Obesity is a disorder characterized by excessive levels of body fat, which in most cases is associated with the emergence of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, cerebrovascular, venous and respiratory disorders, among other pathologies that shorten life expectancy, especially in young adults.
The problem arises when people who suffer from excess weight at an early age, are not corrected in time and later becomes morbid obesity, undoubtedly the most dangerous that exists. And it is that this disorder is not only an aesthetic or social problem but has become a chronic pandemic that suffers the whole world, even out of control.
It is proven, according to studies, that people with obesity or excess weight, have a strong addiction by excessive consumption of junk food, being this a condition associated with a low socioeconomic level or even a genetic or hereditary context.
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This pathology can also be triggered by a psychological-emotional problem, especially when the person perceives himself negatively, which leads to insecurity, depression and anxiety disorders.
To be more precise, the professionals in the area have classified two types, according to the distribution of body fat.
Two types of obesity
This is located in the face, neck, trunk and upper abdomen. It is the most frequent in males.
Predominantly in the lower abdomen, hips, and buttocks. It is more frequent in women.
In this sense, lifestyle changes should be promoted and developed, such as following a healthier diet and exercising daily to create good habits that help burn body fat progressively.
Experts also advise a minimum of five food intakes a day in reduced portions, as well as creating a food pattern similar to the Mediterranean diet, low in fat and rich in fruits and vegetables.
Causes of obesity
Although the fundamental cause of obesity or overweight is an imbalance between the calories consumed and those spent, there are several factors that can cause it. The following are some of the causes of obesity:
Eating habits: eating more calories than necessary to meet needs is one of the main causes, as we have already pointed out. The problem in many occasions is the composition of the foods (high in fats and carbohydrates and low in fiber) and the ignorance of their energy contribution.
Absence of physical exercise: leading a sedentary lifestyle, with low energy consumption, increases the risk of being overweight and obese.
Psychological factors: anxiety, stress, boredom or emotional instability can cause bad eating habits.
Hereditary causes: a person’s basal metabolism (the calories the body consumes at rest) seems to be determined hereditarily.
Hormonal diseases: Hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome are some of the hormonal diseases that can cause obesity or overweight.
Medications: Some drugs such as antidepressants, glucocorticoids, anticoceptives or antidiabetics can increase appetite and cause overeating.
Obesity has different symptoms and consequences that affect the quality of life of those who suffer it. These include the following:
Joint discomfort: excess weight causes an overload in the hip, knees, ankles and lower spine, which translates into pain and early wear.
Low physical endurance: fatigue and early exhaustion when carrying out activities.
Respiratory and sleep disorders: Obstructive sleep apnea may occur during sleep, causing loud snoring and respiratory failure.
Increased sweating: Excessive sweating is a very common symptom.
Diabetes: 44% of cases worldwide are attributed to overweight.
It increases the risk of suffering from some types of cancer: endometrium, breast, ovaries, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidneys and colon.
Psychological and social consequences: In addition to physical symptoms, this disease often leads to social or psychological problems. Some of them may be low self-esteem, discrimination or depression.
The treatment for overweight usually combines diet, physical exercise and behavioral therapy, the latter helps to change habits in a lasting way. It is recommended to eat between 500 and 800 calories per day less than the body needs and at least 5 hours of physical exercise per week.
However, in cases of obesity (BMI greater than 30) that cannot be resolved with healthy lifestyle habits, it is necessary to supplement treatment with medications that help weight loss. Likewise, for the treatment of severe obesity, surgical measures (reduction of the stomach) can be considered if all of the above has no effect.
It is important to bear in mind that both overweight and obesity can be prevented. A healthy lifestyle that includes a varied and balanced diet (rich in fruits and vegetables) and physical exercise is the best way to achieve this. The WHO recommends increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts and, in return, reducing the intake of processed products, sugar and salt. In terms of exercise, 60 minutes a day is recommended for young people and 150 minutes a week for adults.