Obesity – an Overview
When excess body fat has accumulated to such an extent that health may be negatively affected the person is said to be suffering from obesity. There are scientific guidelines which classify obesity. This classification helps to choose the various modalities of treatment available. The commonest parameter is body mass index. It is the ratio of weight in kilograms to square of height in meters. Now how do you calculate this? Suppose John’s weight is 80 Kilograms and his height is 1.6 meters. Then multiply 1.6 by 1.6 (this will give square of height in meters), we get 2.56. Now divide 80 by 2.56 (This is the ratio of weight in kilograms to square of height in meters). The answer is 31.25. So John’s BMI (body mass index) is 31.25. There is a difference between being overweight and obese.
It is agreed upon that a combination of excessive calorie consumption and lack of exercise Causes Obesity but in a minority of cases genetic, medical, or psychiatric illness can be the cause. The easy availability of palatable diet, mechanization in industry and availability of transportation are attributed to rise of its prevalence. A person is said to be overweight when his body mass index is over 25 while he or she is called obese if it is 30 or more.
Obesity invites certain physical and medical debilities like joint pains, particularly in the knees; breathing problems during sleep; diabetes; heart disease; venous thrombosis; liver disease; gall bladder stones; infertility; erectile problems; certain cancers; depression; paralysis; hernia and social stigmatization.
Prevention Of Obesity is the frontrunner to erode the social epidemic of obesity. Regular timings as well as quantity and quality of food; regular walking or stopping the car in a parking a little away from your office; avoiding the elevators and taking the steps may prove effective. Depression may lead to obesity as one tends to become less active and eat more. Prevent or treat depression. If one is having a body mass index near 25 it is recommended that he or she focuses on weight loss and its techniques. The habit of being weight conscious is to be encouraged.
Diet and exercise is recommended as a treatment to the less obese. While both yield result but they are difficult to practice, slow to get results, temporary in outcome and have variable response. Thus medication is also recommended to patients not desirably responding to diet and exercise. Medicines broadly either reduce absorption of fat from the intestines or act on the brain to reduce appetite. Weight loss is usually modest with medicines but the side effects which vary with drugs include cramps, intestinal discomfort, diarrhea, increase in blood pressure, palpitation, sleeplessness mood changes, drug tolerance and drug abuse.
As a broad guideline surgery is reserved for patients who are obese to the extent that their body mass index is over 40. Now it is known that this treatment, called Bariatric Surgery. is not a bed of roses. It has a wide variety of complications which are too frequent to ignore. These start from as small as wound infection or nausea and vomiting; but may also lead to gall bladder stones; leaks or narrowing from site of intestinal suturing; hernia; breathlessness from lung embolization and even death. A higher suicide rate is reported in some studies amongst patients who have undergone surgery.
Thus treatment modalities include diet, exercise, medication and surgery. Behavioral interventions are also advised so as to control affinity to overeating. Unfortunately none is convenient for the patient. Prevention is better than cure but if the disease has set in all efforts to get rid of it are required.
About the Author
Manmohan Varma, Surgeon, has devised a unique method of gall bladder stone surgery through a single hole http://www.gallbladderstone.com . Also has a hobby of Internet Marketing & owns http://www.earnonnet.net which contains a Health Mall too. He researches on Internet opportunities & businesses which “deliver what they claim”. Formerly a senior faculty in Medical Colleges, loves to teach Internet business to beginners & how to avoid scams.
1 of 3 Fat Chance: Do Dietary Guidelines Actually Contribute to Obesity? 2/13/2008
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