Obesity, a Serious Condition with Serious Consequences
Nowadays in digital era when gadgets and electronic devices help people’s work and also entertain them obesity becomes serious epidemic in most countries around the world. Incident number of obesity is becoming higher and higher. Obesity is serious condition with serious consequences lurking behind that may affects quality of life. So in here, we will talk about obesity, its definition, its causes, and its effects to our body.
What is obese?
Obese or overweight is a weight that is higher than healthy normal weight. A standard screening tools to decide if weight considered obese or not is Body Mass Index (BMI).
How to measure BMI?
BMI is weight (kg) divided by the square of height (m2).
What weight is considered obese?
These is how you interpret BMI result. If BMI result shows:
Less than 18.5 : weight is considered underweight.
Between 18.5 to 24.9 : weight is considered normal or healthy weight.
Between 25 to 29.9 : weight is considered overweight
More than 30 : weight is considered obese
Note: this BMI chart only applied for adults.
BMI for children and teens
For children and teens (1 – 19 years), BMI that have been used is BMI age-and sex- specific. Because body composition of children and teens is varying in age and sex.
What weight is considered obese in children and teens?
Definition of obese in children and teens is if their BMI is above 95 percentile for children and teens in same age and sex. While definition of overweight in children and teens is if their BMI is between 85 to 95 percentiles for children and teens in same age and sex.
Every countries usually have its own standard charts to measure and identify the size and growth pattern of children and teens.
Another simple screening tools to see whether person is obese or not is by measuring waist circumference. This is how to measure waist circumference:
Stand and place tape measure around your waist, just above hipbones.
Do not snug the tape too tight to the skin, so you can still breathe normal.
Measure your waist when you exhale.
What weight is considered obese based on waist circumference?
For men, if his waist circumference is more than 40 inches.
For women (non-pregnant women), if her waist circumference is more than 35 inches.
For your information, BMI and waist circumference measurement do not measure body fatness. To know the composition of fatness in your body, you need to see doctors to have more advanced tests and measurements.
What causes obesity?
Careless behavior. If individuals do not balance their number of calories in food and beverages and number of calories their body use to physical activities, the risk of obesity would be higher. To prevent obesity, adult person should increase foods intake like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grain, low-fat foods and reduce sugar intake. Each week adult person should have physical activities at least 150 minutes moderate activities or 75 minutes vigorous activities with 2 days strength training. The combination of healthy diets and physical activities can prevent or at least reduce the risk of obesity and prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes for furthermore.
Community environment. You never realize that community environment like work place, school or home can influence individual’s eating habits and physical activities routine. For example, if you live in area with no park or bike trails, you will lack intention to walk or bike to go to work. Because you think it is not safe enough to do these activities. That is why for you who want to lose weight it is important if you pick community environment that encourage you develop healthy eating habits and engaging routine activities. If your neighborhood do not have this kind of encouragement, let start from your small community, that is your home. Do not hesitate to change your behavior and environment because obesity have serious consequences that may affects your health for the rest of your life.
Genes. There are studies that had been researched the correlation between obesity and genes. They concluded that there are several genes that increase hunger and food intake. These genes make someone tend to eat too much and get obese.
Family history. Because family shared genetics, if there are older generations that have obese genes in their health history, their children and grandsons will have higher risk to get obese. However the risk can be prevented if the family have initiation to develop healthy eating habits and healthy physical activities.
What are the effects of obesity?
People with obesity have higher risk to get serious diseases than people with normal weights. Here are serious diseases and conditions that may happen to obese people.
Coronary heart disease
High blood pressure
High cholesterol or high triglycerides
Sleep apnea or other breathing problems
Low quality of life because of dysfunctional physical.
Not only health problems, obese people also have economic and social problems. If they have obesity-related health problems, their productivity at work will decrease and the chance to be absent because of obesity-related reasons will higher. Of course these condition will affect their economic situation and social activities with other people at work.
What should I do to prevent obesity?
To prevent or to decrease body weight is not instant. You should have had a great commitment to change your lifestyle. It will better if your family and surrounding environment encourage and help you achieve the goal. The main key of preventing or decreasing obesity is healthy eating habits and routine physical activities. Increase your knowledge about healthy nutrition and healthy diet plan. Check your body weight regularly, make sure your weight is in normal range. Learn about various physical activities that appropriate to your age and sex, and learn of how much you needed to do each days. If necessary ask doctors, nutritionist or personal trainers to guide you developing healthy habits. Start from right now, don’t hesitate and delay too much if you want to rise your life’s quality!