Obesity is often associated with an increased risk of more than 20 chronic illness and health conditions that can have a devastating effect on a person’s health. It is a risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases including diabetics, high cholesterol, hypertension, heart and related ailments, some cancers, and arthritis. According to a study published in 2014, India is the third most obese country in the world. Hence, obesity and obesity-related health complications are driving up the health care costs in India. This article highlights risk factors associated with obesity and how you can fight them.
What is Obesity?
Obesity means having too much fat in the body which can have a negative effect on your overall health. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 29.9 you are considered overweight. And if it is 30 or above, you are considered obese.
Related: Check Your Health with our BMI Calculator
Factors Leading to Obesity
Different factors lead to obesity, some of them are:
- Eating too many calories
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Lack of sleep
- Certain medications
- Obesity or FTO gene
Obesity-Related Chronic Illness
Obesity and diet-related chronic diseases are largely preventable, but the complex systemic factors causing them make it difficult to find effective solutions. Poor diets are not only a risk factor for obesity, but for other chronic diseases too. For example, eating lots of fats ups the risk of high blood lipid levels and high salt intake can cause high blood pressure. These can, in turn, increase chances of heart attacks, heart failure, and kidney ailment. Here’s a closer look at some diseases linked to obesity.
Heart diseases: Being overweight makes you more likely to have high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol. Both these conditions increase the chances of a heart attack.
Type 2 diabetes: Most individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes are overweight. But if you lose weight, you can lower your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Healthy diet and exercising also reduce your need for medication.
Cancer: Breast cancer, colon cancer, and cancers of the kidney and esophagus are linked to obesity.
Gallstones: Gallbladder diseases and gallstones are common if you are overweight. And rapid weight loss increases your chances of getting gallstones. So, go slow when it comes to losing weight.
Osteoarthritis: This joint condition often affects the knee, hip or back. If you’re obese, the condition can worsen, putting pressure on the cartilage.
Gout: This affects the joints and happens when you have too much uric acid in your blood. It is more common in overweight people. The more you weigh, the more likely you are to get gout. However, there are ways to keep gout at bay.
Ways to Fight Obesity
With any health issue, prevention is the key. The same applies to obesity. So below are few ways to fight obesity.
Exercise: Sweating it out for at least 30 minutes every day will go a long way in your overall health. Vigorous intensity activity can be limited to 20 minutes for at least 3 days a week.
Drink lemon water: Drinking a glass of lemon water on an empty stomach every morning can also help to fight obesity. This drink helps with the cleansing process which is important when trying to get rid of the excess fat. Know more about other drinks that help lose weight.
Don’t skip breakfast: Many people think they can cut calories by skipping breakfast, however, that is not right. Studies show that eating breakfast helps you consume fewer total calories for the day. Also, those who eat cereals for breakfast have lower BMI than people who eat meat and eggs. Eating right food and in a right way helps you lose weight.
Eat an apple every day: Having an apple daily not only keeps the doctor away but can also help you get rid of the excess fat. Try to eat an organic apple as it contains live enzymes and phytonutrients [Ref] that help detoxify the body.
Drink plenty of water: Drink at least 6-8 glasses of filtered water daily. This will flush fat and other harmful toxins from your system. Also, increase the intake of fruits and vegetables that are high in water content.
Walk for an hour daily: An hour-long walk every day will change your body dramatically within a month. This way your body will get fresh air as well which is essential to remain healthy.
Portion control: Large serving sizes are one of the leading reasons behind obesity. Many people don’t know what a normal serving size is. In fact, what once served a family of four is now being consumed by a single person as a meal.
Watch what you eat: There was a time when the nutritional value was a priority in most households. However today, it is the speed at which you can cook or order food that matters. With the rising obesity rates and the equally high numbers of overweight individuals, focusing on nutrition and health is vital.
All the above-mentioned tips are safe and effective if followed on a daily basis. Follow them and you’ll see the difference yourself.