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What Do I Need to Know About Overweight and Obesity?

Overweight and obesity are two separate but closely related health problems. The World Health Organization defines both as the excessive and abnormal accumulation of fat resulting in a greater risk for chronic diseases. Comparatively, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute defines overweight as the excess weight brought about by extra muscle mass, bone mass, fat or even water weight while obesity means having excess loads of fats.

The most commonly used measure for overweight and obesity is the BMI or the body mass index. It is computed by getting a patient’s weight in kilograms and dividing it by the square of that same patient’s height in meters. The BMI cut-off for obesity is 30 and above while for overweight, more than 25 is generally considered as overweight.

What’s the fuss about overweight and obesity?

Do you ever wonder why the present generation of scientists and health care professionals keep on bugging the public to reach a normal weight? You see, being overweight or grossly obese are major risk factors for many chronic diseases. These problematic diseases include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, increased blood cholesterol level, stroke and even cancer. Overweight and obesity were once considered a problem exclusive to highly industrialized countries. However, nowadays, even developing and underdeveloped countries have their share in this potentially morbidity-producing health risks.

As mentioned in the 2007-2008 data of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the American prevalence of overweight and obesity in adults is 68 percent. However, not only adults are affected by this weight problems. For the past thirty years, children were observed to grow heavier in weight and statistics as well. In fact, childhood obesity has doubled among children ages 2 to 5 years of age. It has grown thrice among children aged 6 to 11 years old and in adolescents aged 12 to 19, the statistics has also tripled.

How is your BMI?

Have you tried computing your body mass index or BMI? Are you concerned about your present weight? Do you want to achieve a healthier weight?

You see, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is not just an option for healthier living. It is the only way to prevent serious health problems and diseases from happening. Being overweight or obese can put you in a riskier spot for heart diseases, high blood pressure, gallstone formation, breathing problems and sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers. Controlling your weight reduces your risk from having these problems. It can keep you healthy too. And you know what? Having a healthy weight can help you feel good from within too.

What Factors Can Help Me Reach a  Healthy Weight?

There is no single formula that can effectively help a person reach a healthier weight. Many factors can contribute to your weight. These may be in the form of environmental factors such as the influence of friends, media, and the neighborhood to your attitude towards food and food intake, your family history, your metabolism, your body’s way of processing food to usable and stored energy, your behavior and habits, and your level of physical activity.

Do You Know What Energy Balance Means?

Let me introduce you to a new concept, the energy balance. Despite so many factors affecting you current weight, knowing the simple principle of energy balance can keep you on the right track to losing weight. Furthermore, using the principle of energy balance can help you maintain a healthy weight.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute simply defines energy balance as the result of equilibrium between the amount of energy you take in and the amount you take out from your body.

How do you take in energy? You take in energy by ingesting foods and calorie loaded drinks.

And how do you take the energy out? Your body take the energy out by using it in simple body processes such as breathing, moving and digesting. However, your body uses more energy by engaging in more intense activities such as exercise and workouts.

I want to gain some weight. How do I do it? To gain more weight, you need to tip the balance of energy and let more energy in and less energy out. People who are overweight and obese usually apply this principle every single day of their lives.

What if I want to lose weight? Then just do the opposite. Tip the energy balance in such as way that you spend more energy in physical activity rather than take more energy in the form of food. The more you do this everyday, the more your energy balance will tip into losing more energy, thereby, resulting in significant weight loss.

Knowing the principle of energy balance, how can I possibly reach and maintain a healthier weight?

Learn to follow a healthy diet and reduce your regular food intake by 500 calories to achieve a healthy weight loss. It should be emphasized that your diet should be healthy because there are so many fad diets around that can trigger fast weight loss yet can result in many health complications such as gallstone formation and electrolyte imbalance. Remember, your goal in losing weight is to have a healthier body and not to have more health problems.

Be physically active. Aerobic exercises are a great way to boost up your physical activity. Why not try brisk walking? Why not join a dance lesson class and have fun while losing weight? You see, the key for healthy weight reduction by being physically active is regularity and dedication. You won’t lose a significant measure of weight if you will only do it once or twice. You have to do it regularly in order to achieve significant results.

Never let yourself go physically inactive all the time. No time to workout and sweat? Then there is one bad news for you. You will never ever achieve a healthy weight. Will you lose weight by just having a low-caloric diet? Yes. But, will you achieve a healthy weight free from health problems? No! So why not commit yourself to regular physical activity and start engaging to workouts and sweats for the rest of your life?


National Heart Lung and Blood Institute:Why Is a Healthy Weight Important?

World Health Organization: Obesity

Category : Weight Loss Guides

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