A shocking research says that one in every five people across India suffers from obesity. What is more shocking is that there are 400 million obese people worldwide. Obesity is increasingly becoming a pan-Indian phenomenon. It is no longer restricted to first world and developed nations. On one hand, there are the under-nourished and malnutrition fighting India, whereas on the other there is the section of society fighting obesity and excess body weight. It is indeed a very cruel irony! So, what is obesity? What are the criterion that decide it is time you lose that extra weight from your body? What are the tests to know if you fall into the obese or overweight category? What then to do in order to shed the obese tag? What are the risks that you get exposed to as a result of obesity and the surgical options if any? And also, when is time to put a semicolon on your favorite pastas and pastries?
Read on to find out…
What is obesity?
In simplistic terms, obesity is the state of being overweight. The height and weight proportion is largely out of sync with each other in an obese person.
How is obesity measured?
Obesity is measured using a tool called Body Mass Index (BMI). It is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. A BMI exceeding 30 denotes that you are indeed obese. A BMI between 18-24 is considered normal. So, calculating your Body Mass Index can tell you right away, whether you are obese, normal or under-weight.
People generally tend to put off consulting a nutritionist when they know they are at the cusp of being overweight. There is a still different tribe of people who join the nearest gymnasium only to ditch it in a matter of few months. However, undergoing tests like lipid profile, blood sugar test and a thyroid test too is beneficial for people irrespective of their weight bracket.
What are the types of obesity?
Obesity is the by-product of development and of course the globalization this development ushers in. With the advent of westernization, people tend to blindly ape the cultures and fads practiced in the West. Obesity however, also has 6 types, as pointed by expert studies. The 6 types are based on individuals falling into those categories, which are as follows:
- People with poor health:
This group has people suffering from serious health issues which are mental as well as physical. As a result, their quality of life and satisfaction were low.
- Younger but healthy females:
These women were reported to follow healthy practices and so had a higher level of satisfaction and positivity about life in general.
- Heavy male drinkers:
This category is of males who are heavy drinkers, yet reported above average levels of exercise.
- Older with physical health condition yet happy people:
Group consisting of older people suffering from various illnesses yet leading their life contentedly.
- Middle aged anxious and unhealthy individuals:
Primarily consisting of females who were middle aged and unhealthy because of poor physical fitness levels.
- Older affluent healthy adults:
This group consisted of adults elder than middle aged ones following healthier life practices.
How to get rid of obesity?
The obesity demon needs to be tackled using a perfect blend of physical activity and a very carefully curated diet. It is as important to see what is on your plate as the intervals between meals and of course the quantity of food you put into your tummy.
It won’t be of any use if you consume 2 carrots and 3 burgers as “food.” Similarly, it is also useless if you decide to go swimming or hiking or cycling for a single week in a month and then leave it abruptly. Exercising and food should be maintained in tune with each other to be able to see tangible results in few months.
Here are few tried and tested methods to make the weighing scale tilt in your favor:
- Look out on the junk part on your plate:
Control your urge to eat junk food which is unfortunately yummy and unhealthy at the same time! Junk food like burgers, fries, pizza, pastas and an endless list of goodies take a toll on your waistline and hence, should be consumed frugally. Doesn’t mean you have to bid good-bye to these forever. Eating a burger or a small pastry once in a month to keep your diet plan going is harmless.
- Have breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper:
Make the adage, “Have breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper” a habit and see your weight come back into the correct proportion. This is because, metabolism and physical activity is reduced in the time span of one’s sleep and hence, calories aren’t burned that time as compared to in the course of a day. Moreover, it keeps you full until lunch hour. However a heavier breakfast in no terms means binge eating or eating whatever you like. Having a bowl of yogurt, oats, cereals or a brown bread sandwich is acceptable, rather than a donut or a bowl of instant noodles.
- Exercise routine:
If you have opted for gym training, then ask your trainer to include weight training and cardio workout at least twice a week. Teaming up swimming, dancing and other such low impact exercises with your usual exercises could go a long way in helping you lose weight.
- Swimming and water sports:
Swimming is the surest way of losing weight and having an envied waistline. Swimming hourly bouts on alternate days is extremely gainful. 650 calories are consumed in just an hour of swimming. So it is an extremely good mode to lose weight. Swimming not only aides in reducing your weight, but also helps in boosting your metabolism.
- Avoid diet sodas:
Diet sodas are as detrimental to one’s health as are chocolates or hamburgers. Drinking a can of diet soda post workout is as harmful as eating a whole chocolate box to reward yourself for following a grueling workout routine.
- Drink loads of water:
Following the standard 8 glass rule for water consumption is a must in order to lose weight. Drinking sufficient water throughout the day is a precursor to sharpen your metabolism and eliminate toxins for a less beefed up body.
- Early dinner:
It may sound very silly, but early dinner has many virtues to it. Digestion and enhanced metabolism are a couple of it. Keeping a 3 hour gap between dinner and sleep is absolutely conducive to good digestion. Ultimately, good digestion helps you from putting on weight. An early dinner thus saves one from the peril of obesity.
- Sports activity:
Playing a strenuous team sport such as table tennis, badminton or hockey, helps you lose calories in no time. Regularly playing any of such games with people your age keeps you hale and hearty, but also saves you from being overweight and obese.
What are the health risks that you get exposed to as a result of obesity?
Obesity is extremely unhealthy for anyone. If it is not eliminated, it exposes the body to many potential health concerns and dangers. Obesity shouldn’t be considered only a cosmetic concern, it is a huge danger to one’s quality of life and well-being.
Cholesterol and obesity share an interdependent relationship. An imbalance in the good and bad cholesterol levels, triggers a volley of serious health conditions. Hence, it is important to maintain an optimum level of cholesterol. Cholesterol is not the bad element it is painted by people masquerading as medical experts. It has a useful side to it too; that of digestion and memory building among few. To know more about cholesterol and its effects on the body click here.
Obesity gives rise to risk of getting malignant tumors, and hence, cancers of breast, gallbladder, digestive system etc.
- Metabolic syndrome:
Metabolic syndrome is the collective term for signifying the health risks that could trigger heart disease in a person. A large waistline and a high blood sugar are a couple of factors that could give rise to metabolic syndrome.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnoea:
Sleep Apnoea and obesity are linked to each other. Sleep deprivation is termed as one route to obesity and the ensuing dangers of it. Sleep deprivation also increases calorie intake and appetite; this is also a way to invite obesity. So if you are overweight, then sleep surely is one reason.
- Type 2 Diabetes:
Type 2 Diabetes is a sure shot additive to being obese. Blood sugar levels in an obese person are high, which leads to type 2 diabetes in them. Abdominal fat makes the body resistant to insulin and thus leads to type 2 diabetes.
- Heart attack:
Blood pressure is affected due to a large belly. This exposes you to risk of suffering heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Physical inactivity is as responsible for heart diseases as is the food we intake.
What are the surgical treatments for obesity?
The age of junk food and instant noodles is making it hard for people to shed calories and thus their weight. People resort to various weight loss techniques surgically, when all the other non-surgical techniques like exercising and diet plans do not work out.
Scientific advancements and research has made it possible to enhance the way you look through surgical weight loss. There are many surgical techniques such as gastric bypass surgery, laparoscopic banding surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, liposuction and bariatric surgery options available in India.
However, such surgeries are absolutely inadvisable for everyone wishing to undergo weight loss for cosmetic reasons. Weight loss through surgical methods is called for, only and only if other non-surgical methods do not work at all. Also experts strongly feel that bariatric procedures as mentioned above are no way a method of weight loss for people who do not want to exercise or follow diet programs. They are strictly life-saving procedures and should be kept that.
To conclude, obesity is a very bad phenomenon which reduces life expectancy of people and also quality of their existing life. Avoid being a couch potato and being a junk food addict; that way you ensure an obesity-free life. Keeping obesity outside the door is in our hands. However, the means for doing so is completely up to the individual.