Obesity

Obesity

Yesterday we calculated body mass index (BMI) and classified ourselves as underweight, healthy, overweight and obese depending on the range. In case you missed out, you can find that here and calculate yours. I was surprisingly overweight myself and was a bit worried but I calmed down. I will tell you why when we tackle being overweight.

So, what is obesity?

When you accumulate body fat to unhealthy levels which predispose you to certain risks, you are considered obese.We found out that when your body mass index is over thirty, you tend to lie in the obesity pool.

What causes obesity?

Sedentary lifestyle; this is the scientific way of saying lazy. Children do not play out anymore. We have 11-year-old brothers that are playing video games. Toddlers grow up learning how to use the ipad. We order on line instead of taking that long walk to the mall. This is us. It is an easy life to some extent but our kids will not know how much fun it was to be outside and play games. They will not realize how much fun it was to play hide and seek when they have it as an app. I’m taking into account that there are not so many games like Pokémon Go.

Calories: We are so lazy; we do not even cook anymore. Fast food is cheap; KFC is opening up more branches. Piling calories upon calories with no exercise. We all know one mum who gives the little girl a burger for breakfast and packs cakes for break.

No sleep: There is a record label called ‘team no sleep’. We are so obsessed with work; we leave no room for sleep. Also, getting 12 hours of sleep is not healthy either.

Pathophysiology

This is an interesting part. I love it because I learnt it in class. We have two genes, leptin and ghrelin.

Ghrelin is expressed by the body to control hunger and appetite such that: When the stomach is full, you take in less food than when it is empty. Leptin on the other hand is expressed by the adipose tissues (which store fat) such that: When a lot of fat is stored, your appetite reduces and when low fat is stored, your appetite increases. Any mutation (abnormality) in these genes, often observed in leptin may lead to increased appetite and therefore the risk of obesity.

Is it hereditary?

Scientific studies have shown that in families where both parents are obese, 80% of children end up obese. However, when parents are of normal weight, 10% of children become obese.

Which health conditions are associated with obesity?

These are but a few, there are several other conditions that are neurological (related to the brain and nervous system) and endocrinal (related to hormones, mainly reproductive).

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis

How can it be treated?

Diet and regular exercise.

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See you tomorrow.

References: Wikipedia

 

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