But do you know how dangerous it is? Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue. Obesity is one of the top 5 leading causes of death. It can lead to 60 chronic diseases and be life-threatening.
It can also shorten your life by up to 10 years and make you less successful. So if you want to live a long life full of joy and happiness, you should consider doing something about it.
In today’s blog you’ll learn:
What is obesity?
Obesity is a medical condition, which occurs when a person carries an excess amount of weight. It’s not just a cosmetic issue, but a serious disease, which you should take care of.
Obesity isn’t rare, in fact, more than 650 million people are obese
(1). It increases your risk of having serious medical problems such as heart failure by 70%
(2). Obesity also reduces your life expectancy by 3 to 10 years, depending on severity
(3). So it’s something you should eliminate as soon as possible.
So how do you know if you’re obese or just overweight? The answer lies in BMI. Body mass index is a tool doctors use to identify obesity. If your BMI is higher than 30, you’re obese.
But is it all your fault or does genetics play a role as well? We’ll talk about this and a lot more in the next section.
The Causes of Obesity
Although there can be many reasons like genetics, metabolic or hormonal influences, obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn. Your body stores these calories as a reserve in the form of fat.
Let’s now look at some of the most common causes of obesity:
- Poor diet – The number of reasons why people are obese is a bad diet. Americans eat 300–400% more fat than they should However, fat is not the only problem. Carbohydrates present 45 – 60 % of calories. So if you’re looking to lose weight and not being obese, start cutting carbs and unhealthy food. You can learn more about weight loss and diet here.
- Lack of physical activity – Another reason for being obese is an inactive lifestyle. Sitting all day and not exercising can lead to several issues including obesity. Start slowly by walking for 30 minutes every day and then transition into workouts. This will lead to an increase in burning calories and can prevent obesity.
- Genetics – People who have obesity have commonly multiple genes causing it. The most common obesity gene is FTO (fat mass and obesity gene), which is found in up to 43% of the population. These genes can cause increased hunger, caloric intake or reduced satiety. However, they don’t predestine obesity. With regular physical activity and a healthy diet, you can fit and healthy.
- Age – Another factor is age. This is because your metabolism is slowing down with your age. As you get older, you lose muscles and this leads to a slower metabolism. Losing muscles and being less active are the biggest influences of metabolic speed. You can learn more about that here.
- Insufficient sleep – Sleep can play a role in obesity too. If you have insufficient sleep, it can trigger hormonal problems and changes. This can lead to increased hunger and therefore higher caloric intake.
All of these things can cause obesity. So it’s important you start working towards eliminating it because you can develop some serious complications. We’ll talk about them in the next section.
The complications of obesity
Obese people have much higher chances of having serious health complications. They’re also more likely to have problems with joints and bones, because of the excess weight they need to carry. One pound of your body makes 4 pounds extra load upon your knee joints.
Obesity is one of the top 5 leading causes of death.
Obesity also increases inflammation in the body, which can lead to cancer. Obesity is linked to more than 60 chronic diseases. Some of the most common are:
- Heart diseases and stroke – Obese people can have excess amounts of cholesterol and higher blood pressure. This can lead to serious problems and heart diseases.
- Type 2 diabetes – Obese people are up to 80 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Men with waist circumferences in the highest 10 percent of measurements were 20 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than men whose waist circumferences fell in the lowest 10 percent. It can also cause type 2 diabetes because of the increased levels of fatty acids and inflammation. This can lead to insulin resistance, which is a major cause of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Sexual problems and infertility – Obese people have higher levels of leptin, which is produced in fatty tissues. This can lead to problems with hormone balance and lead to infertility. There’re also problems with erectile dysfunction. Obese men are 2½ times more likely to struggle with erectile dysfunction.
- Cancer – Obesity can cause some types of cancer, with higher risk with breast, esophageal and endometrial cancers.
- Sleep apnea – Obesity may cause sleep apnea. It’s a serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
We have looked at the most common causes and complications of obesity. Let’s now look at ways on how to prevent it or treat it.
The Prevention and Treatment of Obesity
It doesn’t matter if you’re overweight, obese or you just want to prevent it. There are a few changes in your diet and lifestyle, which can prevent obesity from happening. All of these steps are the same as steps for losing weight.
Here’s the list of the best steps to prevent obesity:
- Regular Physical activity – Exercise is great for burning calories, reducing stress and feeling better. It can also help you prevent fight obesity. Experts recommend from 150 to 300 minutes of physical activity per week for maximal results. Physical activity is great for making room for the most important part – diet.
- Healthy diet – The most important part of preventing or treating obesity is your diet. You can’t outwork a bad diet. So, it’s crucial you pay close attention to it.
- Monitor your progress – What you can measure you can improve. It’s important to monitor your weight and doing necessary changes in your diet. Set realistic goals, track your progress and achieve them.
- Be consistent - Remember, the most important thing is to be consistent. Many people quit because of the plateau or they’re not motivated enough. It has everything to do with not seeing improvements. Why? Because of the bad diet plan. A diet that is not tailored for them and doesn’t work. You can learn more about diet and get a perfectly-tailored diet plan here.
Children with BMI at the same level or more than 95% of other kids are obese. It’s a serious medical condition and shouldn’t be overlooked. If a child’s parents are overweight or obese, a child has an 80% chance of becoming overweight as well (10).
It’s necessary to start working on it as soon as possible because it can lead to severe complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems. Obesity is the number one cause of liver cirrhosis and liver failure in kids (11).
There’re many things which can cause obesity, some of them are:
- Problems in life – Many young people eat an excessive amount of food because of various problems. They are constantly in stress, which can lead to hormonal changes and excessive eating. Therefore it’s very important to talk with your children about their problems and find a way to solve them.
- Eating habits – Many young people are obese because of the fast-food they consume daily. Try to eliminate unhealthy food, candies, and sugary drinks. This can massively improve your weight.
- Irregular activity – Just like with adults, an inactive lifestyle can cause obesity. So it’s important to put your kids in sports at an early age. This can set them up for an active lifestyle.
- Parents – Most of the children see their parents as role models. So what do you think they do when they see their parents overeating and being obese? They will imitate it. This can also lead to obesity in the early age
All of these can cause childhood obesity which can remain for the rest of life. Children who are obese are 5 times more likely to be obese adults than normal children (12). So, it’s important to teach your children a healthy lifestyle and diet from an early age.
Let’s now look at some benefits of being fit and healthy.
Why to lose extra weight
There are many reasons why to take on a weight loss journey and improve your life. Some of them are:
- Longer life – Obesity reduces your life expectancy by 3 to 10 years. Nobody wants to die, we all want to have a long life full of joy and happiness. So stop shortening it. Start working towards getting fit and live a better and healthier life.
- Sexual satisfaction – Obesity leads to less sexual satisfaction and less frequent sexual activity. This all leads to having no sex partner and being unsatisfied and depressed. Stop ruining your sexual life and get on with weight loss.
- Be a role model – Whether you have children, friends or people who look up to. You’ll always have someone who’ll look up to. Do you want them to see you obese and unable to move? Do you want them to see your life full of complications and health problems? Or you would rather show them your fullest potential. A life full of joy and happiness, without health problems and success.
- Don’t limit yourself – Obese people are unable to move properly. They have difficulties walking, running, jumping and doing all the natural movements. Stop restraining and limiting yourself and start moving the way you want. Enjoy every moment without feeling any pain or difficulty
Obese people are also less successful. 50% of all employers are less likely to hire an obese person (13).
So stop living a life full of pain and health problems. Start a weight loss journey and life your life to its fullest potential. Feel wonderful, move freely and enjoy every second of your life.
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