In simple terms, obesity is when an individual is excessively fat. There are serious health implications to being obese, and the National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites a 2007 research that more than 60% of US women are overweight – with one-third of this overweight population being obese.
You may be overweight without necessarily being obese. You can determine if you’re obese by calculating your body fat in relation to your height and weight – to know your body mass index (BMI). To this extent, you are overweight if your BMI is between 25 to 29.9 and you are obese if it is over 30.
Why people become overweight or obese
There are lots of reasons why people become overweight or obese, and these range from genetic factors to unhealthy lifestyles. Why then do people become fat, overweight or obese?
- You won’t believe this, but if you gulp on food without being active to burn off the energy, you will gain weight until you become overweight and obese.
- Genetic factors. Morbid obesity is gene-related, meaning there is an underlying gene that could predispose you to being obese. But you can defeat the activity of this gene if you observe proper diet and exercise regularly among other things.
- Lack of exercise. When you don’t exercise regularly or live an active lifestyle, you tend to gain weight and ultimately become obese. You must exercise regularly to keep your body in shape and to keep being healthy.
- Environment and culture. We now live in a culture of fast foods and soft drinks or sweetened beverages. An environment where candies, biscuits, cakes, Chapman, and others have taken the center-stage on family meal-tables. This breeds a lifestyle that makes people fat and ultimately obese.
Health implications of being overweight or obese
There is nothing good in being overweight or obese, and this condition can predispose you to or increase your risks of developing the following health complications –
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Respiratory problems
- Gallbladder disease
- Certain kinds of cancer
How to lose weight or reduce the chances of being obese
You can lose weight or reduce your chances of being obese by applying the following guidelines:
- Consume diets rich in fruits and vegetables
- Avoid carbohydrates, sweet drinks and fast foods
- Eat foods high in protein and whole grains
- Avoid fatty foods, mean, excess salt
- Engage in regular exercises and other fitness programs
- Measure your weight regularly and adhere to doctor’s advice