Obesity is a complex disorder. Obesity occurs when there is an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity is different from being overweight.
Obesity occurs over time, as a result of eating more calories than is used. Being obese increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, some cancers and high blood pressure.
Being obese also means that you are likely to have health problems related to your weight.
Childhood obesity is also increasingly common. This is because as a result of a great variety of foods that are available and advertised which is likely to cause weight gain. Some children also have fewer opportunities for being active and exercising.
Being overweight can also cause problems for children in their health and even how there feel about themselves
There is good news, which is that even losing about 5 or 10 pounds of weight can improve or prevent the health problems that are associated with obesity.
Changes in your diet increased physical activity and behavioral changes can help also help you lose weight.
CAUSES OF OBESITY
Causes of obesity can be genetic, behavioral, with some hormonal influences which also affect body weight.
Obesity occurs when you take in more calories than your body can use or burn through exercise and normal day to day activities. As a result of these excess calories that are eaten, your body begins to store these excess calories as fat.
Causes of being obese in childhood are mixed. Obesity can also be traced to medical causes, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. But since these disorders are rare, principal causes of obesity are:
- Unhealthy eating habits and diets
Some of the causes of childhood obesity include:
- Skipping breakfast
- Eating very large portions of food
- As a result of the way the child lives, like eating foods that are high in sugar and fats, and not getting much exercise.
- Low intake of fruits and vegetables
- Watching television or using the computer always, which is usually preferred to an active play
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RISK FACTORS FOR OBESITY
Some of the risk factors for obesity are usually a combination of causes and contributing factors, including:
- Hereditary: Your genes play a role in the amount of body fat that your body stores, and where it is distributed. Your genes affect how efficiently your body converts food into energy and how your body also burns calories during exercise.
- Your family lifestyle: Obesity has a tendency of running in families. If one or both parents are obese, your risk of being obese is higher. This is not just because of genetics. Family members also have a tendency to share similar eating and activity habits.
- Eating unhealthy diet: These are diets that are high in calories, lacking fruits and vegetables, and also filled with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions.
- Inactivity: When you are not very active, your body do not burn as many calories. Living a sedentary lifestyle makes it easy to take in more calories every day than you burn through routine daily activities and exercise. Medical problems, such as arthritis, can lead to a decrease in activity, which can contribute to weight gain.
- Some medical problems such as; Cushing syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, arthritis
- Certain medications which can lead to weight gain such s antidepressants, diabetes medications, anti-seizure medications, antipsychotic medications, steroids and beta blockers.
- Obesity can occur at any age, but as you age, some hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle can also increase your risk for obesity.
- Smoking tobacco
- During pregnancy, women add some weight, which might prove difficult to lose for some women. This baby weight that is not lost can also be a contributing factor to developing obesity in women.
- Lack sleep
Having one or more of these risk factors doesn’t mean that you’re destined to become obese. These risk factors can be counteracted through diet, physical activity exercise, and some behavioral changes.
COMPLICATIONS OF OBESITY
If you develop obesity, you become more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:
- High triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cancer of the uterus, endometrium, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome. Which is a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol
- Diseases of the gallbladder
- Irregular periods, infertility
- Breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea. This is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
- Erectile dysfunction and some sexual health issues
TREATMENT OF OBESITY
The aim of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight.
You may need to work with some health professionals, including a dietician, obesity specialist so as to help you understand and make changes in your eating and activity habits.
The initial treatment goal starts with a modest weight loss, say 3 to 5 percent of your total weight.
Other treatment tools include the following:
- Dietary changes: by cutting your calories, making healthier choices and eating healthy foods, restricting some foods
- Exercise and activity: exercise more, keeps moving and being active.
- Behavior change: you can make some behavioral modifications through counseling and also support groups
- Prescription weight-loss medications. This form of treatment may be prescribed by your doctor to you if other forms of weight loss have not worked for you, when your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or greater than 30, or even greater than 27, when you have some medical complications of obesity such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and sleep apnea.
Some of the commonly prescribed weight loss medications include orlistat (Xenical), lorcaserin (Belviq), phentermine and topiramate (Qsymia), buproprion and naltrexone (Contrave), and liraglutide (Saxenda).
These medications require close monitoring while taking with a prescription.
It is also important to note that weight loss medications may not work for everyone, and when you stop taking them, you may regain all or some of the weight you lost
- Weight-loss surgery. This is also called bariatric surgery, and it poses some serious risks. Weight-loss surgery for obesity is considered if other methods of weight loss haven’t worked, if you are extremely obsessed (BMI of 40 or higher), when your BMI is 35 to 39.9, when you have some serious weight-related health problem, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
.Common weight-loss surgeries include the following:
- Gastric bypass surgery.
- Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB).
- Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch.
- Gastric sleeve.