Obesity has become one of the most chronic diseases across the world. A study on obesity involving 700 researchers from across the world and World Health Organization revealed alarming statistics. This study on obesity is the biggest one ever conducted, and it found that one in ten men and one in seven women across the world are obese.
The study used the weight and height of about 20 million adult men and women from most countries in the world to reach its conclusions. The findings were published in The Lancet, a renowned medical journal, states that though most obese adults reside in China and the United States, the United States still leads in the number of severely obese adults. Even countries like Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa have a big population of obese people.
- What is Obesity? – Being overweight is different from being obese. Overweight can result in obesity if steps are not taken. Healthcare professionals define obesity has having excessive adipose tissue or fat. This fat can make it difficult to move, work and even breathe. There are different ways to determine how much adipose tissue a person has. The most common method is calculating Body Mass Index or BMI. Adipose tissue is an endocrine organ that secretes different products, like metabolites, coagulation factors, lipids and cytokines. When there is excess adipose tissue, it causes more fatty acids to circulate throughout the body. This can cause inflammation, leading to insulin resistance, which can cause type 2 diabetes.
- Causes of Obesity – Your weight is determined by the amount of calories you consume and the amount of energy your body expends. If you eat more calories than your body can metabolize or burn, your body will store the excess energy in the form of fat. On the other hand, if you eat fewer calories than your body burns, you will lose weight. This means that eating too much and leading a sedentary life are the common causes of obesity. However, several other factors come into play.
- Genetics – If one or both parents are obese, the chances are high that a person will be obese, as well. This is because genetics determine how hormones regulate fat volume in the body.
- Overeating – One of the leading causes of obesity is maintaining a fat-rich diet. People who favor saturated and trans fats and sugar rich foods tend to gain weight very easily.
- Carbohydrates – While researchers still do not know how carbohydrates affect weight gain, they have found that consuming too many carbohydrates causes increase in blood sugar levels. This, in turn, stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, which causes the body to store fat, resulting in weight gain. So the more insulin secreted by the pancreas, the higher will be the weight gain.
- Frequency of food consumption – Researchers have noticed that people who consume two to three large meals a day tend to be overweight or obese than people who eat four to five small meals a day. Large meals taken at bigger intervals spikes up blood sugar and cholesterol levels. While, smaller and more frequent meals make sure that insulin levels do not spike, causing the body to store fat.
- Lack of physical activity – The U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that leading a sedentary life is associated with gaining weight. People who have a physically active lifestyle can easily control their weight gain. Adults who exercise for about 30 minutes a day tend to be healthier and have a better control on their weight.
Obesity is a complex disease and requires a multi-pronged treatment, including medication, lifestyle changes and sometimes even surgery. It is best to consult an experienced healthcare professional to help you lose weight and effective offer long-term results.