Obesity is also called overweight. It is a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese. Rates of overweight and obesity continue to grow in adults and children from 4%- 18% globally. Obesity is becoming common in high-income countries and also comparatively increased in middle-income and low-income countries. The vast majority of obese children live in developing countries where the rate of increase is more than 30% higher than in developed countries.
Body mass index
Body mass index (BMI) is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2). It is a simple weight-for-height index commonly used to classify overweight and obesity. WHO defines overweight for adults as a BMI greater than or equal to 25 and obesity as a BMI greater than or equal to 30. The WHO defines an adult BMI under 18.5 as underweight, indicating malnutrition. A BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight, and 30 or more is considered obese. BMI varies from time to time, country to country, with different populations and people of different descents.
Obesity and health hazards
Obesity can lead to many serious problems like high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, low levels of HDL, Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, GI diseases, Gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnoea and breathing problems, cancers, mental illness, lowered physical activities, body pain, and all causes of death. Excess weight can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and cancers.
Causes of obesity
Obesity is a complex condition that affects the various parts and systems of our body, and it is multifactorial with fatal complications. The causes are intake of high calories, large amounts of food above the needed amount, eating outside foods, taking too many sugary foods or drinks, drinking too much alcohol, eating disorders like binge eating, depression, and other mental disorders. The main reason for obesity in recent times is a sophisticated lifestyle and improper food habits. Junk foods are easily available nowadays and are made from processed foods with high-fat content. They are fast foods that are made easily and take less time. The changes in society and over-modernization contribute to obesity problems. The other factor is lowered physical activity like sedentary habits, sitting jobs, car driving rather than walking or cycling, relaxation activities like watching TV, internet browsing, playing video games, and lack of exercise. Hypothyroidism is also one of the causes of obesity. Obesogens are chemical substances that disturb normal metabolism and development. They are cigarette smoke, bisphenol A, air pollutants, flame retardants, phthalates, and polychlorinated biphenyls. Genetics plays an important role in developing obesity in over 60% of people. The other factors are pregnancy, menopause, aging, hormones, and eating disorders.
In recent times, there have been many cases of obesity and its related problems have been encountered, and it’s a very serious condition that can lead to fatal complications. There is increased mortality due to conditions related to obesity, and one of the most common disorders is hyperlipidemia or increased bad cholesterol levels in the blood, leading to atherosclerosis, which in turn results in heart conditions.