Everyday, whether it’s at office, the mall, the park and even on the street, it’s quite normal to see people in various shapes and sizes – slim, fit, fat or obese. In fact, obesity is considered to be one of our generation’s major health problems. This makes it even more important to know how to take care of your family’s health and avoid the side effects of being overweight. And to help you avoid it or lower it, here are some essential facts to consider:
Obesity: What is it?
Obesity occurs when the body accumulates excess fat. This creates many health problems, some life-threatening. The causes of obesity involve many factors, including hereditary, environmental and mental factors.
Obesity: How do you measure it?
Obesity can be measured by a tool called the BMI or Body Mass Index. To do this, divide your weight by the square of your height; if you get a number that’s between 30 and 39.9 then you are considered to be obese. If the index oversteps 40, then you suffer from severe obesity which is accompanied by dangerous health consequences.
Quite simply, if your height was 1.64m, the square of that would be 1.64x1.64, which is 2.69. Now divide your weight, 90kg for example by 2.6 and you get 33.7. This is your BMI. And this can put you at risk of many health problems.
Obesity: What causes it?
Obesity is a result of excess energy intake that exceeds energy output. In other words, when you consume more calories than your body burns (energy in more than energy out), then your body will store the excess calories as fat. This can be due to:
- Modern lifestyle and long hours spent sitting at the computer
- Eating food that’s high in calories and fat
- Replacement of traditional food with fast food
- Watching too much TV and the influence of advertising
- Lack of physical activity
- Slow metabolism, which is the rate at which calories are burnt in the body
Obesity: How to combat it?
The best solution is to follow a balanced, varied diet accompanied by exercising an average of 60 minutes per day.
Good to know:
Worldwide, 1 billion people are overweight, and this number will increase progressively to reach a billion and half by 2015!