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What are overweight and obesity?

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person’s weight is greater than what’s considered healthy for his or her height.

Obesity occurs over time when a person eats more calories than s/he uses. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Factors that might tip the balance include genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods, use of some drugs, some diseases like hypthyroidism and not being physically active.

When am I considered overweight and obese?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on an individual’s weight in relation to the height, and applies to most adult men and women aged 20 and over. Universally a person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight. But as per the revised standards specific for India, people more than BMI 23 kg/m2 are considered overweight, people more than BMI 25 kg/m2 are considered moderately obese and people more than BMI 32.5 kg/m2 are considered grossly obese, against the global standards of 25, 30 and 35 respectively. Experts say that Indians have a very different body, genetic and metabolic composition from the people of other parts of the world.

Causes of obesity

Primary obesity can be the result of (i) eating more food than the body can use, (ii) drinking too much alcohol, (iii) not getting enough exercise or (iv) use of steroids, oral contraceptives, insulin and few other drugs. Certain thyroid problems (hypothyroidism) may also lead to signficant weight gain. Genetic factors play some part in the development of obesity. Children of obese parents are 10 times more likely to be obese than children with parents of normal weight.

What are the health consequences of being overweight?

Obesity is a significant health threat. The extra weight puts unusual stress on all parts of the body. It raises the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, kidney and gallbladder problems. Conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which were once thought to mainly affect adults, are often seen in children who are obese. Obesity may also increase the risk for some types of cancer. Persons who are obese are more likely to develop osteoarthritis and sleep apnea.

Balancing the intake of calories and the energy spent

The good news is that overweight and obesity are largely preventable. The key to success is to achieve an energy balance between calories consumed on one hand, and calories used on the other hand. To reach this goal, people can limit energy intake from total fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats; increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and limit their intake of sugars. And to increase calories used, people can boost their levels of physical activity – to at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days. Herbs like Phytolacca berry help to combat overweight, obesity and increased cholesterol levels.

General and homoeopathic management

Consuming more calories than the burnt leads to being overweight and eventually, obesity. The body stores unused calories as fat. Homoeopathy helps in managing obesity. There are many drugs available in the literature to manage the obesity. In cases like obesity, homoeopathic drugs may be prescribed in two ways. One is on the constitutional basis based on totality of symptoms, which would help in managing the tendency to become obese. Such remedies include Aurum metalicum, Calcarea carbonica, Graphites, Kali carbonicum, etc. Second is the pathology specific prescription, which is often prescribed in mother tincture or low potencies to act on cellular level in a way homoeopathic to achieve functional normalcy. Such remedies include Ammonium muriaticum 3x, Calotropis gigantea 1x, Fucus vesiculosus, Phytolacca berry, Thyroidinum 3x, etc. Moderating the diet intake and adequate physical work or exercise are required to manage the problem. No treatment can help alone in managing overweight and obesity, if the imbalance between intake and requirement is continued. If the obesity is due to other conditions, that is to be ruled out and treated accordingly. Taking a tablespoonful of lemon-juice in a little sweetened water thrice a day may be helpful along with the medication and regimen.In Indian house hold lemon juice with honey is considered a drug to reduce weight/obesity.

Get remedy

Please consult your homoeopath.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request should not be taken as a replacement of medical advice or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.