Obesity is no more a normal disease. It has become a pandemic and the world is getting drained in its own fat. There are many severe obesity risk factors that kills millions of people each year.
Adults with a body mass index of 30 and above can be considered as being obese. Body Mass Index is the calculation of a person’s weight and height to determine their body size.
It is important to prevent obesity as much as possible because of the risk associated with it. It includes type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and heart disease.
Obesity is a common condition that affects 42.4 percent of Americans 20 years and older as of 2017 and 2018, according to CDC. Factors such as age, ethnicity, muscle mass, and sex can influence the correlation between body fat and BMI. Besides, Body-Mass Index is limited in the area of differentiating between bone mass, muscle, and excess fat. And it doesn’t indicate the distribution of fat among individuals.
Up until now, the Body-Mass Index is still widely accepted as the only determinant of body size.
Classification of Body Weight – how can it help?
Listed below are the classification of body weight used for adults of ages 20 and above;
|Body Mass Index||Classification|
|18.5 or Below||Underweight|
|18.5 to less than 25.0||Normal or Average Weight|
|25.0 to less than 30.0||Overweight|
|30.0 to less than 35.0||Class 1 Obesity|
|35.0 to less than 40.0||Class 2 Obesity|
|40.0 and above||Class 3 Obesity (Extreme or Severe Obesity)|
Causes of Obesity – Why is it important?
Just like other health conditions, obesity doesn’t occur naturally. Consuming more than the calories you can burn in a day without exercise, especially for a long time can cause obesity. These calories result in weight gain in the long run.
Asides from the factors listed above, other factors result in obesity. Unfortunately, some people are predisposed to the condition and have no control over it, no matter how careful they are.
Other important causes of Obesity include:
1. Insufficient sleep, which can affect hormones and make you feel famished thereby consuming foods with high calories.
2. Age, which causes slower metabolism and less muscle mass, making weight gain easy to achieve.
3. Weight gained during pregnancy can be difficult to lose and can lead to obesity.
4. Gene, this is a factor you have no control over since it runs in the family. But a healthy lifestyle is advisable.
Health Conditions & Weight Gain
Health Conditions that Causes Weight gain, which Can Lead to Obesity
3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
4. Cushing Syndrome
5. Prader-Willi Syndrome
Obesity Risk Factors
External factors for obesity
Several factors can increase an individual’s risk of being obese. Some of them are:
1. Environmental Factors
The environment you live in plays a major role in your eating habit. Be it the home, school, or community, you can be exposed to certain unhealthy eating habits that can result in obesity.
Dependence on fast-food restaurants, and consuming high-calorie food are risk factors of having obesity.
If one of your parents, both parents or another relative is obese, you’ll have to put in the effort to prevent the condition. It is always difficult to prevent obesity if one or more relatives are obese.
3. Psychological Factors
Most people find comfort in food while going through depression, which might lead to weight gain. It is pertinent to focus on other healthy habits such as sports when you feel depressed. Certain antidepressants can increase one’s chances of gaining weight.
Drugs such as birth control pills and steroids also increase the risk of gaining excessive weight.
4. Sleep Deprivation
Due to busy schedules, some individuals find it hard to sleep. Too little sleep contributes to weight gain by increasing hunger signals thereby causing overeating and weight gain.
It’s been recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine that children of ages 6 to 12 years should sleep for 12 hours. Teenagers should sleep for at least 8 to 10 hours every night.
Going through stress can make you eat more than you should. Chronic stress causes the body to activate hormones such as cortisol. This allows the body to store extra weight with ease.
Effective ways to overcome stress include, engaging in exercises, spending time with family and friends, going on an adventure, and attending social gatherings.
6. A Sedentary Lifestyle
Sitting at a spot and staring at the computer for several hours, and driving to short distances instead of walking is unhealthy. Other sedentary lifestyles include lack of exercise, sitting in front of the television for long hours, and not engaging in any activity.
These are factors that increase an individual’s chances of being obese.
7. Too much Fat Consumption
Consuming saturated fats has been associated with a risk of cardiovascular disease. Since foods that contain saturated fat also contain high calories, this can play a major role in the development of Obesity.
8. Over-consumption of Added Sugar
Consuming artificial sugars, instead of natural sugars found in fruits can increase your chances of being obese. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), added sugar should be consumed in moderation.
Before consuming a product, check the label to ascertain there are no added sugar in it. Other names for added sugar are Molasses, Maltose, Cane sugar, syrup, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.
Complications of Obesity
Obesity is more than having excess weight, it can lead to serious complications. A high rate of body fat to muscle exerts pressure on bones and internal organs. Obesity also increases the chance of having diabetes 2.
Health complications associated with obesity include:
4. Heart Disease
5. High Blood pressure
6. High Cholesterol
7. Breast and colon cancer
9. Breathing Problem
10. Sleep Apnea
How to Prevent Obesity?
There’s been an increase in the number of people who are obese presently, unlike in the past years. This implies that everyone must put in the effort to eat healthy foods and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
These are ways to prevent Obesity:
1. Engage in exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. Take a walk, run, swim and jog for a start.
2. Reduce your fat and calorie intake
3. Eat more fruits, lean protein, vegetables, and other nutritious foods.
4. Seek advice from a professional nutritionist about the types of food to eat to prevent obesity.
5. Rest and sleep well.
Joshua is a certified diet planner. He has been researching extensively in nutrition, pain, obesity, and diabetes. He joined our team in February 2021 as an author.