Obesity: The 17 Most Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Diaries (Part 29): Obesity – The 17 Most Frequently Asked Questions

obesity
Contributed by: Rachana Arya

 

Introduction

Gaining weight is not only inconvenient; it can also have major consequences for your overall health. In India, the prevalence rate of obesity varies from 11.8% to 36.3%. Once thought to be a problem only in high-income countries, overweight and obesity are increasingly becoming more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in metropolitan areas.

Let us explore the biochemical mechanisms that keep people obese.

 

FAQ #1: What is obesity?

Obesity is a complex disease involving excessive body fat accumulation in the body. 

 

FAQ #2: What causes obesity?

Obesity results due to a combination of causes and individual factors. which include:

 

    • Consuming more energy-dense foods (i.e. unhealthy food habits)
    • Sedentary lifestyle
    • Lack of physical activity and everyday movement

 

FAQ #3: What are the warning signs that indicate you are obese?

 

    • Dyspnea or Shortness of breath
    • Aching knees
    • Sweating (more than usual)
    • Backache
    • Skin problems
    • Depression
    • Heartburn
    • Snoring

 

FAQ #4: How does obesity impact health?

Obesity is a precursor to many serious and sometimes fatal disorders. Obese people have a higher risk of several serious diseases and health disorders than those who are of normal or healthy weight.

 

FAQ #5: Does obesity cause medical complications?

Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is also a medical problem. If you have too much fat – especially in your waist area – it increases the risk of a host of diseases and health problems, such as:

 

 

FAQ #6: What parts of the body does obesity affect?

Obesity affects nearly each and every part of the body in some way or the other, including the brain, heart, liver, gallbladder, blood vessels, bones, and joints.

 

FAQ #7: Is obesity a risk factor for heart disease?

Yes. Obesity places a person at higher risk for coronary heart disease because having excess body fat –

 

    • Raises cholesterol and triglyceride levels
    • Raises blood pressure levels
    • Raises blood sugar levels

 

FAQ #8: Is it true that fat shortens life expectancy?

Life expectancy is shortened by as much as 20 years in men and roughly 5 years in women who have extreme obesity (BMI 40).

 

FAQ #9: Is obesity gender specific?

Obesity prevalence among women is substantially higher than among males, according to various research.

 

FAQ #10: Do genes have a role in obesity?

New research into the biological mechanisms of obesity suggests that genes can directly cause obesity contributing to 40% to 70% of obesity. Having said that, it is important to remember that habits, as well as environmental factors, have a greater impact on weight than genetics.

 

FAQ #11: What can we do to avoid genetic obesity?

A physically active lifestyle can help to overcome a hereditary propensity to obesity.

 

FAQ #12: Can you be obese and still remain healthy?

It is possible to be overweight and yet healthy, especially if you’re free from chronic diseases like hypertension or diabetes.

 

FAQ #13: What happens if you don’t treat obesity?

Obesity is a significant medical condition that can lead to metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries), heart diseases, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, malignancies, and sleep disturbances.

 

FAQ #14: Is it possible to reverse the effects of obesity?

Some studies have indicated that some of the negative effects of obesity on the heart can be reversed by lowering calories and losing weight.

 

FAQ #15: How can obesity be reduced?

Here are some suggestions:

 

    • Incorporate physical activity into your daily activities. On most days of the week, try to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity
    • Encourage and support daily, high-quality physical education for your children
    • Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars
    • Limit your time spent watching television and engaging in other sedentary activities like using computers or playing video games
    • Try to create more chances for physical activity at the workplace
    • Make light physical activity accessible for the elderly.
    • Choose healthier food options. Eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day

 

FAQ #16: How can obesity be controlled with food?

Eating a healthy diet in conjunction with increased levels of physical activity can help prevent obesity.

 

    • Consume more “good” fat and less “bad” fat
    • Reduce your intake of processed and sugary foods
    • Increase your vegetable and fruit consumption
    • Consume a high-fibre diet
    • Focus on foods with a low glycemic index

 

FAQ #17: Which Ayurvedic herbs help to control obesity?

Some medicinal plants (Ayurveda) that help in weight reduction are:

 

    • Triphala
    • Brahmi
    • Garcinia cambogia 
    • Curry leaves
    • Turmeric
    • Mint
    • Ginger
    • Cinnamon
    • Black pepper

 

Final thoughts

Considering the serious biological changes that occur in the bodies of obese people, it is recommended to treat obesity as a disease that should be taken seriously. Also, it’s best to get regular health screenings to ensure that your health is in optimum condition, and to take preventive measures if any concern crops up. 

 

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