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Obesity - The New Epidemic - Causes, Complications and Treatment

Obesity is probably the biggest threat to world health, rising worldwide, doubling between 1991 and 1998 and showing no signs of slowing down. In the United States with Australia recognized as having the biggest obesity problem, about 300,000 deaths a year are directly linked to this condition. Of particular concern is the phenomenal increase in childhood obesity and adolescent obesity.

What is Obesity?

More than the amount of body fat that results from calorie intake that exceeds energy consumption, it can be defined as having a BMI or body mass index of more than 30 or as 20% or more than the maximum desired weight for men or 25% for women. BMI is calculated by dividing a person's weight in pounds by his height in squares. For example, a person who is 1.6m tall and 70kg will have a BMI of 70 / (1.6 * 1.6) = 27.34


Obesity produces shorter lifespans associated with: insulin abnormalities, hypertension, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, stroke (especially where fat is the stomach), fertility problems, depression, cancers including breast, endometrial and colon cancer, gall bladder disease, polycystic Ovarian syndrome, musculoskeletal problems such as osteoarthritis and back pain, as well as gout, cataracts, stress, incontinence, sleep apnea and diabetes mellitus complicate and exacerbate all previous conditions.

Causes of Obesity

Other than being clear about eating and exercising, genetic tendencies, abnormal nutrient absorption, growth hormone damage or insulin regulators and hypothalamic dysfunction have all been implicated.

There is an inverse ratio between the socioeconomic status of the area and the prevalence of obesity, especially among women. Parental obesity increases the likelihood of obesity in children. Psychological factors like stress or emotional eating can also exacerbate the problem.

Prevention and Treatment

Obesity is a preventable disease that can be alleviated by better education, improved community exercise programs and better dissemination of nutritional information.

Individuals should strive to change their lifestyle;

* Exercise more

* Reduce calorie intake

* eat ordinary snacks

* Increases water intake

* Eat more fruits

* Eat less fast food

Many popular dietary methods are counterproductive, resulting in early weight loss caused by water deprivation and resulting in a yo-yo effect that causes severe tension in the body.

Alternative treatments that may lead to better weight loss and better long-term outcomes include; behavioral counseling, hypnosis and acupuncture. As a last resort, surgery that reduces the ability of the stomach is available to obese individuals.


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