Last updated date: 07-May-2023
Originally Written in English
Obesity is a complicated condition characterized by an excess of body fat. Obesity is typically more than a cosmetic issue. It's a medical issue that raises a person’s risk of developing other illnesses and health disorders like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some malignancies.
There are a variety of reasons why some people struggle to avoid being obese. Obesity is usually caused by a mixture of hereditary and environmental factors, as well as personal diet and activity options. Fortunately, the good thing is that even a slight weight loss can help enhance or avoid obesity-related health concerns.
Weight loss is achievable through dietary adjustments, increasing physical activity, and behavioral modifications. Obesity, on the other hand, is treatable with prescription drugs and other weight-loss strategies.
Signs and Symptoms of Obesity
If your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater, you are considered obese. To calculate your BMI, divide your overall weight in pounds by the height in inches squared, and then multiply by 703. Alternatively, you can divide your weight in kilograms by squared height in meters.
The following can help you determine your average weight and obesity classes;
- 18.5 and below: Underweight
- 18.5 to 24.9: Normal
- 25.0 to 29.9: Overweight
- 30.0 and above: Obesity
BMI gives a reasonable measure of body fat for the majority of people. But since BMI does not directly measure body fat, other people, including muscular athletes, might have a BMI that falls into the obesity group despite having no excess body fat.
Causes of Obesity
Obesity can result from consuming more calories than you burn in everyday activity and workout over time. The excess calories pile up gradually, resulting in weight gain. However, it's not necessarily about counting calories or leading a sedentary lifestyle. Although some of the factors contribute to obesity, others are beyond your control.
Obesity can occur due to a variety of factors, including:
- Genetics that could influence how the body converts food into energy and stores fat.
- As you get older, your muscle mass decreases, and your metabolic rate slows, making it easy to add weight.
- Lack of enough quality sleep might cause hormonal shifts that make you feel hungry and crave high-calorie foods.
- Pregnancy; since weight acquired during the pregnancy period is not easy to lose, it can result in obesity.
Weight gain, which can cause obesity, can also occur due to certain medical issues, including;
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), a disorder characterized by female reproductive hormone imbalance.
- Prader-Willi syndrome, an uncommon illness that causes insatiable appetite from birth.
- Cushing syndrome, a condition that occurs due to excessive cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the body.
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), a disorder characterized by the production of insufficient amounts of specific hormones by the thyroid gland
- Osteoarthritis (OA) and other health problems that trigger pain and limit activities.
Risk Factors of Obesity
Normally, obesity in kids and adults occurs from a combination of several causes as well as contributing factors such as;
The quantity of body fat you retain and the distribution site may be influenced by the genes you acquire from your parents. Genetics may also affect how proficiently the body transforms food into energy, how your appetite is controlled, and how calories are burned during an activity.
Obesity is a trait that runs through families. However, this isn't merely because they have the same genes. Family members have a tendency to eat and exercise in comparable ways.
- Lifestyle choices
Unhealthy diet: Any diet rich in calories, low in fruits and vegetables, high in fast food, full of high-calorie beverages, and burdened with enormous portions leads to weight gain.
Liquid calories: Most people, especially those who consume alcohol, can consume a lot of calories without getting full. Some of the other high-calorie beverages, including sugary soft drinks, might as well contribute to weight gain.
Inactivity: When you lead a sedentary lifestyle, it can be easy to consume more calories each day than you can burn via exercise and daily tasks. Sedentary behavior includes staring at the computer, phone screens, or tablet. The amount of time you spend while in front of a screen is strongly linked to weight gain.
- Certain health conditions and drugs
Obesity can be linked to medical problems, including Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing syndrome, among others for some people. Medical issues, like arthritis, may also cause a reduction in exercise, which can lead to weight gain.
Failure to compensate with diet or exercise, certain drugs can cause weight gain. Some anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, diabetic drugs, antipsychotics, steroids, and beta-blockers are examples of these drugs.
Other possible risk factors of obesity in women, men, and children include;
- Economic and social problems
- Quitting smoking
- Lack of enough sleep
- Initial attempts to cut weight
The healthcare provider will first conduct a physical examination to diagnose obesity. This involves measuring the height, looking for signs like blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, assessing the abdomen, and listening to the lungs and heart.
They can also recommend other additional obesity nursing diagnosis tests and procedures, including;
Assessing your medical history:
The doctor may inquire about your;
- Weight history
- Weight-loss attempts
- Physical activities and exercise routines
- Feeding patterns and hunger control
- Previous medical conditions
- Levels of stress
- Other health concerns
If necessary, the doctor might also look at your family's medical history to determine if you're at risk for certain diseases.
The obesity doctor will calculate your BMI. Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or greater. The greater the number, the higher the risk to your health. You should you’re your BMI examined at least once every year. This can help identify your general health risks and possible treatments.
The types of tests you undergo are determined by your overall health state, risk factors, and any present symptoms you might be experiencing. A cholesterol exam, liver function tests, a fasting glucose test, a thyroid test, and other blood tests may be performed.
Measuring the waist circumference:
Usually, the fat around your waist, also known as visceral fat or abdominal fat, has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Obesity Treatment Options
Obesity treatment aims to help people achieve and maintain a healthy average weight. This also improves general health and reduces your chances of getting obesity-related illnesses. To understand and alter your food and activity patterns, you may need to engage with a team of health specialists. This can include a nutritionist, a behavioral counselor, or an obesity specialist.
One can overcome obesity by limiting calorie intake and adopting healthier feeding habits. Even though you might initially lose weight faster, long-term weight loss is regarded as the safest and most effective strategy to lose weight and permanently maintain it.
Refrain from making dramatic and unrealistic dietary adjustments, like crash diets. This is because they are unlikely to help you lose weight and maintain it. To increase your chances of weight reduction success, commit to a thorough weight-reduction program for about six months and at least a year in the maintenance phase.
Generally, there is no such thing as the best effective weight-loss diet. You should therefore select one that incorporates nutritious foods, and you believe will be beneficial to you. Obesity can thus be treated with dietary adjustments such as:
- Cutting intake of calories
- Opting for healthy choices
- Getting full with less
- Restricting intake of some foods
- Replacing meals
Activities and exercises:
Obesity treatment must include increased physical activity as well as exercise. The majority of people who can keep their weight loss for at least a year or more exercise regularly, even if it's just walking.
To increase your level of activity, do the following:
- Exercise for about 150 minutes every week
- Keep moving
A behavior modification program can assist you in making lifestyle adjustments and losing and maintaining weight loss. Examining your existing routines to see what circumstances, stresses, or situations may have contributed to your obesity is among the steps to follow.
Every person is different and faces varying challenges when it comes to weight management. This includes a lack of exercise time and late-night snacking. Make modifications to your behavior that are specific to your problems.
The following are examples of behavior modification, often known as behavioral therapy:
Counseling: Working with a mental health specialist can be beneficial in addressing behavioral and emotional problems associated with feeding.
Support groups: Joining a support group with people facing similar obesity problems is beneficial.
Weight-loss surgical procedure:
Weight-loss surgery, commonly known as bariatric surgery, could be an alternative for some people. The procedure can either restricts the amount of food you can eat comfortably or reduces food and calorie absorption, or sometimes both. Although weight-loss surgery has the highest potential of helping you lose the most weight, it also comes with a lot of risks.
Obesity is a situation where one has excess body fat. It develops as a result of a variety of factors. Some people's genetic features can make them more vulnerable.
According to physicians, one can reduce obesity risk by adopting a healthy diet with plenty of fresh foods and exercising regularly. Those with a hereditary predisposition to the problem, on the other hand, may find it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.