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Overcoming Obesity

Guidelines for Women and Adolescent Girl

Obesity is becoming a menace for women and girls from affluent familie

Fact on obesity

  • Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of then obese.
  • Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer.
  • The key causes are increased consumption of energy - dense food high in Saturated fats and sugars and reduced physical activity.
  • As a rule, women have more body fat then men. Most health care professionals agree that men with more then 25 percent body fat and women more then 30 percent body fat are obese.
  • Obesity puts people at increased risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and some forms of cancer.

This article provide basic information about obesity: what is it? How is it measured? What cause it? What are the health risks? What can you do about it ?

Obesity: It specifically refers to an excessive amount of body fat. "overweight" refers to an excessive amount of body weight that includes muscle, bone ,fat and water.

Measurement of obesity is by Body mass index:

The BMI is a tool used to assess overweight and obesity and monitor changes in body weight. It is calculated by dividing a person's weight in pound by height in inches squared.

Weight Category BMI Score Indian
Under Weight Below 18.5  
Healthy Weight 18.5 to 24.9 18.5-23
Overweight 25 to 29.9 23-27
Obese 30.0 and above >27

Causes of Obesity

The balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure determines a person's weight. At present, we know that there are many factors that contribute to obesity, some of which are:

  • Genetics. A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese.
  • Overeating. Overeating leads to weight gain.espacially if the diet is height in fat.
  • Slow metabolism. Women have less muscle than men. Muscle burns more calories than other tissue (which include fat). As a result, women have a slower metabolism then men, and hanc, have a tendency to put on more weight then men, and hence, have a tendency to put on more weight then men, and weight loss is more difficult for women.
  • Medication. Medications associated with weight gain include certain antidepressants; anti-convulsants weight gain may also seen with some high blood pressure meditation and antihistamines.
  • Psychological factors. For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to emotion such as boredom, sadness, stress or anger.
  • Disease such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome and Cushing's syndrome are also contributors to obesity.
  • Lack of sleep may also contribute to obesity.

Consequences of obesity: it makes your Health risks

  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
  • Fatty liver disease.
  • Gastro esophageal reflux.
  • Osteoarthritis, a disease in which the joints deteriorate. This is possibly the result of excess weight on the joints.
  • Reproductive problem in women including menstrual irregularities and infertility.
  • Doctors generally agree that the more obese a person is she is to develop health problems.

Psychological and Social Effects:

Emotions suffering may be one of the most painful parts of obesity. Many people think that individual with obesity are gluttonous, lazy or both feeling of rejection, shame or depression may occur.

Management of obesity for Indians

Doctors in India generally agree that people who have a BMI of 27 (for Indians -------) or greater can improve their health through weight loss.

This is especially true for people with a BMI of greater than 35 or greater, who are considered as morbid obese patient (ICMR 2008).

Preventing additional weight gain is recommended if you have a BMI between 25 and 27 unless you have other risk factor for obesity related diseases.

Treatment of Obesity

The method of treatment depends on you level of obesity, overall health condition, and readiness to lose weight. Treatment may include a combination of diet exercise, behavior medification, and weight-loss drugs.

Working Toward a Healthier Weight:

Listed below are steps that may be taken to help you family member work toward a healthier weight

  • Establish a reasonable target weight
    1. Discuss the BMI score with your doctor and have him or her assess the related risk factors for disease and health problems.
    2. Depending upon persons circumstances a reasonable target goal may be a weight loss of 10% of body weight over six months.
    3. For some, a minimum goal may be to prevent any further weight gain.
    4. It is best to lose weight gradually; to 1 kg a week is reasonable.
    5. Keep in mind that small amount weight loss can have a positive health impact.
  • Best Health Diet Tips
    1. Drink plenty of water.
    2. Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you should take away.
    3. Consider whether you're really hungry.
    4. Be choosy about nighttime snacks
    5. Enjoy your favorite foods.
    6. Eat several mini- meal during the day
    7. Eat protein at every meal.
    8. Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods.
    9. Order children's portion rest restaurants.
    10. Eat food of season
    11. Use non-food alternative to cope with stress.
    12. Have oily free food and also avoid junk food like burgers, pizzas, samosa,kachori, and puri.
    13. Avoid to have food in front of TV
  • Become as active as possible!
    1. Any kind of physical activity is beneficial. Not only can it assist with weight loss and maintenance, it also improve health in many ways.
    2. Physical activity doesn't have to be just exercise. Any activity involving movement of the body is beneficial. For example, walking is one easy and inexpensive way to increase physical activity.
    3. Before starting any program, discuss the physical activity plan with your doctor. your doctor will assist you in developing a reasonable activity plan.
    4. Work toward a long - term goal of at least 30 minutes of a moderate physical activity on most days of the week. This physical activity doesn't have to occur all at one time; rather, it can be in shorter intervals that add up to 30 minutes at the end the day.
    5. It is the best to start any new physical activity gradually, taking special care to prevent injury.
  • Choose aerobic activities that are fun
    1. Brisk walking or jogging
    2. Bicycling
    3. Swimming
    4. Aerobic exercise (square dancing, salsa African dance swing )
  • Be good to yourself
    1. Get plenty of sleep
    2. Practice deep breathing and relaxing your muscles one at a time.
    3. Take a break and go for a walk
    4. Try taking a yoga to energize yourself and reduce stress.
    5. Try a new hobby that sparks your interest.
    6. Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy.
    7. Laughter is one of the most relaxing healthiest things you can do for yourself .
  • Weight every week and keep records.
    1. People who weight at least one a week tend to be more successful at maintaining a weight loss.
    2. Keeping record of food consumed each day can help maintain the focus on the diet plan and provide additional information related o progress.
    3. Keep your fitness goals realistic by understanding how your body mass relates to your weight. Measuring yourself or how your clothes fit can be a great indication of how you're reshaping your body, even if the pounds aren't falling off.

Role of medication in the treatment of obesity

Medication treatment of obesity should be used only in patient who have health risk related it obesity. Medication should be used in patient with BMI greater that 30 or in those with a BMI of greater then 27 who have other medical condition (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol) the put them at risk for developing heart disease. Like diet and exercise, the goal of medication treatment has to be realistic. With successful medication treatment, one can expect an initial weight loss of at least 3 kg during the 1-3 months of treatment, and a total weight less of 10-15 of the initial body. For further information you can consult your doctor.