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World Obesity Day: Know the health risks of obesity

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Being obese is bad for you! You must have heard this a gazillion times but the reality is a lot worse. It is not just bad, obesity is an epidemic that can lead to dire consequences if left untreated. Did you know more than 40 percent of people in India are obese? We need to take a second look at the worsening situation before we hit the 50 mark. US The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that obesity is measured according to a person’s body mass index (BMI). If someone’s BMI is 30 is higher, they are considered obese. It is important to tackle obesity, and for that, you need to know the health risks of obesity.

Dr V S Chauhan, the Additional Director of General Surgery at Fortis Hospital, Noida, Uttar Pradesh told Healthshots the consequences of obesity

Health risks of being obese

“Obesity is the condition where a person has harmful deposition or distribution of body fat. In the past decade, obesity incidences have reached pandemic levels, particularly after COVID. Obesity has given birth to severe health-related complications,” shares Dr Chauhan.

health risks of obesity
Know the health risks of obesity. Image courtesy: Freepik

He states that the following are some of the major complications of obesity:

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Dyslipidemia (High LDL and low HDL levels)
  • Diabetes
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Brain stroke
  • Gall stone disease
  • Cancer of the uterus or cervix or breast or colon or rectum
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Cancer osteoarthritis (joint and cartilage issues)

In addition to these problems, obesity can also lead to self-esteem, a low-quality lifestyle, and a variety of mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.

Also Read: The toxic relationship between obesity and mental health you need to know about

What is not very understandable by people is that the risk of health problems starts when someone is only very slightly overweight and that the likelihood of problems increases as someone becomes more and more overweight. The effect of obesity on the health of individuals has long-term effects and it hampers their families too. In addition, the costs of the health care system can be extremely high. If you are obese and have extra fat then it will definitely have a serious impact on the health of individuals, add Dr Chauhan.

How to determine if you are obese or overweight?

“There are multiple reasons why people are not able to lose weight. Obesity is diagnosed with the help of BMI (Body Mass Index). If BMI is greater than 30, the person is considered obese. Although in most Asians (Indians), even a BMI of more than 25 may cause increased incidences of health issues,” explains Dr Chauhan. Some physicians use a weight circumference of greater than 40 inches in men and greater than 30 inches in women as a marker for obesity.

health risks of obesity
Are you obese or overweight? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Now you must be wondering what is it that has caused obesity. Well, the expert sums it up by saying that a high-calorie diet, less physical activity, lack of proper sleep, and increased stress are some of the common factors that lead to obesity. Even hormonal imbalance, genetics, and family inheritance plays a role in increasing body fat.

Also Read: Obesity can increase heart disease, diabetes risk and more: Know what causes it

How to maintain a healthy weight and tackle obesity?

Now that you know the health risks of obesity, the best thing you can do to reverse the problem is to change your lifestyle unless an underlying disease led to obesity. Having said that, here are some things you can do to maintain a healthy weight:

  • Do at least 45 minutes of exercise a day, five times a week to stay fit
  • Avoid eating junk, processed, and refined food
  • You should also avoid unhealthy fats and carbs
  • Include more fibers and proteins in your diet
  • Don’t sit for too long at one go
  • Try to avoid stress as much as you can
  • Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep everyday

So, let’s try our best to eradicate obesity this World Obesity Day by making some simple yet effective lifestyle changes.

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