Obesity is a serious medical condition which results from excessive fat accumulation. People are considered obese when their Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeds 30. In such cases, the effects are not only cosmetic, but rather are part of a serious chronic disease that impacts a variety of systems in our body. Obesity is not restricted to any age or gender, or group of people.
Obesity causes extreme poor health, increasing chances of illnesses which include but are not limited to:
Most people overlook the signs of obesity in its early stages and thus have difficulty reversing the condition once it becomes too serious. Given today’s pressures in life, and the choices available to us, one must make conscious decisions to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid obesity. The best method to combat the rise of signs into a disease is to engage in prevention on a daily basis.
Many lifestyle choices begin during childhood. Parents and families should encourage their children to make healthier choices and be physically active. The best way to promote this is to encourage physical activities and reduce time allowed to be idle, e.g. whilst playing games or consuming excessive junk food. Other than instruction, parents must lead by example as their healthy lifestyle will be an early learning process for the children.
Cases of children being overweight caused by medical conditions such as hormonal problems are rare, and adults and children alike should support their healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet.
It is important to develop healthier eating habits which can be done by limiting the consumption of unhealthy food/beverages and switching to healthy sources of food which are enriched in nutrients. Substituting sugary, fatty or highly processed foods with nutrient dense foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and protein sources is a positive step everyone should take.
It is important to be aware and proactive. Notice and tackle weight gain so as to reduce its harmful effects and effort required at an early stage.
As mentioned earlier, physical activity is very important for good health and by increasing it, one reduces the chance of becoming obese. The other benefits associated with increased physical activity include stress relief, increase in energy levels, increase in self-worth, stronger bones and muscles, and a stronger immune system. The rule of thumb should be to burn more calories than you consume.
Proper and adequate sleep is quite essential to prevent weight gain and other leading health complications. Research shows that insufficient sleep results in changes in appetite related hormones, eventually resulting in weight fluctuations.
Stress management is critical to minimize the risk of obesity. A few steps that can be made to reduce stress are to practice meditation and yoga, regular exercise, and choosing to disengage with negative environments. Studies have also show that people with pets are at a lower risk of experiencing stress. These furry friends could be stress busters for you!
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