Overweight and health management can be extremely frustrating and challenging for an individual especially when you don’t know the causes or the best approach of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Poor dieting plays a major role in overweight, and other causes could be stress and lack of sleep. In 2019, an estimated 38.2 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Overweight and obesity are now on the increase in low and middle income countries, particularly in urban settings. Globally, overweight and obesity were estimated to cause 3.4 million deaths, 3.9% of years of life lost and 3.8% of disabilities-adjusted life years in 2010.
What the causes of overweight and obesity?
The basic cause of overweight and obesity is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Generally, there have been:
- A high consumption of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars, and an increase in physical inactivity due to the increase in sedentary life style among many folks.
- Eating late at night causes overweight and this kind of life style can be dangerous to an individual health.
The common health consequences of overweight and obesity
Increase in the body mass index is a major risk factor of diseases such as:
- Musculoskeletal disorder (especially osteoarthritis- the wearing down of the protective tissues at the ends of bones (cartilage) which occurs gradually and worsen over time.
- Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart diseases and stroke), which is the leading cause of death in most countries.
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Dyslipidemia (High Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), low high density lipoprotein cholesterol, or high level of triglycerides) : This is an unhealthy levels of one or more kinds of lipid (fat) in your blood. Your blood contains three main types of lipid: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides. If you have dyslipidemia, it usually means your LDL levels or your triglycerides are too high. It can also mean your HDL levels are too low. LDL cholesterol is considered the “bad” type of cholesterol. That’s because it can build up and form clumps or plaques in the walls of your arteries. Too much plaque in the arteries of your heart can cause a heart attack. HDL is the “good” cholesterol because it helps remove LDL from your blood. Triglycerides come from the calories you eat but don’t burn right away. Triglycerides are stored in fat cells. They’re released as energy when you need them. If you eat more calories than you burn, though, you can get a buildup of triglycerides. High LDL and triglyceride levels put you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. Low levels of HDL cholesterol are linked to higher heart disease risks.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Gallbladder disease: Includes inflammation, infection, stones or blockage of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a sac located under the liver. It stores and concentrates bile produced in the liver. Bile aids in the digestion of fat and is released from the gallbladder into the upper small intestine in response to food (especially fats). Types of gallbladder disease include: Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder), Gallstones, Chronic acalculous gallbladder disease (in which the natural movements needed to empty the gallbladder do not work well), Gangrene or abscesses, Growths of tissue in the gallbladder, Congenital defects of the gallbladder, Sclerosing cholangitis, Tumors of the gallbladder and bile ducts. The mildest and most common symptom of gallbladder disease is intermittent pain called biliary colic. Typically, a patient experiences a steady gripping or gnawing pain in the upper right abdomen near the rib cage, which can be severe and can radiate to the upper back. Some patients with biliary colic experience the pain behind the breastbone. Nausea or vomiting may occur between 1 percent and 3 percent of people with symptomatic gallstones develop inflammation in the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis), which occurs when stones or sludge block the duct. The symptoms are similar to those of biliary colic but are more persistent and severe. They include pain in the upper right abdomen that is severe and constant and may last for days. Pain frequently increases when drawing a breath. About a third of patients have fever and chills. Nausea and vomiting may occur.
How can weight loss be achieved and well managed?
In the context of medicine, and health or physical fitness, weight loss refers to the reduction of the total body mass, by a mean loss of fluid, body fat (adipose tissue), or lean mass (bone mineral deposits, muscles, tendon, and other connective tissues). For weight loss to be rightly achieved, proper management needs to be adopted. Supportive environment and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activities. Therefore in achieving this at individual level, people can:
- Limit the energy intake from total fats and sugars
- Increase in the consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. The fiber in these foods helps in managing the rates at with energies are absorbed in the body.
- Engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes daily for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).
An individual need to take responsibility for maintaining and managing his/her health for body fitness to be achieved. Overweight, health and management doesn’t mean you need to starve your body the right and proper nutrient or food but you need to adopt the right approach in achieving this by proper management.
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Be confident about your body, don’t allow yourself to be depressed or give in to low esteem, being obese or overweight can be managed, being obese doesn’t mean its the end of the world for you, consciously and diligently do the necessary thing that will give you the sole body you desire.