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Obesity: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Written by Nikita · Updated 02/09/2021

Obesity: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

What is Obesity?

The food you consume provides your body with adequate nutrients and calories that are needed for the proper functioning of your body. If you consume more calories than you burn through your daily activities, these extra calories are converted into fats that are accumulated in your body resulting in obesity. The condition is classified as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is the measurement doctors use to check if a person has an appropriate weight with respect to his/her age, sex, and height.  Obesity can lead to various complications if associated with other comorbidities like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc.

Obesity is a prime risk factor for various chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer. Once considered a problem only in high-income countries, being overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.

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Symptoms of Obesity

To calculate your body mass index, follow one simple step:

  • Divide your weight in kilograms (kg) by height in metres.

If you are confused about whether you are obese or not, refer the following table:

BMI below 18.5 – Underweight

BMI of 18.5 – 24.9 – Normal weight

BMI of 25 – 29.9 – Overweight

BMI of 30 or greater – Obese

BMI of 40 or greater – Morbidly obese

If you are someone who falls in the obese category, then let us tell you the category is further classified into three types:

  •       BMI of 30-34.9 – Obesity level 1
  •       BMI of 35-39.9 – Obesity level 2
  •       BMI of 40 or higher – Obesity level 3

BMI cannot always be considered as the only tool to diagnose obesity as those with an athletic body type can have a high BMI without excess fat.

Other symptoms of obesity include:

  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Low self-esteem
  • Breathlessness
  • Snoring
  • Joint pains
  • Excess sweating

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Causes of Obesity

Excess calorie intake – We all know the fact that obesity is caused when a person consumes more calories than it uses as energy. And these excess calories are stored as fat in the body leading to obesity and being overweight. There is a lot of food that is high in fats and sugars that increases the risk of obesity. Fast foods, dairy products, sweetened juices, processed foods, and fried foods are some of the foods that can lead to obesity.

Physical inactivity – Lack of exercise and physical inactivity is one of the major reasons for obesity. For instance, a lot of people have jobs that demand sitting on the desk for hours or people prefer travelling in vehicles instead of cycling or walking.

Pregnancy – Gaining weight is common during pregnancy. However, it is also important to lose weight post-pregnancy. This excess weight is one of the causes of obesity in most women.

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Risk Factors of Obesity

Genes – There are a number of genetic conditions such as large appetite or slow metabolism that makes it difficult for a person to lose weight.

Lack of sleep – Inadequate or excess sleep can disturb your hormones, leading to an increase in appetite. This can also result in your craving for food high in calories.

Stress – A lot of people consume more high-calorie food when they are stressed, resulting in weight gain.

Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions or medications can cause obesity. Medical conditions include Hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Polycystic ovarian syndrome. Medicines that are used to treat diabetes, depression, and epilepsy can also cause obesity.

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Diagnosis of Obesity

  • Health history – To check if you are subject to any medical condition, your doctor may analyse your weight history, eating habits, medical history, and family history.
  • Physical health – Your doctor may check your blood pressure, heartbeats, sugar, and other physical examinations to check if you have any health problems. If you have any health problems, your doctor might ask you to do a few tests.
  • BMI – Check your BMI to understand the type of obesity.
  • Waist circumference – It is also important to conduct a waist circumference annually. Since fat stored around the waist area can cause serious illness.
  • Tests – Your doctor may ask you to do a blood test and cholesterol test to understand the risk factors.

By analysing all the above information, your doctor will let you know the proper way to lose weight.

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Treatment of Obesity

  • In most cases, losing weight with the help of a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes are suggested. However, in some cases, where diet and exercises don’t help, weight loss medicines, also known as anti-obesity medicines, are prescribed.
  • There are two types of endoscopic procedures suggested for weight loss. The first one is suturing your stomach to reduce the size so that you consume less food. While the second one involves placing a balloon into your stomach to reduce the space for food in your stomach.
  • Bariatric surgery is also suggested to decrease the space in your stomach so that you consume fewer amounts of food and calories.
  • Other weight-loss surgeries include adjustable gastric banding, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass surgery.

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Lifestyle Changes for Obesity

  • Avoid following trendy diets that promise losing weight instantly. There are chances of gaining more weight once you stop following the diet.
  • Cut down on calories. Review your eating habits and calculate the number of calories you consume in a day. Consult with your doctor about the number of calories you need to eat in a day to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid foods that are high in calories.
  • Limit sugar intake.
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Do more walking, cycling, and exercise.
  • Apart from exercises, even moving helps to get rid of calories. Avoid sitting in one place for a longer stretch of time.
  • You can even seek the help of counsellors to help you deal with emotional and behavioural issues. At times, you can even try different therapies.

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Home Remedies of Obesity

  • Chew 10-12 curry leaves the first thing in the morning.
  • Drink a glass of warm water in the morning to flush out toxins from your body and increase metabolism.
  • Lemon juice helps to flush out excess fat and stimulates metabolism. It is one of the perfect ways to lose weight.
  • Consuming 3-4 cups of green tea helps to lose weight.
  • Consuming a glass of warm water with honey for over 90 days helps in weight loss and detoxification of the body.

There is no shortcut to get rid of obesity. Weight loss journey can be a little time consuming and requires a lot of dedication. Get in touch with your doctor and understand the steps to maintain a healthy weight. In addition, follow a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, eat well, and set realistic weight loss goals.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.



Written by Nikita · Updated 02/09/2021

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