According to the OMS obesity is “a disease caused by multi factors (multifactorial) where social, cultural, genetic physiological, metabolic, cellular and molecular factors are involved, and it is characterized by an increase of adipose tissue within the organism, and is accompanied by a series of illnesses.
In other words, it is the accumulated fat within the body in relation to muscular mass. The normal fat ranges for men ar 15-20% and for women is 25-30%, and if anyone above this average will be considered obese.
Nowadays obesity should be considered an epidemy, it is a public health problem where more than half of the adult population is affected and it is alarmingly increasing within the pediatric population.
he 2006 National Health and Nutrition Survey indicates that a fourth of all children, a third of teenagers and 70% of adults are either overweight or obese. Obesity presents an approximate 38.4% in males and 43.3% in women, this is alarming if we consider the death risk involved in obese patients which is increasing 4.22 times in men and 3.79 in women.
Many of the strategies that produce successful weight loss and maintenance will help prevent obesity. Improving your eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. Things you can do include:
- Eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A vegetable serving is one cup of raw vegetables or one-half cup of cooked vegetables or vegetable juice. A fruit serving is one piece of small to medium fresh fruit, one-half cup of canned or fresh fruit or fruit juice, or one-fourth cup of dried fruit.
- Choose whole grain foods such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. Avoid highly processed foods made with refined white sugar, flour and saturated fat.
- Weigh and measure food to gain an understanding of portion sizes. For example, a three-ounce serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Avoid super-sized menu items particularly at fast-food restaurants. You can achieve a lot just with proper choices in serving sizes.
- Balance the food “checkbook.” Eating more calories than you burn for energy will lead to weight gain.
- Weigh yourself regularly.
- Avoid foods that are high in “energy density” or that have a lot of calories in a small amount of food. For example, a large cheeseburger and a large order of fries may have almost 1,000 calories and 30 or more grams of fat. By ordering a grilled chicken sandwich or a plain hamburger and a small salad with low-fat dressing, you can avoid hundreds of calories and eliminate much of the fat intake. For dessert, have fruit or a piece of angel food cake rather than the “death by chocolate” special or three pieces of home-made pie.
- Crack a sweat: accumulate at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activity on most, or preferably, all days of the week. Examples include walking a 15-minute mile, or weeding and hoeing the garden.
- Make opportunities during the day for even just 10 or 15 minutes of some calorie-burning activity, such as walking around the block or up and down a few flights of stairs at work. Again, every little bit helps.
The causes for obesity are many, genetic , metabolic, psychological and social factors amongst others have been reported, but a major influences is the new and inadequate nutritional habits and a sedentary life characteristic of modern life.
The basic mechanism is an unbalance between caloric ingestion and use of energy, influenced by the latter mentioned factors and which will be discussed later.
The majority of patients can benefit from medical treatments (diets, exercise, psychological support, etc) as long as they are handled by professionals.
If you are overweight, you are not alone. About two thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Achieving a healthy weight can help you control your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. It might also help you prevent weight-related diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers.
Eating too much or not being physically active enough will make you overweight. To maintain your weight, the calories you eat must equal the energy you burn. To lose weight, you must use more calories than you eat. A weight-control strategy might include
- Choosing low-fat, low-calorie foods
- Eating smaller portions
- Drinking water instead of sugary drinks
- Being physically active