Obesity – A Preventable Enemy

    Obesity… Ouch! This is the word that stings through the soul. Your doctor says lose weight, your friends and family sing the same song and its gets very frustrating in the end! At moments like these, it is important to calm down and remember that to prevent or control obesity, it is important to face this preventable enemy and crush its ego for real!

    Firstly, let’s get to the core, understand the definition of obesity. Medical science says that obesity is the disease characterized by excessive body fat. Many factors contribute to the accumulation of such excessive fat in the body. This illness cannot be ignored asobesity is seen as the source of many illnesses from psychological to physical.

    With an increase in robotic lifestyles, where sedentary work eats up most of the daily hours, people are inclined more towards junk food which is easily available and less towards physical fitness. Mental stress and fatigue overpowers the urge for fitness. Hence the balance is disrupted making the consequences more difficult to deal with.

    According to reports in the DNA newspaper, India has the third largest number of obese and overweight people in the world. This seems like an obesity epidemic in India affecting the overall health for sure. Moreover, according to a recent study by the Wall Street Journal, Indian women are more susceptible to obesity than men owning to increasing unhealthy choices. To understand this villain, let’s look more into how it enters your life. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is the perfect judge which tells if you are under the healthy weight category or moving towards being overweight.
    Stages of overweight are medically defined by BMI are

    •  BMI of 25 to 29.9 is clinically classified as overweight
    •  BMI of 30 or more is classified as obese

    This is the warning sign. A signal to get rid of those unwanted calories!

    As mentioned earlier, obesity has emotional, societal as well as physical consequences. Society is filled with stereotypical assumptions of how a person should be. Instead of treating obesity as a disease, it is treated as a base of discrimination. Such societal biases can emotionally affect a person leading to mental instability, low confidence and even depression.

    For instance, studies show that applications suffering from obesity are less likely to be hired than thinner applicants, despite having identical job qualifications. Such personality requirements hamper the lives of people suffering from obesity as at some places brains take a back seat.

    Also, children who fall into the overweight category face the same music of discrimination at schools. This societal pressure affects the psychology of those little minds when they are bullied and kept aloof due to their appearance. Such children face numerous obstacles, ranging from harassment, teasing and rejection from peers, to biased attitudes from teachers. At a young age, children are exposed to the negative side of obesity. This shock to the young minds can hamper their future, hence obesity should not be considered as just another normal thing. Such type of discrimination due to weight certainly has deep psychological consequences.

    Now, coming from the psychological hazards to the physical ones, people suffering from obesity are likely to encounter health problems such as,

    •  Heart disease
    •  Stroke
    •  Diabetes
    •  Gout (joint pain caused by excess uric acid)
    •  Gallbladder disease
    •  Sleep Apnea (interrupted breathing during sleep)
    •  Osteoarthritis (wearing away of the joints)
    •  Certain types of cancer
    Every disease has causes, and then followed by its effects. In order to prevent any illness it is important to understand the root of the disease! As mentioned earlier, obesity has mental as well as physical hazards associated with it, hence the causes of obesity also lies in these two spheres of human life.
    Causes of obesity can be categorized into three main factors,
    •  Behavior
    •  Environment
    •  Genetics

    Due to increasing preferences to junk, mostly the urban population is inclining towards adoption of unhealthy lifestyles. Quick fix foods, canned and frozen foods have become top choices due to hectic work schedules and less awareness of the long-term hazards of such food options. The general notion bents towards preferring food with high calorie amount and fewer nutrients! Hence, making some serious behavioral modification for weight lossbecomes a principle factor to be considered when dealing with obesity.

    Another reason for obesity is genetics. Sometimes such genes affecting this condition can pass down the generations affecting individuals from their birth. But not everyone with a family history of obesity is obese as researchers are still studying on which type of genes contribute to obesity.

    Understanding the causes of obesity is important to prevent or to treat this disease. Treatment includes various methods on personal as well as medical level such as:

    •  Behavior modification
    •  Physical activity
    •  Non clinical weight management programs
    •  Medically managed weight-loss
    •  Surgical treatment

    Conclusively, it is important to start looking at obesity as a preventable illness. It is important to understand that losing weight doesn’t mean becoming skinny to fit the stereotypes, it means becoming healthy just for you, only you!
    Understand obesity, challenge it and overpower it!

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