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Obesity : A Global epidemic of the 21st Century

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Being healthy according to the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) means the general state of physical, mental and social well-being.
Being obese poses a challenge on an individual both physically, mentally and socially. That's why obesity is termed a disease.

Recently cases of Obesity has increased greatly and it's now been considered a serious problem worldwide. Experts have tagged it as the ' epidemic of the 21st century " as one third of the world's population suffers from it.
It cuts across different age, from children to adults.  USA has the most cases of obesity. Before we proceed, here is the table of content on our discussion;

• 1.1 What is obesity?
• 1.2 How do I know if am obese?
• 1.3 Classes of Obesity.
• 1.4 Causes of Obesity.
• 1.5 Symptoms of Obesity.
• 1.6 Health Problems caused by obesity.
• 1.7 Treatment/management of obesity.

1.1 what is obesity ?

Obesity is the accumulation of excess fat in the body. It can also be seen as the excessive increased in body weight than height.
Obesity is caused by energy imbalance that results when an individual consumes more calories than they burn. the remaining calories are stored as fat, that's why it is often referred to as a lifestyle disease.
Obesity is considered a complex metabolic disorder as it acts as a gateway to other diseases like cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus), osteoarthritis, fatty liver, asthma, high blood pressure and certain cancers like colon cancer. Such obesity is called Morbid obesity.

1:2 How do I know if am obese ?

Before someone is considered obese, certain calculations and measures are used. It ranges from the measurement of the waist circumference to the more complex bioelectric impedance Analysis. Let's quickly explain some of the measurement techniques:

♠️ Waist Circumference: Most common and simplest way to measure obesity using a measuring tape.

♠️ Waist to Hip ratio : this method is used to measure abdominal fat. It's calculated by measuring the waist and the hips and then dividing the waist measurement by the hips measurement.

♠️ Skinfold thickness : A caliper is used to measure the thickness of the skin when pinched.

♠️ Bioelectric impedance Analysis: In this method, the instrument used sends a small safe current through the body. This current measures resistence to body fat. A body with high fat content will pose a higher electrical resistance.

♠️ Underwater weighing : In this method an individual is submerged in a tank. Individual with a high body fat will have a lower body density and vice versa.

♠️ Body mass index (BMI) calculation: It is the measurement involving an individual's height and weight. It is calculated as : Weight in kilograms (kg) divided by the height in metres (m) squared multiplied by 703. It is Measured in kg/m².

Note the following:

♠️ When the BMI is less than 18.5, such an individual is said to fall in the underweight range.
♠️ When the BMI is equal to 18.5 but less than 25.0, such an individual falls in the normal weight range.
♠️ when the BMI is equal to 25.0 but less than 30.0, such an individual falls in the over weight range.
♠️ When the BMI is 30.0 and above, such individual falls in the obese range.

1.3 Classes of obesity

♠️ Severe obesity: Condition in which the BMI is equal to 35.0 but less than 40.0 without obesity related health conditions. It is often referred to as the "Class I obesity" .

♠️Morbid Obesity: As earlier mentioned is when the BMI is equal to 35.0 but less than 40.0 with obesity related health conditions. Often referred to as the "class II obesity" .

♠️ Super Obesity: When the BMI Is above 50.
It is often referred to as the "Class III obesity" .

1.4 Causes of Obesity

The equation between calorie intake and energy expenditure determines an individual's weight.
If a person consumes more calories than he/she metabolizes, the person gains weight as the body will store the excess energy as fat. It's the reverse if the person consumes less calories as the person tends to loss weight.
Here are some of the factors that causes obesity:

♠️ Genetics:
An individual is more likely to be obese if either or both of the parents are obese. Children born with genetic disorders e.g prader-willi syndrome are likely to be obese.

♠️ Sedentary Lifestyle:
People who tend to be inactive (always staying indoors) tends to burn less fat that people who are active, Such actions leads to weight .
Depression can also lead to obesity as such individual tends to be withdrawn from social activities.

♠️ Eating of diets that contains high quantity of simple carbohydrates:
Studies has shown that continuous consumption of diet rich in simple sugar, increases the blood sugar level leading to the release of insulin hormone. Insulin on it's part promotes the growth of fat tissues leading to weight gain.
Continuous consumption of such diets will result to obesity.

♠️ Hormones:
A clear example is seen in leptin deficiency. Leptin is an hormone produced in fat cells whose work is to regulate the amount of food consumed by sending signals to the brain. By this action it controls the weight of an individual. If this function by the leptin can not be performed due to a disorder, obesity occurs.
Also during pregnancy, women tend to gain more weight as a result of the release of progesterone.

♠️ Diseases:
Conditions such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance and Cushing's syndrome could also lead to obesity. Remember when the regulation of fat is disturbed, obesity occurs.

♠️ culture:
In my tribe after parturition, a woman is kept in a room ( fattening room) and fed for months so she could gain weight. Such practice exposes the woman to the dangers of being obese as movement is restricted and food rich in carbohydrates are mostly served.
Other factors include:
♠️ Eating of junk foods.
♠️ Eating late.
♠️ Frequent eating.
♠️Increase in age increases the chances of becoming obese, if proper hygiene is not maintained.
♠️ Insomnia.
♠️ Inadequate Exercises.

1.5 Symptoms of Obesity

♠️ Increased in weight (overweight).
♠️ Dry mouth.
♠️ Fluctuation of menstrual cycle in women.
♠️ Loud snores during sleep. ( due to overgrowth of the palatine curtain).
♠️ Increased blood pressure.
♠️ Sterility in men.
♠️ Joint pains.
♠️ Tiredness.
♠️ Excessive sweating.
♠️ Pseudogynecomastia.
♠️ Stretch Marks.
♠️ Double chin.
♠️ Heartburn
♠️ Decrease in muscle mass.

These symptoms could also be linked to other diseases. The main symptom of obesity is excessive weight gain.

1.6 Health Problems caused by obesity

With time obesity causes serious health problems. Some of which include:
♠️Arthritis : Increased in weight could affect weight bearing joints such as the knee and hip joints, leading to pains around the knees and waist.

♠️ Insulin resistance : Insulin promotes the growth of adipose tissues . An increase in the number of adipose tissues reduces the sensitivity of the cells in the body to the insulin hormone, leading to a condition known as insulin resistance. Affected cells become passive to blood sugar, leading to an increase in the blood sugar level. Such condition gives rise to type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

♠️ Hypertension : Weight gained tends to increase blood pressure. Very common in people with obesity.

♠️ Hypercholesterolemia : Occurs when there is an increase in blood cholesterol.

♠️ Coronary Artery Diseases : Excessive fat deposit around the abdomen can exert pressure on the heart. Such pressure tends to negatively affect the functioning of the heart, leading to series of cardiovascular diseases.

♠️ Cancer : Obesity is a risk factor associated with cancer of the colon, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men.
In women it's a risk factor for cancer of the gallbladder and uterus. It is sometimes associated with breast cancer.
Other health risks associated with obesity include:
♠️ Gout.
♠️ sleep apnea (periodic ceasation of breathe during sleep).
♠️ Stroke.
♠️ Asthma.
♠️ Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
♠️ Polycystic ovary syndrome.
♠️ Gallstones (excessive deposition of fat in the gallbladder).

1.7 Treatment/management of Obesity

♠️Before treatment is administered, calculation of the patient's BMI is required to know the severity of the obesity.

♠️ The patient should be closely examined using the following means:
• Anthropometry
• Ultrasound of the abdominal organs
• Study of uric acid
• Lastly, conduction of a glucose tolerance test is required.
When this examinations are taken, referral to related specialists ( Endocrinologist, cardiologist, gynecologist, somnologist, gastroenterologist) is important.
Patients with eating disorders should be referred to a psychologist or a psychotherapist.

♠️ Regular exercise is highly recommended .

♠️ Surgery is recommended when conservative treatment of obesity fails.

♠️ Patient is advised to eat sufficient amount of fruits, proteins and vegetables and stay of carbonated food and drinks.

♠️ Some drugs are used in treatment of the obesity BUT please don't use them without the doctor's prescriptions and directives.

♠️ Insomnia leads to obesity, extend your sleeping time if possible.

Obesity doesn't kill if managed properly, don't procrastinate, visit the gymnasium, avoid eating sugary food, don't allow anyone intimidate you, it's a matter of time, you will be fine.. okay! Even if nobody likes you that way, always remind yourself that I & my wife we love you. Am your number one fan. I love you all.

Thanks for reading, hope it was worth your time❤❤❤.

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