Health A-Z

What is Obesity?

What is Obesity?


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According to the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975. In 2016, more than 1.9 million adults were overweight. Most of the world’s population resides in countries where obesity and being overweight kills more people than being underweight. According to the Statistica Research Department, obesity prevalence among adults above 18 years in the UAE from 2007 to 2016 amounted to 29.9%.

What is Obesity and Overweight?

Obesity occurs when you have excess weight or body fat that might affect your health. Your doctor might diagnose you with obesity if you have a high body mass index (BMI). Body mass index allows doctors to determine whether or not you have appropriate weight for your sex, age, and height. Your body mass index equals your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. Having a BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates that you have excess weight. You are obese if your BMI is 30 or above.

What Causes Obesity?


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Consuming more calories than you burn daily on a long-term basis can lead to obesity. These calories add up and over time causing weight gain. Some causes of obesity can be controlled while others cannot. They include;

Lack of Physical Activities

A lack of exercise can cause obesity because a sedentary lifestyle does not allow you to burn excess calories. Obesity occurs from a lack of balance when you consume too many calories and burn fewer calories. Various factors determine how much fat you burn daily, among them, genes, body size, and age.

The most significant factor and the one you can easily adapt are the activities you engage in daily. The best general practitioners Dubai will advise you to do light exercises like taking a walking or helping around the house to maintain a healthy weight. Keeping active helps you to have a healthy weight and lose weight if you need to.

Exercising also lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, etc. How much physical activity do you need to prevent weight gain? Weight gain in adulthood increases the risk of chronic conditions. Since it’s hard to lose and maintain a healthy weight, it is necessary to prevent weight gain in the first place. Engaging in physical activities can help you keep away the excess weight.

Diet

The number of calories you consume impacts your weight gain. If you consume the same amount of calories you burn, your weight stays stable. Although the role of carbohydrates in weight gain is not clear, they increase blood sugar levels.

Increased blood glucose activates insulin release from the pancreas. Insulin promotes the growth of fat tissue which leads to weight gain. Simple carbohydrates like soft drinks, desserts, wine, fructose, and sugars can cause weight gain because they are quickly absorbed in the bloodstream than complex carbs like pasta, grains, brown rice, fruits, vegetables, etc.

Genes

Your genes can affect your weight gain. You are more likely to become obese if your parents are obese. However, this doesn’t mean that obesity is predetermined, your diet has an impact on which genes are expressed. Your genes affect the hormones responsible for fat regulation.

Diseases

Some diseases like hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance, and Cushing's syndrome can cause obesity. Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland produces an abnormally low amount of thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone affects growth, development, and various cellular processes including weight gain. Insulin resistance is a condition where your body cells resist insulin’s effects.

Insulin resistance causes your pancreas to produce more insulin until it cannot produce anymore. When this happens your blood sugar levels rise. Insulin resistance is a risk factor for obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also lead to obesity.

PCOS is a condition that occurs in women and is characterized by irregular, a lack of menstrual periods, excess hair growth, obesity, and acne. PCOS is a condition that causes chronically abnormal ovarian function and hyperandrogenism. Women with PCOS have a higher risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer of the uterus, and diabetes. You can reduce this risk by exercising.

Cushing's syndrome occurs when your body accumulates too much cortisol over time. This can happen when your body produces too much cortisol or from taking oral corticosteroid medication. Cushing's syndrome causes weight gain and fatty tissue deposits in the face, between the shoulders, upper back, and around the midsection.

Psychological Factors

Mental health and obesity are closely related and they can cause distress to individuals and their families. Your mental wellbeing can directly impact your weight, yet your weight your perceived body image can cause you mental problems. Some people engage in emotional eating whenever they feel low or depressed instead of when they are hungry. Emotional eating can be triggered by various factors including anger, stress, anxiety, loneliness, frustrations, and low mood.

Some people use food as a comforter to deal with unresolved emotional issues. This behavior can lead to a dependence on food for emotional support and it can cause weight gain. Binge eating can also lead to obesity. Binge eating is a type of eating disorder where you feel like consuming excessive amounts of food in a short period of time without natural hunger triggers. If you binge eat you might feel a loss of control and you might engage in purging when you deny yourself food.

Sleep

Sleep loss causes a hormonal imbalance in your body that leads to overeating and obesity. When you don’t get enough sleep, you get feelings of hunger. Sleep deprivation is related to growth hormone deficiency and increased cortisol levels which are associated with obesity. Insufficient sleep can impair your metabolism of food. A lack of sleep also can also cause you to choose high-calorie foods that can cause obesity.

Obesity affects many people in the world and it can increase the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc. Various factors increase your risk of becoming obese, but they are manageable. Simple things like exercising and eating healthy can help.

Obesity affects many people in the world and it can increase the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc. Various factors increase your risk of becoming obese, but they are manageable. Simple things like exercising and eating healthy can help. If you want to lose weight healthily, you can work with the best general practitioners Dubai clinics.

 

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