Obesity

Obesity

Obe­sity is char­ac­ter­ized by exces­sive or abnor­mal body fat accu­mu­la­tion. Obese chil­dren have body mass index over 30 kg/m2.

“Child­hood obe­sity is best tack­led at home through improved parental involve­ment, increased phys­i­cal exer­cise, bet­ter diet and restraint from eat­ing.” ~ Bob Filner

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Did you know that obe­sity was once regarded as a wealthy-man’s dis­ease? How­ever, obe­sity affects all peo­ple, whether rich or poor. Barry Gumbiner says that obe­sity is a med­ical con­di­tion char­ac­ter­ized by exces­sive or abnor­mal body fat accu­mu­la­tion to the extent that it presents a risk to health. Body mass index (BMI), a com­mon mea­sure express­ing the rela­tion­ship (or ratio) of weight-to-height, defines indi­vid­u­als as over­weight (pre-obese) if their BMI falls within the range of 25 and 30 kg/m2, and obese if it is more than 30 kg/m2 (Stern & Kazaks, 2009).
High BMI increases the like­li­hood of var­i­ous non-communicable ail­ments. These include car­dio­vas­cu­lar ill­nesses (heart dis­ease and stroke), type 2 dia­betes, mus­cu­loskele­tal dis­or­ders (osteoarthri­tis), and cer­tain types of can­cers. It is of essence to note that the like­li­hood of these ail­ments increases with the increase in BMI. Eve­lyn Kelly says that the basic cause of obe­sity is a com­bi­na­tion of an increased con­sump­tion of energy-dense foods and lack of phys­i­cal exer­cise because of a seden­tary lifestyle. And, a few cases of obe­sity have been attrib­uted to genetic sus­cep­ti­bil­ity.
Diet­ing, which refers to eat­ing food in a reg­u­lated man­ner, and reg­u­lar phys­i­cal activ­i­ties are the best ways to pre­vent obe­sity. At the indi­vid­ual level, peo­ple should con­trol energy intake from total fats, increase intake of fruit and veg­eta­bles – espe­cially dietary fiber, con­trol con­sump­tion of sug­ars, and take part in reg­u­lar phys­i­cal exer­cise to improve or main­tain phys­i­cal fit­ness and over­all health and wellness.

Ref­er­ences:
Gumbiner, B. (2001). Obe­sity. Philadel­phia : Amer­i­can Col­lege of Physi­cians.
Kelly, E. B. (2006). Obe­sity. West­port, CT.: Green­wood Press.
Stern, J. & Kazaks, A. (2009). Obe­sity. Santa Bar­bara, CA.: ABC-CLIO.


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