Don’t Indulge To Bulge


Obesity

Obesity is not a global epidemic and the number of obese/overweight individuals around the world only seems to be increasing. The rise of competing cultures is partly to blame, as the combination of modern cultural changes has created an environment that promotes unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyles leading to excessive weight gain.

The growing issue of obesity plays a key role in reducing people’s life expectancy and causes several severe health conditions. Obesity is a combination of factors including high calorie intake, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle practices etc. Obesity is now growing phenomenon across the globe and is one of the most key factors for a number of chronic diseases like diabetes, stoke, conditions of the heart, certain cancers etc.

People often interchange the terms overweight and obese without understanding their exact meanings. An individual is considered to be overweight or obese when they have excessive fact accumulation in their body. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most used parameter to determine obesity, however the waist circumference or waist to hip ratio is a better indicator of chronic health conditions.

The causes of obesity can be many, there are various genetic and hormonal influences on body weight, however obesity occurs when you intake enormous amounts of calories, i.e. when your calorie intake is much more than the amount of calories you burn through day to day activities. These excess calories are stored in your

Although there are genetic and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when you intake more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat. Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including consuming extremely unhealthy, oily, fried and fatty food and not indulging in any form of physical activity. A few of the risk factors that can cause obesity are;

  • Smoking – Quitting smoking is often associated with unexpected weight gain in some individuals. Smoking acts as an appetite suppressor, a person who smokes when he is hungry may realize that the sensation of hunger reduces. Upon quitting smoking, an individual tends to eat more and have slower metabolism. Quitting smoking is one of the most important lifestyle changes to be made towards leading a healthier life.
  • Lack of adequate sleep – sleeping for less than the minimum required number of hours per day can cause fluctuations in the hormone levels, hence causing an increase in the appetite. In such cases an individual craves good high in calories further contributing to weight gain.
  • Genetics – your genetic make up to a large extent determines the way the body converts food into energy and the burning of calories during work out.
  • Age – it is normal for an individual’s level of physical activity to decrease as they age. This leads to a decrease in the body’s metabolism, to match which you also need to have a decrease in the amount of calorie intake.

These risk factors do not establish that an individual catering to the aforementioned will be obese, these are only factors that increase an individual’s susceptibility to obesity. All the risk factors can be counteracted with indulgence in healthy eating, regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

The World Health Organization states that the incidence of obesity is highest in Gulf countries in comparison to across the world. Busy lifestyles have led to the change in diet and physical inactivity which has further caused an increase in the number of overweight and obese individuals. There are various hazards that are caused due to obesity, a few of them being;

Heart Diseases – the risk of cardiovascular diseases are extremely high due to the excessive fat build up around the arteries. Reduced blood flow and narrowed arteries increase an individual’s risk of having a heart attack or even stroke. Carrying too much weight puts an extra strain on your heart and circulatory system that can cause serious health problems. It also increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure

Type 2 Diabetes – most individuals with Type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese because increases fat deposition makes the body insulin resistant.

Joint issues – excessive weight gain puts pressure on the joints and bones, making it difficult for the legs to carry the body weight. Obese individuals often experience issues with the knee and hip.

Gout attack – gout affects the joints when there is excess uric acid present in the blood. This condition is rather common among obese individuals.

Sleep apnea – this is a severe breathing condition causing an individual to briefly stop breathing in their sleep. This condition may cause sleepiness during the day and also causes a person to snore.

The first thing for an obese/overweight individual is to accept that there is a problem. Acknowledging the fact and accepting the issue is the first step towards eventually treating the condition. Obesity is a condition that can be prevented and controlled. Simple lifestyle changes can help create a huge difference to your life.

Consuming healthy food and maintaining a healthy body weight by working out regularly are the most important steps towards preventing obesity. Preventing the condition is much more important and easier than its treatment. Apart from lifestyle changes, there are also structured approaches to carry in order to lose weight;

A modified diet – Consult with a specialist in order to understand the type of diet you need to follow in order to shed to extra pounds naturally by eating the right kind of food in the right amounts. Do not read up fad diets on the internet and follow up without consultation.

Regular exercise – Eating healthy will help lose the extra weight only if it is coupled with moderate amounts of physical activity. If you are unable to go to the gym, walk as much as you can, take the stairs, do not sit continuously for more than 30 minutes.

Avoid weight loss pills – A number of over the counter pills are available today, claiming to help lose weight. These, however do not help in efficiently losing the weight and generally have side effects like increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Avoid consumption of any kind of pills that are not prescribed to you.

Bariatric surgery – bariatric surgery is considered only if an individual has a BMI of 40 or above or if an individual with a BMI greater than 30 suffers from a serious underlying condition caused by obesity. Weight loss surgery is an option for those who have been unsuccessful at losing weight the natural way. There are 3 different types of weight loss surgeries including; sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding and gastric bypass. Weight loss surgeries are effective means of losing weight, however they also require following a strict diet plan and a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain the results.

Overcoming obesity and maintaining a healthy weight is an ongoing process. It is human tendency to slip off in between, for instance if your clothes feel tighter now, start your health programme in order to able to fit into those clothes again instead of buying the next size.
Dr. Rahul Tugnait, General Surgeon

Dr. Rahul Tugnait

General and Laparoscopic Surgeon

Aster Hospital Mankhool

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