considered the most dangerous because it surrounds and may accumulate inside the arteries and vital organs such as the liver, heart, intestines, and pancreas.
A woman whose waist size is 35 inches or more points to an increased possibility of disease. A man with a waist size of 40 inches or more is considered to have an increased disease risk as well.
Warning signs to pay attention to are shortness of breath and/or pain and discomfort when you move around doing normal activities.
The causes of obesity are products of the daily choices we make. The most common choice is eating more calories than you burn. Taking in more calories than you burn will generate weight gain.
Also to be considered is the quality of those calories. If your caloric intake is largely from processed foods with empty calories and plenty of sugar your chances of being overweight are much higher than not.
The same calories from whole, natural or organic foods will produce a markedly healthier effect, including less weight.
This points to step one in any weight loss plan- improve the quality of your food intake emphasizing whole over processed foods. See the tips below for a bit more on this issue.
With a society that is becoming more and more sedentary, this common choice of consuming more calories than you burn has become a bigger liability than ever. However, overeating is not the only behavior that can lead to obesity.
There are other factors that most people don’t typically consider.
One of those factors is a history of obesity in your family. The sad reality is that if you have parents who are obese, you are more likely to be obese as well.
Environmental influences dictate that we learn about our eating habits from our families. If your parents ate an unhealthy diet, the chances are high that you will repeat their choices and do the same. An apparent warning sign of this cause is your overweight parents.
Another factor that can lead to obesity is a busy lifestyle. Many people today have a million and one different things to do. They often don’t have time to prepare healthy meals.
Instead, many of us head to the nearest drive-thru or fast-food restaurant. As we all know, these foods are full of saturated fats and contain more calories than any one person needs to eat in a single meal. Weight gain is the result of the habitual use of this poor choice.
As pointed out, obesity is a common health risk in our culture. As a response, Doctors have developed innovative ways to address obesity. However, a healthy diet and exercise remain the best way to reach the desired weight and keep it there for life.
Even losing only 5% to 10% of your weight can have a healthy impact on blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. So, don’t get discouraged if you have more excess than you think you can eliminate.
Obesity is addressable if you have the will to do so. Begin with these tips and keep moving forward. You will eventually reach your target weight if you don’t return to the poor choices that added those pounds in the first place.
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