India has witnessed a rapid change in the last few decades. The economic and social growth has led to improved lives for millions of people. Material growth has, however, led to dietary changes. India is a large country with different sub-regions that have distinct eating habits. The increase in wealth has resulted in a drastic change in native dietary patterns. The intake of food with higher fat content has led to the emergence of obesity as a potent disease in Indians. Not just India, obesity has become a global issue. The rate of obesity has doubled since 1980 and is likely to grow at a fast pace in the near future. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with the change in dietary intake has resulted in overweight problems.
The health effects of overweight and obesity
Generally, all major and minor diseases affect a specific part of the body. Arthritis will affect the bones in the legs, while cataract will affect the eyes. But obesity affects the entire body. The side effects of being overweight are both mental as well as physical. Obesity increases the chances of contracting serious diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even some forms of cancer. The side effects of being overweight can range from simple mechanical issues to complex metabolic and hormonal changes. Being overweight can increase the risk of many diseases like:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease and stroke
- Sleep apnea
- Fatty liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Pregnancy-related problems
Why being overweight is a problem?
Being overweight or obese doesn’t just leave a long term impact on the body but also interferes with daily functionalities. It has been found that one of the side effects of being overweight is poor episodic memory. Research from the University of Cambridge found that overweight individuals may fund it harder to recall past events as compared to fitter people. A direct relation was found between poor episodic memory and high Body Mass Index (BMI), the study published in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology said. Obesity affects the area of the brain that controls learning and memory and hence has a direct impact on the problem-solving and decision-making skills of an individual. It essentially means that people with a high BMI may not be able to perform certain mental activities to the best of their abilities.
How to solve overweight problems?
Weight gain and obesity can be controlled through a focused action plan. A healthy diet plan, regular exercise and regular monitoring can help you reduce weight. Here are some of the steps to solve overweight problems.
Around 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity is needed in a week to have an effect on your weight. The target can be achieved through enjoyable activities like fast-walking, swimming and cycling.
The quality and quantity of food that you have in a day is one of the biggest factors that contribute to weight gain. One needs to follow a disciplined diet plan to control obesity. Try to have nutrient-rich, low-calorie foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Avoid eatables with saturated fat and excessive sugar like processed food and cola. Don’t starve, have meals at regular intervals but cut down on snacking.
Regularly monitoring of your weight is important to keep a track of your weight loss efforts. People who monitor their weights every week have a better idea of their progress and are able to take remedial steps immediately. Monitoring regularly also helps you detect small weight gains.
How to know if one is overweight or obese?
An individual’s weight can fluctuate to an extent depending on his lifestyle and dietary intake, but how to know if one is overweight or obese? There are simple metrics to know if you are overweight.
The Body Mass Index is the most common tool to know if you are overweight. BMI provides a score by taking into account your height and weight. A score between 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal weight. BMI score between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight, while a score of 30 or above is termed as obese. You can calculate your Body mass index using the online BMI calculator which will help you to determine if your BMI is high or low.
The size of the waist is another simple metric to know about obesity. Fat accumulation around the waist can lead to a host of diseases. A waist size of more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women is considered a sign of obesity.
Health risks of being overweight
There are several side effects of being overweight. Obesity doesn’t come alone. A host of diseases follow obesity. Here are some of the health risks of being overweight.
Type 2 diabetes:
It is a disease which leads to higher than normal blood sugar levels. High sugar levels in the blood can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, amputation and stroke. Type 2 diabetes can double the risk of death and severely obese people are 10 times more likely to be affected by Type 2 diabetes. While genetic factors have a major impact on Type 2 diabetes, excessive weight and poor diet also increase the chances.
High blood pressure or hypertension is a side effect of being overweight. Being overweight significantly increases the probability of hypertension. High blood pressure increases the pressure on the heart and can lead to a variety of cardiovascular diseases.
Excessive weight affects the functioning of the lungs. People with obesity have been observed to have reduced lung capacity which leads to asthma and other serious diseases like obstructive sleep apnea. When excessive fat gets accumulated in the throat, neck or tongue, the individual faces difficulty in breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea is a serious disease that can lead to fatigue, high blood pressure and even heart failure.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease:
One of the overweight problems is gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. It causes the stomach secretions to leak into the oesophagus, which results in a feeling of indigestion, coughing or heartburn.
Obesity is a serious health issue that often goes unnoticed. While body weight can be controlled by an individual, sometimes obesity is a result of genetics. Along with the propensity to catch serious diseases, obese people also tend to spend more on health issues. Health insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS, helps you manage the additional expenses efficiently. With an adequate health cover, you will not have to worry about the treatment expenses that arise out of any illness triggered due to obesity. Health insurance plan bought through Finserv MARKETS covers daycare expenses, pre and post hospitalization expenses as well as organ donor expenses. So hurry! Get insured today!
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