Nowadays, obesity has become an enormous as well as fatal health problem. This problem is not only in India but in other countries also Even in United States of America, one out Of three adults and one out of five children and teenagers are facing the problem of obesity.
In India also, we are sailing in the same boat. Most of the people since childhood, fall prey to obesity in most of the countries of the world.
In fact, “obesity is that condition of the body in which the amount of fat increases at extreme level.” In other words, obesity can be defined as “the condition when an individual weighs 20 per cent or more than the ideal weight.” A child weighing around 30 pounds (approximately 13.600 kg) or more than the ideal body weight is usually considered an abese. In the state of obesity the body weight of the individual is always more in comparison to height.
Due to a number of health risks of obesity, it has been declared a disease. It has been observed that obese persons usually fall prey to diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, osteoarthritis, flat foot, respiratory problems, varicose veins and liver malfunction etc.
Causes of Obesity
There can be various causes of obesity, which are described below:
1. Effect of Age : As the age of the person increases, specifically after 25 years, his body weight also increases at the rate of 1/2 kg annually. As a matter of fact, our basal metabolic rate starts declining after the age of 25 years. Hence, the body weight increases with the age of a person Finally, the person becomes obese.
2. Heredity : Due to heredity the propensity of obesity is usually seen in many families. For example, if the parents are obese, their children are likely to be obese Research studies else indicate that a person whose one parent is obese, chance of his becoming obese is 60 per cent; if both parents are obese, the chances may rise to as high as 90 per cent. These studies also indicate that a person’s genetic make-up may influence the tendency of the body to store too much energy or burn too little. But it does not mean that obesity is only due to genetic factors, there are a number of factors which play very vital role in obesity.
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3. Endocrinal Factors : Obesity may be due to endocrinal factors. As a matter of fact, the thyroid plays an important part in the obesity of an individual If it secretes less amount of thyroxine, the person can be obese. Due to endocrine glands, most of the ladies become obese during adolescence, pregnancy and in the state of menopause.
4. Eating Habits : The main reason of obesity is related to eating habits. Eating habits which cause obesity are as follows.
- Eating in excessive quantity : There are some children and persons who are habitual of taking food in excessive quantity) After taking huge amount of food, they get more calories than their requirement. As they do not do hard work, their expenditure of calories remains less) A person becomes obese if his intake of calories is more than the expenditure. For example, if a person eats a bread piece (20 gm.) everyday, which is not required, 48 calories in the form of fat will he deposited in his body everyday. If he continues to eat it everyday for 10 years, his extra body weight will be 20 kg. Hence, the children or persons, who take excessive amount of food, will naturally fall prey to obesity.
- Eating frequently : By eating the food frequently increases ‘the supply of calories. There are some children who are fond of eating frequently. Such children become obese later on.
- Eating rich carbohydrate food : Some people, specially children are fond of eating rich carbohydrated food, such as rice, sweets, toffees, chocolates, potatoes and other sweet food products. In fact, the excessive amount of carbohydrate converts Into adipose tissues. Hence, the body weight starts increasing very rapidly.
- Eating while reading or watching TV : Nowadays, children and adults take their meal while reading or watching TV. This is a very bad habit from the point of view of health. They concentrate on reading newspaper or magazines or watching TV instead of eating. In such a situation, they take more amount of food which increases their intake of calorie,. These extra calories are deposited in the form of fats. Therefore, they fall prey to obesity.
- Eating Fatty Food Stuffs : Taking fatty food-stuffs in the meal in excessive amount is also a bad habit/ Some children always prefer to take fatty food stuffs. (Some children prefer to take fast foods and junk foods like pizza, burger, etc . The amount of fat is more in the above mentioned food substances. Consequently pastry, chocolates, noodles and cold drinks the intake of calories increases. Hence, such type of foodstuffs enhance the weight of the person.
- Habit of Taking Intoxicants and Drugs : Nowadays, the propensity of taking intoxicants has increased in our society than ever before. There are various types of intoxicants, such as alcohol, tobacco, opium, morphine, heroin, sedatives, steroids and LSD etc. if an individual starts taking any of the intoxicants, he becomes habitual. After taking such intoxicants, when he takes his meal he does not know how much amount of food he has taken. So, overeating takes place. Hence, the person becomes obese by overeating also.
- Sedentary Lifestyle : Nowadays, most of the children lead a sedentary lifestyle. They do not believe in physical exercises. They prefer to watch TV or work on computer, ride in car rather than walking, and use elevators instead of stairs. If they want to switch on/off the fan/TV/light, they prefer to do it with remote control instead of doing it manually. In fact, most of the time they remain inactive. So tea unexpended calories ore accumulated in their bodies as fat. Hence they become obese due to their sedentary lifestyle.
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Diagnosis and Curative Measures of Obesity
Obesity can be prevented and cured easily A with the help of two types of preventive and curative measures i.e. diet-related preventive and curative measures and exercise-related preventive and curative measures. In fact, these two measures are directly related to lifestyle management and sports (exercise) measures. These measures are described below:
Diet-related Preventive and Curative Measures
These preventive and curative measures are related to diet. In these measures, the emphasis is laid down upon the reduced intake of calories. These are stated below:
- Avoid Fatty Foods : If you want to prevent obesity, you should avoid fatty foods in your diet. Fats are known to have maximum number of calories. These extra calories will be accumulated in your body. So avoid fatty foods, if you want to remain slim and trim.
- Avoid Junk and Fast Foods : Try to avoid junk and fast foods such as pizza, burger, chips, cookies, pastry, chocolate and cold drinks etc., if you want to prevent obesity. These food-stuffs are also rich in calories. Intake of such foodstuffs leads to obesity.
- Avoid Overeating : To prevent obesity, you should not overeat. I means that you should eat the food according to the requirement of your body. Suppose, you require 2,000 calories per day, then you should take the food that consists of only 2,000 calories. If you take 2,100 calories per day, the 100 calories will be accumulated daily as fat in your body. So, you should avoid overeating.
- Don’t Eat Frequently : You should not form a habit to eat frequently. The children who eat frequently usually take extra calories. Therefore, they become obese. So, always avoid to eat frequently.
- Avoid Rich Carbohydrated Food : To prevent obesity avoid rich carbohydrated food. But it does not mean that you should not take carbonydrates. Carbohydrate is necessary to increase the level of energy. So, you should reduce the amount of carbohydrate your diet. For this purpose try to avoid sugar, rice, potatoes, toffees, chocolates and the sweets.
- Don’t Skip Meals : Don’t skip your meals, lunch as breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you kip your meal, the next time you will definitely lo overeating which may lead to obesity in fact, skipping meals increases hunger Ind it results in greater food consumption next time.
- Take Low Calorie Diet : To prevent obesity, you should take low calorie diet but you should lot give up the essential constituents of food. It should be a nutritious one.
- Avoid Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs : Always keep it in mind that alcohol, smoking and drugs always lead to obesity. Alcohol is directly absorbed from the stomach in the blood streams and easily stored as fat. It is also applicable in case of smoking and drugs. So, never use such things, if you want to prevent obesity.
Exercise-related Preventive and Curative Measures
These measures also play a very vital role in preventing and curing the obesity. The following preventive and curative measures related to exercise can be used to prevent and cure obesity.
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- Regular physical exercises can do wonders in preventing obesity : Children need an hour of moderate to vigorous exercises everyday if they want to prevent obesity. They should do aerobic activity for at least 60 minutes per day. These exercises or aerobic activities can be in various forms, such as jogging, running, cycling and lancing etc. For aerobic activities an intensity if 55 to 60 per cent of the maximum heart rate should be set.
- To Play Games and Sports Regularly : Playing games and sports regularly is also beneficial for preventing obesity. Children should play various games/sports like football, basketball, hockey, handball, swimming and athletics etc. regularly at least for one hour. Make it a regular phenomenon for the whole lifespan.
- Weight training Exercises : Earlier, weight training exercises used to be considered harm for children as they put stress on joints. Now, the research studies indicate that weight training programmes for children are safe and effective for preventing and curing obesity, if supervised properly.
- Resistance Exercise : These exercises are not only safe and best for curing and preventing obesity but can also improve muscular strength and increase the strength of tendons, ligaments and bones of children. It is generally recommended that these exercise for children should focus on the proper exercise technique and number of repetitions rather than the amount of weight lifted. In a single set, 12 to 16 repetitions should be done with moderate resistance.
- Active Lifestyle : Nowadays, most of the children lead a sedentary lifestyle. This has become the main cause of obesity among children. In fact, active dynamic lifestyle also plays a pertinent role in preventing obesity. School children should prefer to walk to school instead of going by car or motorbike. Instead of elevators they should prefer stairs. If they want to switch off the TV, they should not use remote control but should do it manually. They should not watch TV for more than two hours. Instead of watching TV for more hours they should go for outdoor games. In this way, they can lead an active lifestyle, which will be beneficial in preventing and curing obesity.
- Yogic exercise : yogic exercise can help in preventing and during obesity. For example, pranayama and yogic asanas specially meditative asanas are helpful in preventing and curing obesity. As a matter of fact, research studies have proved that stress and tension tend to increase obesity. Meditative asanas are very beneficial in relieving stress and tension. Therefore, yogic exercises can also prevent and cure obesity. It can be concluded that if you want to prevent obesity, you should act effectively on both types of preventive and curative measures i.e. diet-related preventive and curative measures and exercise-related measures. Dieting or exercise alone is not enough for preventing or curing obesity. You should do vigorous exercise and also reduce the intake of calories. Don’t rely on the products related to diet, which are being sold in the market. In fact, these weight-reducing products are not helpful in reducing the weight permanently. These products are being sold just to grab the money from your pockets. These products also create disturbance in hormones secretion which may develop many problems. The above-mentioned points will definitely change your lifestyle and finally you can get rid of obesity.