Imoh Etuk

Obesity

Welcome to the month of November, this year has gone by so fast, hasn’t it? I mean, when last did you wish each other “Happy New Year”. It is all good, thank God for bringing us this far.

Our last month’s topic on healthy worker series was centered on hypertension, should you miss out on it, click here to read about it.

This month we shall be talking about another interesting topic “OBESITY”. We shall be looking at the Causes, Preventions, Signs, Risk Factors, and Treatments.

DEFINITION

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat. A certain amount of body fat is necessary for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions.

Body Mass Index (BMI) also helps to determine if a person is obese or not. A person’s height and weight determines his or her body mass index. The Body Mass Index (BMI) equals a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m) squared. .Since BMI describes body weight relative to height, there is a strong correlation with total body fat content in adults. The World Health Organization classifies Obesity according to the following:

  • A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is defined as a “Pre-Obese.”
  • A BMI of 30 to 34.99 is defined as “Obese Class I.”
  • A BMI of 35 to 39.99 is defined as “Obese Class II.”
  • A BMI of or greater than 40.00 is defined as “Obese Class III”

CAUSES OF OBESITY

Obesity is caused by a variety of factors which include:-

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle: Physical inactivity causes weight gain as people who are not active physically burn fewer calories than people who are physically active.
  2. Overeating: Eating foods that are high in fats or carbohydrates can also lead to excessive weight gain which ultimately results in Obesity.
  3. Genetics: There is a high probability for a person to be obese if one or both parents of the person are obese.

Other factors include:-

  1. Medications
  2. Social issues
  3. Diseases

RISK FACTORS

Obesity can lead to a variety of other health conditions and so it is quite important for one to be mindful of gaining too much at the detriment of good health. The conditions include:-

  1. Hypertension: Studies have shown that obesity can predispose one to consistently high blood pressure, and this is common in women
  2. Type 2 Diabetes: Early onset of Type 2 diabetes increases with the degree and duration of diabetes
  3. Heart Attack: A prospective study found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease increased three to four times in women who had a BMI greater than 29 In patients who have already had a heart attack, obesity is associated with an increased likelihood of a second heart attack.

Other factors include

  1. Stroke,
  2. Insulin resistance
  3. Congestive Heart Failure etc
  4. Cancer

PREVENTION OF OBESITY

Obesity can be prevented by leading an active lifestyle by engaging in Exercise and also controlling one’s Diet by avoiding foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates

TREATMENT OF OBESITY

There are various ways in which Obesity can be treated and can be divided into 3 major ways

  1. LIFESTYLE CHANGES: This includes exercising more and eating foods that nourish and avoiding simple sugars amongst other things.
  2. PHARMACOLOGICAL METHOD: This method involves the use of drugs to treat obesity. There are certain classes of drugs that prevent the absorption of fat into the body e.g. Orlistat. Another class of drugs alters the appetite center of the brain e.g. Lorcaserin. It is important to note that the use of drugs to treat obesity is used in concert with lifestyle modifications to achieve the best results. Please consult your Doctor or Pharmacist before commencing any medication.
  3. SURGERY: There are various surgeries that can be undertaken to suck out excess fat from the body. Due to consultation with a registered medical practitioner should be done before any decision to undergo surgery is made.

Last note

Obesity leads to a myriad of other dangerous health conditions, it is advisable that we engage in physical activity (exercise) every day even if it is 30 minutes just to keep fit. In this 21st century, it is so easy to fall into the trap of being inactive by staying one place for a long time e.g Surfing the internet on our phone, watching TV for a long time, etc

Till I come your way next month, stay Active, Eat Healthy and Live Happy

REFERENCES

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: