Obesity – Causes and Consequences
Obesity is a complicated health problem that stems from a variety of variables, including behavior and genetics. Physical activity, inactivity, food choices, drug use, and other exposures are all examples of behaviors. The food and physical activity environment, education and skills, and food marketing and promotion are all significant elements.
Obesity is defined as being highly overweight and carrying excessive amounts of body fat, as measured by a Body Mass Index (BMI calculator) of greater than 30. Your BMI is determined by comparing your weight and height
A BMI of 20 to 25 is regarded to be healthy. Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 30, and obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 to 39.9. Although the BMI calculation cannot discriminate between excessive fat and merely being strong, it is a useful general guide.
Obesity is dangerous since it’s linked to poor mental health and a lower quality of life. Obesity is also linked to some of the most common causes of death in the United States and around the world, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
Causes of obesity
Obesity is commonly defined as eating too much food while not getting enough exercise. We consume more calories than we expend on a regular basis. Exercise has numerous health benefits and can aid with weight management.
However, new study reveals that obesity is caused mostly by how much and what type of food we eat, and that this, in turn, reflects changes in the global food system, such as food now being readily available at a considerably reduced time cost.
Sugary and fatty foods pose a special danger. Sugar-sweetened beverages, for example, have been linked to obesity in both children and adults. They increase our calorie intake without making us feel bloated. As a result, we tend to consume as much as normal, unaware that the soft drinks have added extra ‘hidden’ calories.
It was presumably evolutionary advantageous to eat whenever food was available. Because our forefathers couldn’t predict where their next meal would come from for thousands of years, the human body developed to store fat to help them survive when food was limited.
Food is now readily available from a variety of sources, ranging from fast food restaurants to supermarkets. Meanwhile, technological advancements such as automobiles have resulted in a decrease in physical activity. These two factors raise the likelihood of gaining weight and becoming obese.
According to research, the type of food we eat has an impact. Obese people aren’t known for bingeing on vegetables, fruits, and nutritious grains. They’re more likely to have had sugary, salty, fatty, and refined carbohydrate-rich convenience items. For example, a meta-analysis of 50 research found that increasing fiber consumption by 14 grammas per day was linked to a 2 kilograms weight loss over a four-month period – and fiber is more commonly found in vegetables, fruit, and wholegrain.
Studies including families, twins, and adoption instances reveal a link between genetics and obesity, implying that some people may be born with “fat genes.” If this is the case, it would imply that certain people are more affected than others
Obesity on a broad scale, on the other hand, is a new trend in history, and our genes don’t change that quickly. This shows that if a ‘fat gene’ exists, it was only recently activated as food became more readily available.
Consequences of obesity
Obesity is linked to an increased risk of chronic disease and death in nonsmokers who have never had a disease. According to one estimate, if you’re over 40 and obese, you’ll die up to ten years sooner than if you were of normal weight. Here are some of the additional health hazards that persons who are fat face.
Type 2 diabetes is primarily caused by obesity. This kind of diabetes normally develops in adults, although it is now being seen in children. Insulin resistance, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, can be caused by obesity.
When obesity leads to insulin resistance, blood sugar levels rise. Obesity, even moderate obesity, increases the risk of diabetes significantly. For further information, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Diabetes Public Health Resource.
Coronary artery disease
Obese people are 10 times more likely than non-obese people to develop atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Coronary artery disease is also more common as a result of fatty deposits forming in arteries. Chest pain (angina) or a heart attack can be caused by narrowed arteries and restricted blood flow to the heart. Strokes can also be caused by blood clots forming in constricted arteries.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common joint ailments
Because of the stress exerted on the joints by excess weight, obesity can impair the knees and hips. While joint replacement surgery is often used to repair injured joints, it may not be the best option for an obese person because the artificial joint is more likely to loosen and cause further damage.
High Blood pressure
Additional fat tissue in the body requires more oxygen and nutrients to survive, which necessitates increased blood flow to the fat tissue through the blood vessels. The heart’s burden is increased as a result of having to pump blood through more blood arteries.
More blood in circulation means more pressure on artery walls. Blood pressure rises when there is more pressure on the arterial walls. Furthermore, excess weight might increase heart rate and decrease the body’s ability to move blood through veins.
Respiratory difficulties and sleep apnea
Sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for short periods of time, disrupts sleep and causes drowsiness during the day. It also leads to a lot of snoring. Obesity-related respiratory difficulties occur when the extra weight of the chest wall squeezes the lungs and restricts breathing. High blood pressure is also linked to sleep apnea.
Being overweight increases the risk of a range of malignancies in women, including breast, colon, gallbladder, and uterine. Obese men are more likely to get colon and prostate cancers.
Metabolic syndrome has been highlighted by the National Cholesterol Education Program as a complicated risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The six key components of metabolic syndrome include abdominal obesity, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance with or without glucose intolerance, raised blood components that signal inflammation, and elevated blood clotting factors. Metabolic syndrome affects about one-third of overweight or obese people in the United States.
Effects on the mind and body
People who are overweight or obese frequently face disadvantages in a culture where being too thin is considered the standard of physical appeal. Obese and overweight people are frequently blamed for their condition, and they are generally stereotyped as sluggish or weak-willed.
It is not uncommon for people who are overweight or obese to have lower salaries or have fewer or no romantic relationships. Some people’s disapproval of overweight people can lead to prejudice, discrimination, and even agony.
Frequently asked questions
What are the consequences of obesity in childhood?
Obese children are more likely to have high blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. Impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes are all risks. Asthma and sleep apnea are examples of breathing issues.
What are the causes of obesity?
Obesity is commonly induced by eating too much and exercising insufficiently. If you ingest a lot of energy, especially fat and sugar, but don’t burn it off through exercise and physical activity, your body will store a lot of it as fat.
Are parents to blame for childhood obesity?
According to study, blaming parents for their children’s weight growth may be unfair. It has long been assumed that a child’s eating habits are a primary determinant of whether he or she is underweight or overweight.
Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 to 39.9. Obesity is caused by eating too much of the wrong kind of food. Another factor is a lack of physical activity. Obesity can shorten your life by up to ten years by increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.