Introduction to Obesity
Obesity is a term used to describe a person who is extremely overweight with a high percentage of body fat.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a term used to describe a person who is extremely overweight with a high percentage of body fat. There is a high prevalence of people affected by it in the UK, with an estimated 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 children aged 10-11 in the UK.
What are the causes for Obesity?
Obesity is generally caused by the consumption of an excessive amount of calories, than more that you burn off through physical activity. The excess calories consumed are usually from sugary and highly fatty foods, which also can be promoted by lifestyles that include spending a lot of time sitting down, whether it is at work or at home.
What are the symptoms of Obesity?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as a measure of whether you are a healthy weight for your height. On average, a BMI of 30- 39.9 is considered obese, and 40 and above is severely obese. However, it is worth noting that sometimes BMI values can be misleading especially if you have a lot of muscle. Another more robust measure of excess fat is waist circumference measurement, where men with a waist bigger than 94cm and women with a waist bigger than 80cm have a higher risk of developing obesity related problems, such as coronary heart disease and stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancers.
How is Obesity treated?
The best treatment to combat obesity is a healthier calorie-reduced diet and increased exercise. A balanced diet can be recommended by your doctor, or nutritionist. Taking up physical activity such as jogging swimming and tennis, starting with an hour a day is also good. Physiological support from a trained professional is also useful in helping change the way you think about food.
There is also a drug called orlistat which may be recommended by your GP. It helps by reducing fat absorption during digestion. In some cases, weight loss surgery such as a gastric band may be recommended, though it is encouraged to try and use a calorie controlled diet as a first step for weight loss.