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You are here : home > Health > General Health > What leads to obesity?

What leads to obesity?


Obesity is common among children as well as adults. Countering obesity is possible by understanding the causes of obesity.


No matter what the occasion, Sam and his friends always hit the pizza joint or the nearest fast food center. They munch on burgers, eat french fries and sip sodas. Be it a birthday treat, somebody's anniversary or even Christmas, all are celebrated at the same place.

You may have come across a situation where people make fun of an obese person. They call him names and tease him. Obese people go through a lot of emotional hurdles. On the other hand obesity can be a chronic health disease if not controlled on time. Gaining weight could be the first sign of obesity. Read on, to take a quick check on what leads to obesity.


What is obesity?

Obesity is an excessive amount of body fat. When we consume more calories than what we burn, it leads to obesity. Obesity is a condition where an excess amount of body fat accumulates in the body. Obesity is considered the core of many diseases. In simple terms, obesity is a condition where a person is referred to as overweight. An obese person is far more than his required weight. Due to abnormal proportion of body fat, obesity could be the cause of many health ailments.


Who is obese?

An adult with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 is considered obese where as if the BMI is 25 to 29.9 then a person is considered overweight. There can be exceptions such as, pregnant women or athletes. Their BMI could be higher but that does not mean that they are overweight. Anyone weighing more than 100 pounds is obese.

A person who is overweight will not necessarily be obese. A person may appear fat but he may or may not be obese. Due to their body mechanism obese people tend to gain weight rapidly. Losing even an ounce of weight seems like a challenge for clinically obese people.

Morbid obesity is a chronic situation. It is a kind of disease. According to WHO (world health organization) a person who is morbidly obese can suffer from other health hazards such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. An obese woman is more prone to breast cancer. Other than these many other ailments are directly associated with obesity. WHO fact sheet says that globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of them obese. There are several factors that triggerobesity. There are physical, cultural and emotional causes of obesity.


Physical factors leading to obesity

Obesity in children can be either due their lifestyle or family history of obesity. If parents are overweight then a child is vulnerable to gain weight. An obese child who has gained weight due to hereditary factors can gradually lose weight through healthy lifestyle and exercise. Lack of physical activity leads to weight gain

When unhealthy eating gets combined with inactive lifestyle gaining weight is obvious. So many times we avoid walking and call for the cab even when distance is short. How many of us commit a few minutes daily for some physical exercise? Desk bound lifestyle is the root cause ofobesity.

Some medical problems such as low thyroid function, excess production of hormones by adrenal glands could prompt obesity. Health ailments such as arthritis could lead to weight gain due to lack of activity.


Psychological factors

Do you remember eating more than enough at a wedding ceremony? Do you munch on something if you are feeling gloomy? Do you find it hard to resist your food cravings? Do you need to eat wafers or french fries while watching television? The affirmative answers to these questions are enough to determine that you will take no time to become a couch potato. Food is part of every celebration. Emotional factors to eat food entrap you and go on adding extra calories without your knowledge.


Cultural factors

You are raised with certain cultural values. These values are also applicable to the kind of food you eat. North Indians include lot of oil and ghee in their food preparations. Americans prefer fried and instant food. Nowadays fast food is the trend. McDonaldisation of society and unhealthy eating habits are contributing to the increasing statistics ofobesity. If figures are to be believed then a recent study by a company called International Day of Evaluation of Abdominal Obesity (IDEA) in around 60 countries states that 75 per cent of Indian women are obese whereas 58per cent Indian men are obese.


How to counter obesity?

It is hard to lose weight once you gain it. But you can combat obesity by altering your way of living. Keep in mind following tips on leading healthy life and preventing obesity.

  • Walk whenever possible. Avoid using vehicles to travel short distances.

  • Eat healthy. Cut off the intake of junk food.

  • Keep record of your weight by keeping a weight chart. You should weigh yourself once a week so you will be more cautious on managing it.

  • Eat only when you are hungry. Eat to satisfy cravings not to fill your stomach

  • Follow a healthy diet. Your children learn from you. Parents should follow healthy diet so that children will follow too.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Sleep well. An adult needs minimum eight hours of sleep.
WHO's latest findings indicate approximately 1.6 billion adults (age 15+) were overweight and at least 400 million adults were obese in the year 2005. WHO also points out that by 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese.

Overweight people get tired easily, they find it hard to carry their day to day work and they are inclined to numerous ailments.Obesity can be fatal unless you take some steps. Obesity can be countered. Understand the reasons behind weight gain and work on it accordingly. It will just take some dedication to get fat to fit.

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