Obesity is a complex and debilitating illness involving storing excessive amounts of body fat. Obesity is not to be minimized into being a mere cosmetic concern. It is also a severe medical illness that increases one’s likelihood of developing diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes. heart disease and certain cancers as well. Some individuals struggle to avoid getting obese and there are a slew of reasons for this. Typically, obesity is the outcome of a combination of factors that are inherited and some which are environmental and lifestyle-related.
The good news is that for most people losing just a modest amount of weight can make a world’s difference in preventing the health complications that come with obesity. Incorporating more physical activity, making dietary changes, and altering one’s habits are the key necessities when it comes to weight loss. Weight loss procedures and prescribed medications are also some options when it comes to preventing obesity.
Symptoms of Obesity
Before assessing how to prevent obesity, it’s important to explain how it is diagnosed. When an individual’s body mass index is over 30, they are diagnosed as obese. To determine this index, one can divide their weight (in kilograms) with their height (in meters squared). For most individuals, the body mass index serves as a reasonable means to determine the estimate of their body fat. However, one’s BMI still does not exactly measure body fat, so it may not be the ideal way to estimate the amount of body fat on an individual. However, if one struggles to walk due to being excessively overweight, have breathing problems, and their BMI is over 30, it is likely that they fall in the obese category.
Causes of Obesity
To understand how to avoid obesity, it’s vital to address what causes it. There are hormonal, genetic, behavioral, and metabolic influences on one’s body weight. However, obesity occurs due to the intake of far more calories than one burns in a day through exercising or other day-to-day movements. The excess calories are stored in one’s body as fat. Those who are obese may eat more calories before their body signals them that they are full, they may also eat more because they feel hungry sooner than the calories are burned off, or they may eat excessive amounts of food due to stress.
Risk Factors Associated with Obesity
Obesity is often the result of a combination of contributing factors. Some of these are as follows:
1.Family inheritance and influences
What genes you have inherited from your parents can affect the amount of body fat you store and where you store it. It is also likely that genetics affect how well your body converts the food you eat into energy for you to use. Your genetics can also impact how your body regulates its appetite, and how it burns energy as calories during a workout. It is very common for obesity to run in families. This is not simply because of the genes that are shared but also because of the imitated eating and activity habits of family members.
Opting for a diet high in calories, lacking in fruit and vegetables, and laden with oversized portions of fast food will contribute to weight gain, irrespective of one’s genetics. It is also possible to drink excessive amounts of calories without feeling full and this is typically the case with alcohol. Drinking other high-calorie beverages also leads to weight gain. On top of one’s diet, living a sedentary lifestyle allows one to take in a lot more calories each day than one is burning. In fact, the number of hours spent in front of a screen is highly associated with weight gain.
Complications Associated with Obesity
Those diagnosed as obese are much more likely to develop a slew of potentially serious and life-threatening health complications.
- Heart disease and stroke: It is much more likely for an obese individual to have abnormally high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Both of these are risk factors for strokes and heart disease.
- Certain cancers: Being obese can contribute to the onset and development of cancer in the colon, rectum, breasts, cervix, ovary, endometrium, liver, kidney, prostate, gallbladder, pancreas, and more.
- Osteoarthritis: Obesity also increases the amount of strain on joints that are weight-bearing. This can promote inflammation in the body in those areas. It can lead to complications like osteoarthritis.
- Type 2 diabetes: The way your body uses insulin to control its blood sugar levels can also be affected by obesity. The condition for this is known as type 2 diabetes, particularly when one becomes highly resistant to insulin.
- Sleep apnea: Obese individuals have a higher likelihood of struggling with sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder in which one’s breathing repeatedly stops and restarts during their sleep.
- Digestive problems: Obesity also increases the chance that one will develop liver problems, heartburn, and gallbladder disease.
- Gynecological and sexual problems: Obesity can contribute to PCOS, irregular period cycles, and even infertility in women. In men, it can result in erectile dysfunction.
How to Prevent Obesity?
In answer to the question of how to avoid obesity, the key is a healthy lifestyle for healthy living. This means eating a balanced diet of nutrient-dense, low-calorie meals, without alcohol and sugar. Secondly, getting in about 150 to 300 minutes of regular exercise each week is also vital when it comes to preventing obesity. Moderate physical activity like speed walking, jogging, swimming, and more cardiovascular training can prevent obesity. Strength training or developing muscle by lifting weights is also a good recommendation.
Knowing one’s food traps by monitoring one’s meals is also a great way to prevent yourself from overeating. Keeping a food diary and logging your meals can help in doing this. Not keeping the food you are likely to binge on at home is key. The final point revolves around consistency. More than having the perfect strategy, sticking to a plan is more beneficial in the long run.
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