Definition and cause of obesity

What Causes Obesity? Obesity occurs when the fat cells in the body increase in size and number. A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is supposed to be overweight, and over 30 is obese. According to the doctor if a person has a high body mass index then they are obese. Obesity is linked to many diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, and chronic kidney disease.

Body mass index (BMI)

Body mass index (BMI) is a tool that doctors use to evaluate if a person is at an appropriate weight for their age, sex, and height. The measurement combines height and weight.

A BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates that a person is carrying excess weight. A BMI of 30 or over suggests that a person may have obesity.

What Causes Obesity

Other circumstances, such as the ratio of waist-to-hip size, waist-to-height ratio, and the amount and appearance of fat on the body also play a role in deciding how healthy a person’s weight and body shape are.

If a person is obese or over-weight, this can increase their risk of developing a number of health conditions. Such as metabolic syndromearthritis, and some types of cancer

Metabolic syndrome means a number of issues, such as high blood pressuretype 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Keeping a healthy weight or losing through diet and exercise is one way to limit or reduce obesity. In some cases, a person may need surgery.

Know the causes of obesity

1) Food high in calories

Cause of Obesity

Likewise, When a person consumes more calories than they use as energy, their body will store the extra calories as fat. Therefore this can lead to the excess cause of obesity and weight.

Also, some types of foods are more likely to cause obesity and weight gain, particularly those that are high in fats and sugars.

Foods that tend to cause obesity and weight gain include:

  • fast foods
  • fried foods, such as french fries
  • fatty and processed meats
  • many dairy products
  • foods with added sugar, ready-made breakfast cereals, and cookies and baked food
  • foods containing hidden sugars, such as ketchup and many other canned and packaged food items
  • sweetened juices, sodas, and alcoholic drinks
  • processed, high-carb foods, such as bread and bagels

Some processed food products cause obesity to contain high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener, including savoury items, such as ketchup.

What Causes Obesity

Consuming too much of these foods and doing too little exercise can result in the cause of obesity and weight gain.

What Causes Obesity

A person who eats a diet that consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and water is still at risk of gaining excess weight if they overeat, or if genetic factors, for example, increase their risk.

However, they are more likely to enjoy a varied diet while maintaining a healthy weight. Fresh foods and whole grains contain fibre, which makes a person feel full for longer and encourages healthy digestion.

2) Unhealthy lifestyle

Cause of obesity

Regular physical activity can help prevent obesity. Many people lead a much more settled lifestyle than their parents and grandparents did.

Some of the sedentary habits include:

  • working in an office rather than doing manual labour
  • playing games on a computer instead of doing physical activities outside
  • going to places by car instead of walking or cycling

What Causes Obesity

Also, physical activity affects how a person’s hormones work, and hormones have an impact on how the body processes food. The less a person moves around, the fewer calories they burn.

Several studies have shown that physical activity can help to keep insulin levels stable and that unstable insulin levels may lead to weight gain.

According to researchers, some studies make it hard to pick exact results, “A lifestyle including regular physical activity has been recognised as a key factor for maintaining and improving many aspects of health, including insulin sensitivity.”

What Causes Obesity

Physical activity need not be training in the gym. Physical work, walking or cycling, climbing stairs, and household tasks all contribute. However, the type and intensity of activity may affect the degree to which it benefits the body in the short- and long term.

3) Insufficient sleep

What Causes Obesity

Research has suggested that insufficient sleep increases the risk of gaining weight and developing obesity. Sleep deprivation significantly increased obesity risk in both adults and children. The changes affected children as young as 5 years of age.

The team suggested that sleep loss may lead to obesity because it can lead to hormonal changes that increase appetite.

When a person does not sleep enough, their body produces ghrelin, a type of hormone that arouses appetite. At the same time, a lack of sleep also results in a lower production of leptin, a hormone that suppresses the appetite.

4) Endocrine disruptors

For instance, some study provides signs as to how liquid fructose, a type of sugar in beverages may modify lipid energy metabolism and leads to fatty liver and metabolic syndrome.

Peculiarities of metabolic syndrome include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure. People with obesity are more likely to have metabolic syndrome.

Animal studies have been found that when obesity occurs due to fructose consumption, there is also a close link with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers note that “increased fructose intake may be an important predictor of metabolic risk in young people.”

Changes in the diets of young people can prevent these problems.

Avoiding high-fructose corn syrup

In the first place ready to use sauces often contain high-fructose corn syrup, which is linked to a risk of obesity.

Similarly, foods that contain high fructose include:

  • sugary drinks such as sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks
  • candy and ice cream
  • coffee creamer
  • salad dressings, ketchup, and barbecue sauce
  • sweetened foods, such as yogurt, juices, and canned foods
  • in addition bread and other ready-made baked goods
  • also breakfast cereal, cereal bars, and “energy” or “nutrition” bars

Reduce your intake of corn syrup and other additives:

  • check the labels before you buy
  • Such as opt for unsweetened or less processed items where possible
  • lastly, make salad dressings and bake other products at home

Some foods contain other sweeteners, but these can also have adverse effects.

5) Medications related to weight gain

Some medications can also point to weight gain.

Generally, some medicines caused people to gain weight over a period of months.

  • atypical antipsychotics, especially olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone
  • anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers, and specifically gabapentin
  • hypoglycemic medications, such as tolbutamide
  • likewise, glucocorticoids used to treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • also, some antidepressants used to treat depression

In the meantime yet, some medications may lead to weight loss. In this case, anyone who is starting a new medication and is concerned about their weight should ask their doctor whether the drug is likely to have any effect on weight.

6) Obesity self-perpetuating

Generally the longer period a person is overweight, the harder it may be for them to lose weight. Because of a protein, or gene, known as sLR11. Especially, this protein blocks the body’s ability to burn fat, making it harder to shed extra weight.

7) Obesity gene

A type of faulty gene called the fat-mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) is responsible for some cases of obesity.

For example, some links between these genes are:

  • obesity
  • some lifestyle habits that lead to obesity
  • also higher food intake
  • in addition, consuming high-calorie foods
  • a kind of disorder not getting signal, to feel full while eating, known as satiety

Accordingly, the hormone ghrelin plays a crucial role in eating behaviour. Ghrelin also affects the release of growth hormones and how the body accumulates fat, among other functions.

Diagnosis of Obesity

Diagnosis of obesity is done on the basis of one’s BMI. The doctor will physically examine the patient and measure:

  • Height and weight to calculate the BMI
  • Waist circumference
  • Blood pressure medical history will be taken along with eating habits and the amount of physical activity.

The doctor may perform blood tests for:

  • Fasting glucose
  • Lipid profile total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • C-reactive protein4. Thyroid hormones

Treatment

The basic modality of management of obesity lies in lifestyle modifications. It includes the following:

  • Dietary changes: Restrict calorie intake to create a calorie deficit in the body so that energy expenditure exceeds the number of calories consumed. Consuming special diets may also reduce the intake of calories:a) Low-fat diet (example, Ornish diet) (b) Low carbohydrate diet (for example, Atkins diet) (c) Low glycemic index diet
  • NOTE: DO NOT opt for crash dieting. Sudden weight loss may cause serious health problems as it slows down the metabolism and deprives the body of essential nutrients. It can also lead to weight gain in future.
  • Exercise: Increase in physical activity and exercise on a regular basis are important in the prevention and management of obesity. Exercise can help increase energy expenditure and achieve a balance with calories consumed and spent. Do at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. 
  • Cardio exercises: jogging, walking, running, swimming, aerobics help in burning calories. Try brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day. Weight training will help in long term weight loss along with retention of muscles. You can opt for chest press, shoulder press, leg press, leg extensions and leg curls.

Weight management programs that include lifestyle changes in the diet and physical activity may also help in losing weight.

  • Use of drugs: Over-the-counter drug that prevents the absorption of fat in the body. These drugs suppresses the appetite by making a person feel full. When used along with dietary changes and exercise can help control weight.

Types of Surgery for managing obesity

  • Surgery is done for obesity only when the person is not able to lose weight by dietary changes, exercise, or medicines.
  • Liposuction involves reducing the excess fat from the body.
  • Bariatric surgery reduces the size of the stomach so that you eat less. It can be done in multiple ways.
  • Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding places a silicone ring on the upper part of the stomach. It is attached to a tube that can be inflated. The tube connects to a port under the skin that can be used to inject or withdraw saline to adjust the band diameter. This helps in creating a small pouch with a narrow opening.
  • Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) reduces the size of the stomach and then bypasses part of the small intestine to reduce absorption.
  • Sleeve gastrectomy reduces the size of the stomach by up to 75%. It involves separating a part of the stomach and removing it.
  • Biliopancreatic diversion removes a large part of the stomach and attaches it to ileum (a part of the intestine). Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch involves removing a large part of the stomach and then connecting the remaining part to the duodenum (the first part of the intestine). The duodenum is then directly connected to the last part of the small intestine thereby closing the middle part.

Home remedies for obesity 

You can also try some home remedies to reduce weight. Try the following:

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and squeeze a lemon into it. Drink it every morning on empty stomach.
  2. Soak a tablespoon of Triphala powder overnight in a glass of water. Boil next morning and reduce to half or less. Drink with 2 tablespoons of honey.
  3. Drink green tea 3 to 4 times a day.
  4. Add half a teaspoon each of fennel seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in 4 to 5 glasses of boiling water.  Boil for a few minutes. Strain and cool. Sip it throughout the day.
  5. Include green mint in your diet. Make a sauce with spices or drink mint tea.
  6. Make ginger tea by boiling half an inch of ginger in a cup of water. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and drink it once or twice a day to lose weight. 
  7. Prepare aloe vera juice with the pulp of two aloe vera leaves and water. You can add lemon or orange juice to it. Drink for a month to reduce weight. 
  8. Chew a few fresh curry leaves every morning. 

Takeaway

Many factors play a role in the development of obesity. Genetic features can increase the risk of some people.

A healthful diet that contains plenty of fresh food, together with regular exercise, will reduce the risk of obesity in most people.

However, those that have a genetic predisposition may find it harder to maintain a healthy weight. But some changes in lifestyle and pattern can even remove the toughest fat.

Author: jayma

I am Usha Gupta, an aspiring lady with a strong passion for all medical and scientific advancements. Promoting lifestyle tips and knowledge related to medical terminology.