Difference between revisions of "Obesity (Overweight)"

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Revision as of 23:36, 30 December 2011

Obesity (Overweight)


Definition

Being obese or overweight is one of the major health problems related to nutrition in the United States today. Obesity is when one's weight is 15% over what is average for that person's height and frame. Morbid obesity is is when the excess weight exceeds 20% over what is considered average or normal.

An approximate example - a desireable weight for a man with a medium frame who is 5' 10" tall is 146-160 pounds. That man is overweight at 168-184 pounds, and considered morbidly obese at 175-192 pounds.


Causes

The main cause of obesity in both children and adults is a combination of overeating and lack of exercise. Excessive ingestion of simple carbohydrates and sugars will definitely lead to excess fat and obesity. One pound of fatty tissue is equal to 3500 calories.

Glandular malfunction, emotional stress, boredom, bad habits, and an unreasonable love of food, are also common reasons for excessive weight gain. In many cases, people will overeat to compensate for emotional reasons, such as what they perceive as lack of love or attention from others. The quality of food that is eaten is also a great contributor, many fast foods and processed foods are high in salt, sugar and unhealthy fat content.

Caloric intake must be comparable to calories that are burned. Calories may be burned up by the basal metabolism, which includes normal bodily functions like breathing and digestion. More substantial amounts of calories can be burned or used up with exercise. When the number of calories used during the day exceeds the amount consumed, the body oxidizes its supply of fat to produce energy, and thereby a reduction of weight results. A daily reduction of 1,000 calories a day, can result in approximately 2 pounds of weight loss per week.


Related Health Conditions

Obesity often leads to health conditions such as heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), malnutrition, fatty liver, etc. Excessive fat is hard to metabolize, and can upset both liver and kidney function. Allowing oneself to become overweight is harmful to physical, emotional and mental health.