According to a study led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine about obesity, an estimated 48.9% of Americans will be obese by 2030. Although worrying, this “trend” is not only seen in the USA.
Obesity is a disease characterized by excessive accumulation of fat. To diagnose this problem, a parameter called Body Mass Index (BMI) is used, which detects the possible level of fat in the body. If this index is above 30, the individual is considered obese.
In practice, BMI is obtained by dividing weight by height squared to be within the parameter considered normal, the BMI must be between 18.5 and 24.9. From this point on, it is necessary to be alert, because besides overweight or obesity, there are other diseases that can be triggered from this scenario.
This is because obesity is a major risk factor for the development of heart disease and hypertension. In addition, obesity can also impair social life because it makes it difficult to get acess and locomotion.
It is also important to say that the disease can be linked to several factors, such as genetic propensities, hormonal problems, eating habits, or lack of physical activities.
Obesity risk factors
Obesity is a chronic disease that can compromise quality of life. Being overweight should not be only or mainly a cosmetic concern, because, as it was said, obesity can generate several other diseases that are also considered serious.
Among the most frequent problems resulting from obesity are diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. In addition, the appearance of these diseases can even worsen the obesity condition itself.
It is important to note, in this sense, that this disease usually appears slowly, with gradual weight gain, which favors the lack of perception of the condition. Generally, weight gain is caused by an unregulated diet rich in fat and sugar, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and a general lack of healthy habits.
How to prevent it?
Obesity can be prevented, basically, by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. For this, it is necessary to have a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits, and cereals, always paying attention to the intake of sugar, fat, and sodium, which in turn need to be controlled.
Regular physical exercise is another key point in the fight against obesity, because a sedentary lifestyle can favor the development of the disease. Thus, it is fundamental to seek daily exercises that coincide with one’s lifestyle, so that the practice becomes something pleasurable and, consequently, a habit.
It is also necessary to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Therefore, it is recommended to drink at least two liters of water a day and to have small snacks during the daily routine, avoiding the consumption of meals that are too heavy and poorly distributed throughout the day.
Overeating can also be a health problem caused by stress, anxiety, or even depression, and if this is the case, it is essential that the patient seeks psychological help to deal with the problem.
How to treat obesity?
The first step in treating obesity is to change habits related to eating and physical activity. However, it is clear that in some cases this change is not enough to reverse worsening conditions of the disease.
In these situations, the doctor must prescribe a diet and drugs that help the patient lose weight, inhibit hunger, or even increase energy expenditure throughout the day. More severe cases can also lead to the indication of more specific interventions, such as bariatric surgeries.
Another very common treatment is with nutraceuticals, a type of food supplement that has several benefits for the body, among them, regulating the level of cholesterol and blood sugar, the gastric system, and the functioning of the thyroid gland.
In addition, it is desirable that all treatment be done under the supervision of a doctor, so that any possible reaction is addressed from a qualified and specialized point of view.
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