Nutrition Made Simple

CAUSES SYMPTOMS AND PREVENTION OF OBESITY

September 10 2021

CAUSES SYMPTOMS AND PREVENTION OF OBESITY

CAUSES SYMPTOMS AND PREVENTION OF OBESITY

Obesity can be defined as a complex condition associated with an excessive amount of body fat, which can also lead to several health problems or diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and heart diseases. This condition can be prevented and treated by weight loss, dietary and lifestyle changes. There are some medications and procedures which can be considered as additional options in treating obesity. 

Symptoms and diagnosis

Obesity is mainly diagnosed by calculating the BMI (body mass index) of a person, i.e. by dividing weight (in kilogram) by height (in meter sq). If the BMI of a person is above 30, he/ she is in the “obese” category. Here is the list of BMI alongside the status of the weight of a person on diagnosis:

  • BMI below 18.5- underweight
  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9- normal
  • BMI between 25 and 29.9- overweight
  • BMI above 30- obesity

A BMI between 30 and 35, the weight status is known as class I obesity, between 35 and 40, it is class II obesity and above 40, it is class III obesity, which is the most severe and harmful stage.

However, there are some tests which are considered more accurate than BMI, namely:  ultrasounds, CT scan, MRI scans, skinfold thickness tests and waist to hip comparisons. Certain diagnostic tests like thyroid, liver function tests, tests for heart functioning and cholesterol, etc can be carried out by the physician to diagnose other health conditions related to obesity. 

Causes of obesity

If you are consuming food with more calories than you’re burning during daily activities, you can get obese over a long period. These extra calories keep on adding up to the bodyweight which increases the BMI over time. However, in some cases, there are some causes which you can’t control, like: 

  • Genetics: genetic factors determine the ways through which the body processes food into energy. It also affects fat storage in the human body.
  • Pregnancy: weight gain during the period of pregnancy is very common and can also lead to obesity post-childbirth.
  • Insomnia: not getting enough sleep may cause hormonal imbalance in the body which can eventually lead to obesity, as, it makes people hungry.
  • Ageing: when a person grows older, the metabolic rate slows down which can lead to weight gain and obesity.
  • Osteoarthritis: This condition affects joints by causing pain and inflammation, because of which the physical activity and flexibility decrease. Without exercise, a person with osteoarthritis may gain weight and become obese.
  • Conditions that induce hormonal imbalance: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Prader-Willi syndrome (excessive hunger), hypothyroidism (abnormal levels of thyroxin- the hormone produced by the thyroid gland), Cushing syndrome (high levels of the stress hormone- cortisol) are some of the conditions that can hormonal imbalance in the human body, which might eventually lead to weight gain or obesity.

Risk factors for obesity

  • Environmental factors: the environment in which a person lives determines how active and fit he/ she is. For example, if a person lives in a locality that has limited options for healthy foods and many high-calorie food options, he/ she is at a higher risk for obesity. 
  • Genetic factors: if someone has a family history of obesity, it might get difficult for them to lose weight and prevent obesity. Genes can affect a person’s body type and can even induce obesity.
  • Psychological factors: mental health is as important as physical health. It sometimes also determines a person’s fitness. Depression can sometimes lead to obesity as; some people seek comfort in food. Certain medications used to treat depression (antidepressants) can also increase the risk of weight gain.

Prevention of obesity

  • Exercising: guidelines from many healthcare organizations recommend doing at least 150 minutes of workout in a week, which gives us 30 minutes of exercise per day. As per research, people who engage themselves in any moderate exercise daily have comparatively lower BMI (body mass index) and lower waist circumference. 
  • Stress management: chronic stress can result in elevated levels of cortisol- the stress hormone. This can lead to weight gain and poor dietary choices, as; this hormonal imbalance increases the cravings for carbohydrates in individuals. 
  • Sleep: as we know, a healthy sleep cycle can enhance the overall well-being of a person and insomnia can degrade the quality of life. Researchers have stated that obesity can also be caused by lack of or improper sleep. Sleeping late, for instance, can result in weight gain over time.
  • Diet: following a healthy and balanced diet is the key to healthy living and a fit body. Consuming whole fruits and vegetables around 4 to 5 times a day is a healthy low-calorie snacking option and can aid in weight loss. They also contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals that help in reducing various health risks. 

Processed foods like white bread and readymade snacks are widely consumed by people but are an unhealthy snacking option. So, it is best to avoid this consumption. Consumption of artificial sweeteners and sugars is also harmful and must be avoided. 

About alvizia’s supplements

Alvizia’s conjugated linoleic acid supplement is available in various quantities. It is highly recommended (with limited and prescribed usage) for fitness enthusiasts, who are trying to lose weight and gain muscles. It helps enhance skin health, boosting up the metabolic pathway of the body, and aids in mood upliftment as well as weight loss. With every capsule, you get a healthy dose of 1000 mg conjugated linoleic acid.


This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

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