Obesity means having excess body fat. Adults 35 years of age and older with a BMI greater than 30 are obese.
The definition of obesity varies depending on what one reads. In general, overweight and obesity indicate a weight greater than what is healthy. Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat. A certain amount of body fat is necessary for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions.
Body mass index best defines obesity. A person’s height and weight determines his or her body mass index. The body mass index (BMI) equals a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m) squared (more information will be found later in the article).
Since BMI describes body weight relative to height, there is a strong correlation with total body fat content in adults. An adult who has a BMI of 25-29.9 is overweight, and an adult who has a BMI over 30 is obese. A person with a BMI of 18.5-24.9 has a normal weight. A person is morbidly obese (extreme obesity) if his or her BMI is over 40.
Chronic Medical Disease
Obesity is not just a cosmetic consideration. It is a chronic medical disease that can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gallstones, and other chronic illnesses.
Obesity is a risk factor for a number of cancers. Obesity is difficult to treat and has a high relapse rate. Most people who lose weight regain the weight within five years.
Even though medications and diets can help. The treatment of obesity cannot be a short-term “fix” but has to be a lifelong commitment to proper diet habits, increased physical activity, and regular exercise. The goal of treatment should be to achieve and maintain a “healthier weight,” not necessarily an ideal weight.
Even a modest weight loss of 5%-10% of initial weight and the long-term maintenance of that weight loss can bring significant health benefits by lowering blood pressure and lowering the risks of diabetes and heart disease.
Other Real Reasons Behind Obesity
Leptin resistance: Leptin is a very important hormone that helps regulate appetite and metabolism. It’s produced by fat cells and sends a signal to the part of your brain that tells you to stop eating.
Leptin regulates the number of calories you eat and burn, as well as how much fat your body stores. The more fat contained in fat cells, the more leptin they produce. People with obesity produce a lot of leptin. However, they also tend to have a condition called leptin resistance.
Thus, even though your body produces a lot of leptin, your brain doesn’t see or recognize it. When your brain doesn’t receive the leptin signal, it wrongly thinks that it’s starving. Even if it has more than enough body fat stored.
This causes your brain to change physiology and behavior to regain the fat that it thinks you’re missing. Hunger is increased, and you burn fewer calories to prevent starvation. Trying to exert willpower against the leptin-driven starvation signal is almost impossible for many people.
Leptin resistance is common in people with obesity. Your brain doesn’t sense the leptin that is produced and thinks that you’re starving. This causes a powerful physiological drive to eat more.
Poor nutrition education
In modern society, you’re confronted with endless advertisements, health statements, nutrition claims, and unhealthy foods. Despite the importance of nutrition, children and adults are generally not taught how to eat properly.
Teaching children the importance of a healthy diet. Proper nutrition has been shown to help them make better choices later in life. Nutrition education is very important, especially when forming the dietary and lifestyle habits that you bring into adulthood.
Teaching children the importance of proper nutrition is important, but nutrition education is generally lacking in society.
Addictive junk food
Some foods can be downright addictive. Food addiction involves being addicted to junk food in the same way drug addicts are addicted to drugs. This is more common than you may think.
In fact, up to 20% of people may live with food addiction, and this number goes up to. About 25% of people with obesity or excess weight. When you become addicted to something, you lose your freedom of choice. Your brain chemistry starts making decisions for you.
Junk foods can be addictive, and up to 25% of people with obesity or excess weight may live with food addiction.
The effect of gut bacteria
Your digestive system hosts an immense number of bacteria, which are known as your gut microbiota. Many studies show that these bacteria are incredibly important for overall health. Interestingly, people with obesity tend to have different gut bacteria than those with a normal weight.
The gut bacteria in individuals with obesity or excess weight may be more efficient at harvesting energy from food. Increasing the total caloric value of their diet.
While understanding of the relationship between weight and gut bacteria is limited, compelling evidence suggests that. These microorganisms play an important role in obesity. People with obesity have different gut bacteria than people with a normal weight. This may cause people with obesity to store more fat.
In some areas, buying healthy food is simply not an option. These areas are often called food deserts. And located in urban neighborhoods or rural towns without ready access to healthy, affordable food. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers markets, and healthy food providers within walking distance.
Those living in these regions are often poor and may not have access to a vehicle to travel far to buy groceries. An inability to buy healthy and fresh foods limits your diet substantially and increases your risk of problems like obesity.
Other environmental factors may play a role in obesity as well. Including artificial light from electric light bulbs, computers, phones, and televisions. Even though the link between screen use and obesity has been well established. Most studies chalk this up to a lack of exercise.
However, nighttime exposure to light and changes to your inner circadian rhythm may also contribute to obesity. Animal studies suggest that artificial light may alter the inner circadian clock. Making rodents more susceptible to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Several environmental factors can make you more susceptible to obesity. Including living in a food desert and exposure to artificial light.