Obesity and overweight are main risk factors for a number of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Once an issue only in developed countries, obesity and overweight have now emerged as the biggest public health threats in low-income and developing countries, particularly in urban areas. However, the good news is that dealing with obesity and overweight is not actually a big deal. According to experts, one can prevent obesity and overweight and regain normal weight, with some healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating fewer calories and being physically active.
The World Anti-Obesity Day is observed annually on 26th November to create awareness about obesity and overweight. The initiative was launched by the VLCC, an Indian wellness brand, under the guidance of its founder Mrs. Vandana Lutra in 2011. The day urges people to take immediate steps against unhealthy fat. The annual celebration brings healthcare organizations across the globe together to create awareness about obesity. The organizations mainly focus on teaching the public about ways to incorporate effective lifestyle changes in all aspects of life. Notably, none of them forces people into starvation diets or a high exercise regime. Rather the focus is on a holistic approach that includes a well-balanced diet and exercise as well as simple lifestyle changes including adequate sleep and healthy food habits.
Obesity and overweight are defined as the excessive fat accumulation that poses a threat to the health. Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to evaluate obesity and overweight. BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters. A person with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. A person with a BMI of 25 or more is overweight.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of obesity worldwide has more than doubled between 1980 and 2014. More than 1.9 billion adults were overweight in 2014 and of these over 600 million were obese. As per the latest data available with the WHO, a total of 42 million kids under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013. Experts state that if these trends continue, the total number of people with obesity will double by 2030.
Obesity - Associated ConditionsHeart Disease and Stroke
Extra weight develops high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both of these conditions increase risks of stroke and heart disease. However, 5%-10% of weight loss can lower the chance of developing heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes
Most people who have type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight. Diabetes risk can be reduced by losing weight, eating a balanced diet and an active lifestyle.
Colon cancer, breast cancer (after menopause), and endometrium (the lining of the uterus) cancer are connected to obesity. Some researchers have also reported connections between cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries, pancreas and obesity.
Gallbladder disease is common in overweight people. Ironically, rapid weight loss or loss of a large amount of weight can make you more likely to get gallstones (a small, hard crystalline mass formed abnormally in the gall bladder).
Osteoarthritis often affects the knee, hip, or back. Carrying extra pounds places extra pressure on these joints and wears away the cartilage that normally protects them.
Sleep apnea is a breathing condition, and it is connected to being overweight. The condition can cause a person to snore heavily. Weight loss often improves sleep apnea.
Also, note that not everyone who is obese has all of these issues. The risk rises if you have a family history of one of these diseases.
Obesity ManagementSuccessful weight-loss strategies include setting realistic goals and making healthy lifestyle changes, such as consuming fewer calories and being active physically. In some extreme cases, options like medicines and weight-loss can also be considered.
Setting realistic weight-loss goals is important in both adult and child weight loss plans.
- Plan to lose 5 to 10 percent of the current weight over six months. This will lower risks for coronary heart disease.
- Lose weight slowly. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week is do-able and safe. This strategy will give sufficient time to make new, healthy lifestyle changes.
- One must consider further weight loss, if they are still obese even after losing 10% of their body weight in six months.
- If kids are overweight or at risk for obesity or overweight, the goal is to maintain their current weight. Make them stay physically active and give them a balanced diet.
- Consult a doctor if kids are obese and have a health condition related to it. The doctor may refer to a pediatric obesity treatment clinic.
- Low-fat and fat-free dairy products, such as low-fat yogurt and milk.
- Protein-rich foods, such as lean meat, fish, beans, and peas.
- Whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread and oatmeal. Other grain foods include cereal, pasta, bagels and bread.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables.
Physical ActivityAerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone strengthening, and stretching are the four main types of physical activity. One can do physical activity with moderate, or vigorous intensity. Many individuals are able to maintain their weight by doing 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. Individuals who want to lose a large amount of weight may need to do more than 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Break activity into shorter periods than exercising for longer hours. Consult a doctor to get the best personalized workout plan.
Weight-loss SurgeryWeight-loss surgery might be an option for individuals who have extreme obesity when other treatments have failed. Weight-loss surgery also is an option for individuals who have a BMI of 35 or more and life-threatening diseases, such as severe sleep apnea and obesity-related Cardiomyopathy and severe type 2 diabetes.
References : 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti_Obesity_Day