Our survival skills are killing us. The human body has evolved into a fat-hoarding machine. Food that our bodies don’t immediately use for energy gets quickly stored as fat, and we convert this fat back into fuel for our brains and muscles when food is scarce. Small imbalances over long periods of time can cause you to become obese.
How to Measure Obesity?
Body mass Index
Overweight and obesity are defined by the World Health Organization using the body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of body size and is used to indicate level of risk for morbidity (disease risk) and mortality (death rates) at the population level.
It is calculated by: dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.
(Weight (KG)/ Height (m2)
For example, a person who is 165 cm tall and weighs 64kg would have a BMI of 24.
BMI=64(kgs) divided by 1.64 (meters squired) =24
People with a BMI of 25 or more are classified as overweight. People with a BMI of 30 or greater are classified as obese.
What are the Causes of Obesity?
A range of factors can cause obesity. Factors in childhood and adolescence are particularly influential, since a high proportion of obese children and adolescents grow up to be obese adults. Factors known to increase the risk of obesity include:
- Eating more kilojoules than you use – whatever your genetic background, you will deposit fat on your body if you eat more energy (kilojoules) than you use.
- Modern living – most modern conveniences, such as cars, computers, televisions and home appliances, reduce the need to be physically active.
- Socioeconomic factors – people with lower levels of education and lower incomes are more likely to be overweight or obese. This may be because they have less knowledge of eat healthy eating habits and take part in physical activities.
- Changes in the food supply – availability and marketing of energy-dense, nutrient poor foods and drinks have increased and the relative cost of them has decreased.
- Inactivity – for most of us, physical activity is no longer a natural part of our daily schedule. Obese people tend to live sedentary lifestyles.
- Genes – researchers have found that genetics play a part in regulating body weight. However, these genes explain only a small part of the variation in body weight. Parental overweight or obesity is associated with increased risk of child obesity.
- Birth factors – some studies suggest that a person is more likely to become obese later in life if they experienced poor nutrition in utero due to maternal smoking, or had a low birth weight. However, other studies show that high birth weight (especially above 4 kg) is a stronger risk for becoming overweight.
Why is Obesity Dangerous?
Obesity increases the risk of many chronic and potentially lethal diseases.
Generally speaking, the more body fat you’re carrying, the higher your health risk. However, the amount of weight gained throughout your adult years also contributes to the risk.
Some of the many chronic conditions and diseases associated with obesity include:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Some cancers including breast, endometrial and colon cancer
- Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus)
- Gall bladder disease
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Musculoskeletal problems such as osteoarthritis and back pain
- Stress incontinence
How Can Obesity be Prevented/ Reduced?
Overweight and obesity, as well as their related non communicable diseases, are largely preventable. Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (the choice that is the most accessible, available and affordable), and therefore preventing overweight and obesity.
At the individual level, people can:
- Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars.
- Increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts
- Engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).
The food industry can play a significant role in promoting healthy diets by:
- Reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods.
- Ensuring that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers.
- Restricting marketing of foods high in sugars, salt and fats, especially those foods aimed at children and teenagers.
- Ensuring the availability of healthy food choices and supporting regular physical activity practice in the workplace.
Obesity is not a permanent condition, it takes work and effort to stay in shape and you must eat healthy, Stay active and make good eating choices.
Come to Bridges Organic Restaurant for free B.M.I assessment and free diet guidance.For more information call 0713607956.