What you need to Know about Obesity; Causes and Treatment

Obesity is a medical condition with the characteristic of having excess body fats. It is one of the causes of premature deaths. Further, it comes with other medical conditions such as diabetes, heart illnesses, blood pressure, and cancers.

However, there are questions on the differences between overweight and obesity. Overweight happens in cases where the body mass index is more than 25 whereas obesity happens when the body mass index is more than 30.

Types of obesity

Obesity is in various types and classifications. The main measure to check obesity is body mass index. The main classes of obesity are Class 1, Class 2, and Extreme Obesity.

Class 1 obesity

Class 1 obesity occurs when someone’s body mass index is between 30 – 35. This obesity exposes a person to the risk of stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure among others. This type is considered low risk.

Class 2 obesity

This type of obesity happens when the body mass index is between 35 – 40. This is moderate-risk obesity, which is easily manageable naturally and with some diets.

Extreme obesity

Extreme obesity is also known as class 3 obesity. This is where the body mass index is over 40.

There other types of obesity include food obesity, genetic metabolic obesity, venous circulation obesity, and inactivity obesity.

Extreme obesity is harmful to the body and can lead to death.

Classification of obesity

Below is a classification of obesity. It is also known as the obesity chart. One can also refer to them as obesity classes. This will help you identify which class you are in and whether it is overweight or underweight.

Body Mass IndexClassification
Below 18.5underweight
18.5 – 25Normal weight
25 – 30Overweight
30 – 35Class 1 obesity
35 – 40Class 2 obesity
Above 40Class 3 obesity or extreme obesity

What defines obesity?

Obesity is defined by body mass index and anything above 30 is considered obesity. You can refer to the above chart for ease in identifying the various obesity classes.

Childhood obesity

Childhood obesity mostly affects children and teenagers. It happens when the body mass index is more than 95% in comparison to age.

Some of the consequences of childhood obesity are diabetes type 2, blood pressure, liver infection, breathing challenges, joint pains, and having more cholesterol in the blood.

Tips to prevent childhood obesity

As a parent or a guardian, there are a number of things you can do to prevent childhood obesity. Some will witness gradual results while others are maybe instant. In the end, the small steps will lead to massive results.

  1. Advocate for healthy eating by providing a balanced diet
  2. Ensure your children get enough sleep
  3. Encourage your child to play and exercise more
  4. Discourage them from watching too much TV rather be involved in physical exercises
  5. Try and avoid having junk in the house
  6. Always serve your children food and measure and monitor their portions.

Obesity hypoventilation syndrome

This condition has a combination of obesity and sleep-disordered breathing. Obesity hypoventilation syndrome causes patients to breathe in carbon dioxide and retain it in the blood more than the oxygen levels.

Symptoms of obesity hypoventilation syndrome

  1. Running out of breath
  2. Excessive fatigue
  3. Feeling sleep and lazy
  4. Persistent headaches

Obesity rates by country

Across the globe, Nauru has the highest rate of obesity with a percentage of 59.9% whereas America Samoa is the second on the list.

Source: World Obesity

Data on obesity rates per country is also available in World Obesity. Some of the Countries where obesity is becoming a real problem is the United States. Obesity in the United States is at approximated at 36% of the total populations and growing causer of related health diseases like diabates.

Causes of obesity

Numerous things cause obesity in a person. Some are inborn while others are lifestyle and others are caused by medications. Whereas there are many causes of obesity, below are some of the main causes that you need to be aware of.

  • Genetics cause

These are the traits in a human body, which is inherited. Some genes may cause someone to eat more food quantities than normal leading to obesity

  • Medications

Some medications such as steroids and anti-depressants may cause someone to add weight

  • Eating junk

Junk food is prepared faster and has low nutritional value. Food such as cakes, fries, chocolates, fried chicken, etc. can add fats to the body thus increasing the chances of getting obesity.

  • Eating disorder

When people with eating disorders eat more than the normal quantities and at frequent intervals, obesity is one of the conditions, they may end up battling.

How one can prevent obesity

Perhaps you are asking yourself how you can control obesity. There are various tips that you can use to prevent obesity in your as a person, your child, or in your family. This will reduce the chances or the overall effect of obesity on your health.

  • Breastfeeding

This most applies to infants. Research shows that breastfeeding reduces the chances of a child getting obese as they grow up.

  • Serve children appropriate portions

Observing portions of food, that children take is important. You can take charge of serving your children meals and allocate appropriate portions for the young ones and the old ones.

  • Advocate for healthy eating

Try as much as you can and avoid eating junk food all the time. Eat a balanced diet with a mix of starch, vegetables, proteins, and fruits. This will cultivate a culture of healthy eating over a period.

  • Exercising

Exercising reduces fat levels in the body thus keeping someone healthy.

  • Get help

Numerous programs are in the communities that help with obesity cases. You can join a support group and learn more.

  • Get enough sleep

Sleep adds to the overall health of the body and you can get between 7 – 8 hours of sleep and help the body relax and prevent obesity.

Obesity Treatment

Treating obesity is possible through the various treatment methods available. Some treatments are to do with diet, direct medical attention, surgery, exercises, and enrolling in some programs. In the end, they all contribute to the goal of treating obesity.

Changing diet

The first treatment for obesity is changing your diet. This will involve taking plenty of fruits, water, vegetables, food rich in fiber, rice, pasta, and other foods that are healthy for the body.

Getting medical attention

Secondly, obesity can be treated medically. This is where a doctor will prescribe medication for you for a period until you reduce excess fats in the body.

Surgery

Bariatric surgery is done as a way of changing your digestive system to lose weight. However, those with obesity have a risk of surgery due to infection and slow healing because of fats.

Exercising

Exercises play a big role in reducing weight. This is no exemption for obese patients who are more likely to reduce weight when they exercise.

There are a number of suitable exercise plans for an obese man. Some of them are squatting, push-ups, riding, walking, swimming, and water exercises.

Programs for weight management

There are a number of programs that you can enroll in that help you with weight loss management if you are struggling with obesity

How obese patients can lose weight naturally

Losing weight naturally as an obese person is possible. There are various tips you can use so that you lose the excess fats in a natural way and without spending a lot of money.

  • Diet chart

This is basic guidance on your meal plans, what to eat and what not to eat. This will guide you better on healthy eating as an obese person.

  • Avoid processed foods

Processed foods have more fats and sugars, which add to the overall weight of a person. Try as much as you can to eat homemade food.

  • Plenty of water

Water helps burn your calories and taking water frequently will help in your weight loss journey as an obese person.

  • Fasting

Fasting is simply stopping to eat some meals in a day completely for a certain duration of time. Further, you can stop eating certain foods. This helps the body reduce fat levels.

  • Green Tea

Green tea has the benefit of burning fats in the body at a faster rate thus reading weight in a natural way.

  • Take more fruits and veggies

Fruits play a key role in weight reduction and adding to the overall health of a person. Some fruits and veggies ideal for weight loss are pitted fruits, grapefruit, kale, spinach, blueberries, hot peppers, and avocadoes. If you get any or all of these drugs, you are good to go.

Weight loss drugs

One of the best drugs for weight loss is Phentermine-Topiramate extended-release. There is also a new drug known as semaglutide.

Who is at risk of obesity?

The elderly and those with the age above 60 years have more risk of obesity in comparison to their young counterparts. However, this is not mean you do not take care of your health as a young person or as a child because everyone is at risk.

Obesity and COVID

The onset of the COVID– 19 pandemic globally was worse for patients suffering from obesity.

This was similar to those with overweight issues, which made them at a higher risk of hospitalization and severe infection by the diseases

Reasons why obese patients are having a higher risk of covid-19 infection

Impairment of the immune system

Obesity has a way of impairing the immune system thus making it vulnerable to infections. Further, the system is unable to fight infections and protect itself.

Some of the signs of a weak immune system include; frequent fatigue, having colds, tummy problems, and having high-stress levels among others.

If you have a weak immune system you can consider using immune boosters such as healthy eating, exercising more, minimizing stress, avoiding alcohol, etc.

Decreasing lung capacity

COVID – 19 virus affects the lungs and obesity reduces the capacity of the lungs to hold breath and ventilate well. This makes the coronavirus infection severe in patients with obesity.

One of the best ways to increase lung capacity is to have deep breathing exercises on regular basis. This helps the lungs to be able to hold the air and ventilate well.

If you are an obese patient, there is a need for you to exercise extra caution and care so that you reduce the chances of infection.

Bottom Line

Obesity is a condition that one can manage and treat. If you are battling obesity, you can seek help from a medical facility or adopt some of the natural ways to lose weight.

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