What is Obesity?
Obesity is a chronic disease caused by excessive build-up of body fat. Obesity is a medical problem that can increase the risk of diseases and other health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer.
There are many reasons why some people find it difficult to avoid obesity since the common cause of obesity is due to the combination of genetic factors with the environment, diet, and intensity of exercise.
You can improve or prevent obesity-related health problems by losing weight. Dietary changes, increased physical activity, and improved lifestyle can help with weight loss. Other treatment options include taking medications as prescribed by your doctor and undergoing weight loss programs.
Make an appointment with a nutritionist through Smarter Health to find out which obesity treatment is most effective for your condition.
Causes of Obesity
Despite the effects of weight loss due to genetic, behavioral, metabolic, and hormonal changes – obesity can occur if you consume more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores excess calories as fat.
Obese people may eat more calories before feeling full, feel hungry faster, or eat more due to stress or anxiety disorders.
Below are other possible factors at risk of causing obesity:
- The genes you inherit from your parents can affect the amount of body fat you store and where the fat is distributed.
- Inactivity – having a sedentary lifestyle can easily make you consume more calories every day than you burn through exercise and routine daily activities
- Unhealthy diet. A high-calorie diet, rarely eating fruit and vegetables, frequent consumption of fast food, and large portions of high-calorie drinks can lead to weight gain.
- You can drink a lot of calories without feeling full, especially calories from alcoholic beverages. Other high-calorie drinks, such as sugary drinks can lead to significant weight gain
- In some people, the cause of obesity usually occurs due to certain medical conditions. Certain medications can lead to weight gain if they are not balanced with diet or physical activity.
- Obesity can occur at any age, including young children. However, as you age, hormonal changes and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of obesity.
- Other factors that may cause obesity are pregnancy, quitting smoking, lack of sleep, and stress.
When to See a Doctor for Obesity
To diagnose obesity, a nutritionist usually performs a physical examination and several tests, such as:
- Review your medical history, including physical activity, exercise habits, diet, medications, stress levels, and other health-related issues. Your doctor may also review your family’s medical history to see if you are likely to develop certain conditions.
- General physical examinations, including measuring height, examining your liver and lungs, examining your abdomen, and checking your vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.
- Your doctor will calculate your body mass index (BMI). A BMI of 30 or higher is obese and increases your health risk. BMI should be diagnosed at least once a year as it can help determine overall health risks and the appropriate treatment.
- Your doctor will measure the waist circumference, as the fat stored around the waist can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Blood tests depend on your health condition, risk factors and symptoms. Blood tests recommended by your doctor may include cholesterol tests, liver function tests, fasting glucose, thyroid tests, and more.
Symptoms of Obesity
Obesity can be diagnosed when your BMI is 30 or higher. Here is how calculation for your BMI works:
- Divide your body weight (pounds) by height (inches squared) and multiply by 703.
- Divide your body weight (kilograms) by height (square meters).
A BMI calculation provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. However, BMI does not measure body fat directly. Muscular athletes may have BMI in the obesity category despite not having excess body fat. The following is the calculation of BMI:
- BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight.
- BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal.
- BMI of 25.0 to 19.9 is considered overweight
- BMI of 30.0 and higher is considered obese.
Treatment For Obesity
After diagnosing obesity, your doctor will determine a treatment option that suits your condition. Possible treatment options are:
Increase Physical Activities and Exercises
Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain weight loss in the long run. Physical activity and exercise can help burn calories. The number of calories burned depends on the type, duration, and intensity of activity. It also depends on your weight. However, this activity is most effective when combined with diet and other weight loss programs.
The main goal of a diet is to stop your body from gaining weight. Your diet’s next goal should be setting realistic weight loss goals. Also remember that weight loss will also provide overall health benefits.
Obesity treatment is used only in patients who have obesity-related health risks. The medications should be prescribed for patients with a BMI of over 30 or over 27 who have other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol that puts them at higher risk of heart disease. Treatment should only be used as additional treatment besides diet and exercise programs.
Treatment Cost For Obesity
Treatment cost for obesity varies greatly, depending on the method of treatment recommended by your doctor, such as diet programs or prescribed medications.
To calculate the estimated treatment cost for obesity at home and abroad, contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of Obesity
In general, you can take the following measures to prevent weight gain – exercise, implementing a healthy diet, and dedicating long-term commitment. Here’s how you can prevent obesity:
- Eat three meals a day with less snacking. You can replace snacks with foods high in fat and less calories
- Eat low-calorie and nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid saturated fats and limit the consumption of sweets and alcohol.
- Exercise regularly at moderate intensity for 150 to 300 minutes a week to prevent weight gain, such as taking brisk walks and swimming.
- Monitor your weight regularly to understand if your efforts are working, as well as to help detect slight amount of weight gain before it becomes a big deal.
- Avoid types of foods that increase your appetite. Make notes about what kind of food you eat, how much, when you eat, and how you respond afterwards.
- Be consistent with your healthy weight loss plan during the week, on weekends, and in the middle of the holidays to make your efforts successful in the long run.
Home Remedies for Obesity
Below are some steps you can take to treat obesity at home:
- Understand your condition by learning more about the causes and how to treat obesity.
- Set your realistic weight loss goals. Set daily or weekly goals for exercise and weight loss. Make small changes to your diet rather than trying to implement drastic, nearly impossible changes in the long term.
- Changing your lifestyle can be difficult. Tell your doctor, therapist, or other health care professional if you feel you have missed your original goals. You can work together to find new treatments for obesity.
- Take notes to keep up with your diet and exercise. Your notes can also be used as other important health parameters, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and overall body fitness.
- Identify and avoid triggers for uncontrolled appetite. Practice saying no to unhealthy, large portions of food, and eat only when you are really hungry.
- Take medications as directed. Talk to your doctor immediately if side effects arise.
- Surround yourself with people who will support and help you. Make sure they understand the importance of weight loss to your health.
Have more questions about obesity? Write them down in the comment section below or contact a nutritionist at home and abroad through Smarter Health.