Obesity is a common disease characterized by an excess of body fat. Obesity is more than just a cosmetic issue. It is a health issue that raises the chance of developing other diseases and illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Some people struggle to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Being overweight is generally influenced by inherited, physiological, and environmental factors and diet, physical exercise, and exercise selections.

What are obesity and overweight?

Obesity is defined differently depending on where you look. Overweight and obesity, overall, indicate a weight more significant than what is considered normal. An excess of body fat identifies a chronic condition called obesity. Body fat is required for energy storage, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions.

The best measure for identifying obesity is body mass index (BMI), which is based on a person’s height and weight. BMI is calculated by multiplying a person’s height in meters by kilograms (kg) of weight. Since BMI compares body weight to height, there is a significant relationship between total body fat percentage and adulthood:

  • Normal BMI range: 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight BMI Range: 25-29.9
  • Obese: BMI greater than 30
  • BMI greater than 40 indicates morbid obesity.

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Symptoms Of Obesity

Obesity is most commonly indicated by above-average body weight.

Obesity may also cause the following symptoms:

  • Sleeping Problems
  • Sleep apnea is a condition where breathing is inconsistent and sometimes stops while you’re sleeping.
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Difficulty carrying out routine activities
  • Moisture buildup in the layers of your skin causes skin problems.
  • Gallstones
  • Weight-bearing joint osteoarthritis, particularly in the knees
  • Knock-knees (Genu valgum) are common
  • Overweight thighs and upper arms.

Most Common causes of obesity

A person’s weight is measured by how well their calorie consumption and energy expenditure balance out. Individuals will acquire weight if they consume more calories than they can burn (metabolize), as the body retains the excess calories as fat. A person will lose weight if they intake fewer calories than they burn off through metabolism. Overeating and lack of exercise are hence the main contributors to obesity.

Body weight is ultimately determined by genetics, metabolism, environment, behavior, and culture:

  • Genetics:-

Suppose one or both parents are obese, and the likelihood of a child becoming obese increases. Hormones that regulate fat are impacted by genetics as well. Leptin deficiency, for instance, is one hereditary contributor to obesity. The placenta and fat cells both produce the hormone leptin. Leptin regulates weight by telling the brain to eat less when body fat levels are too high. This control is lost if, for some reason, the body is unable to make enough leptin or if leptin is unable to tell the brain to eat less, which results in obesity. Leptin replacement therapy is being investigated as a possible obesity treatment.

  • Consuming a lot of simple carbohydrates:-

It’s unknown how carbohydrates lead to weight growth. Carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels, which prompt the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin encourages the development of adipose tissue and can lead to weight gain. Some experts claim that simple carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, desserts, soft drinks, beer, wine, and so on) contribute to weight gain as they are absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream than complex carbohydrates (pasta, brown rice, grains, vegetables, raw fruits, and so on) and thus cause a more major insulin release after meals. Some experts think this increased insulin release is a factor in weight gain.

  • Overeating:- 

Overeating contributes to weight gain, mainly if the diet is full of fat. Epidemiologic studies have found that high-fat diets contribute to obesity. Foods high in fat or sugar have a high power density (for example, fast food, fried food, and sweets) (a lot of calories in a small amount of food).

  • Medications:- 

Certain antidepressants (medications used to treat depression) and anticonvulsants have been linked to weight gain, and drugs used in controlling seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol, Equetro, Carbatrol] and valproate Depacon, Depakene).

Some diabetes medications (insulin, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones), and oral contraceptive pills, such as prednisone, are used to lower blood sugar levels.

The reason for weight gain with medications varies depending on the drug. Some antihistamines and blood pressure medications cause weight gain. If this concerns you, you should consult with your doctor before discontinuing the medication, as this could have serious consequences.

  • Psychological aspects:-

Emotions can influence eating habits for some people. Many overeat in response to negative emotions such as boredom, sadness, stress, or anger. While most overweight people have no more psychological problems than ordinary people, nearly 30% of individuals seeking remedy for serious weight problems struggle with binge eating.

  • Diseases:-

Obesity is also influenced by diseases such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Cushing’s syndrome. Obesity can be caused by certain conditions, such as Prader-Willi syndrome.

  • Social Problems:-

Obesity and social issues are interconnected. A lack of funds can increase the obesity risk to purchase healthy foods or a lack of safe places to walk or exercise.

Diagnosis of Obesity:-

Your Physician will probably conduct a physical exam and suggest some tests to diagnose obesity.

These exams and tests usually include the following:-

  • Considering your medical history:-

Your doctor may examine your weight history, weight-loss efforts, physical activity, and exercise habits, eating patterns and appetite control, other health issues, medications, stress levels, and other health issues. Your doctor may also examine your family’s health history to determine whether you are inclined to specific problems.

  • A general physical examination:-

This requires measuring your height, checking your vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature, listening to your heart and lungs, and investigating your abdomen.

  • Calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI):- 

Your physician will evaluate your BMI. It is defined as a BMI of 30 or greater. Health concerns are further increased when the number exceeds 30. Your BMI should be inspected at least once yearly because it can help identify your overall health risks and appropriate treatments.

  • Checking other health Issues:-

If you have any known health issues, your doctor will analyze them. Your doctor will also look for other potential health issues, such as hypertension, high blood cholesterol, underactive thyroid, liver issues, and diabetes.

Treatments For Obesity

  • Create a healthy eating plan and engage in regular physical activity:-

Following a low-calorie diet is frequently the first step in trying to treat overweight and obesity.

When starting a healthy eating plan, people who are overweight or obese should also begin regular physical activity. Being physically active may help you burn calories. Regular exercise may assist you in maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Weight-management programs

Some people benefit from an Organised weight-loss program. In a weight-management program, trained weight-management experts will create a personalized plan for you and assist you in carrying it out. Plans include a lesser diet, exercising regularly, and methods to help you change and maintain your habits. To support your goal, the specialists may notify you regularly via phone or the internet. Smartphones, activity trackers, and accelerometers can help track how well you adhere to your plan.

Online weight-management programs or commercial weight-loss programs may also be helpful for certain people.

  • Medicines for weight loss:-

When a healthy diet and physical activity routines are inadequate, your doctor can prescribe to cure obesity and overweight.

While taking weight-loss medications, you should stick to your healthy diet plan and maintain regular physical activity.

You might see advertisements for herbal remedies and dietary supplements that help you lose weight. However, many of these claims are false. Some of these supplements may cause severe side effects. Before trying to lose weight with herbal remedies or nutritional supplements, always consult with your doctor.

  • Weight-loss gadgets:-

If you’ve been unable to lose weight or keep it off with other treatments, your doctor may recommend weight-loss devices. Researchers lack long-term data on the safety and effectiveness of weight-loss devices because they were only recently approved. Weight-loss gadgets involve:-

  • Electrical stimulation system – The electrical stimulation system uses a gadget that a doctor inserts into your abdomen during laparoscopic surgery. The gadget inhibits nervous transmission between your stomach and brain.
  • Gastric emptying system – After a meal, a gastric emptying system utilizes a pump to remove some food from your stomach. The gadget has a tube that goes from your stomach’s inside to the outside of your abdomen. You use the pump to push food from your stomach down the tube and into the toilet about 20 to 30 minutes after eating.
  • Gastric balloon system – A doctor inserts one or two balloons into your stomach as part of the gastric balloon system through a catheter into your mouth. When the balloons are within your stomach, the surgeon fills them using salty water to make them expand and make you feel better satisfied.