Overweight & Obesity

Overweight: Description

During the evolution, a human body was adapted to accumulate a stock of nutrients when people had enough food in order to consume this food in conditions when it was absent or not acceptable. I was a kind of evolutionary advantage that allowed them to survive. And in ancient times overweight was considered as a sign of well-being, prosperity, fertility and health.

Nowadays an overweight or obesity is not considered as a healthy body shape.

OverweightOverweight – is an accumulation of more fat in a body than it’s optimally healthy. The causes of excess weight influence on the distribution of adipose tissue and adipose tissue characteristics (softness, flexibility, a percentage of liquid). Also, it may cause changes in the skin (stretch, enlarged pores which are called "cellulite").

The overweight can grow to another stage where the excess body fat has been accumulated so much that it may cause some health problems. This medical condition is called obesity.

Adipose tissue can be settled into the places of physiological deposits, and in breasts, thighs, abdominal. Obesity can be divided into stages (by the amount of adipose tissue) and types (depending on the reasons that led to its development).

Obesity leads to increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and other diseases associated with being overweight.

There is a way to find out is your weight is healthy for your body. For this we use a body mass index formula which measure of person’s weight, according to a height. The index is calculated as BMI equals a weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg / m2). So, for example, if BMI is bigger than 25 or equal to it, it means the person has overweight, if it’s bigger than 30 or equal, its obesity. A BMI over 40 indicates that weight has increased to an extreme, high-risk level.

BMI is the most convenient measure of the level of overweight in the population since it is the same for both sexes and for all ages. However, some other methods are used to estimate the weight like body volume index (computer software is used during measurement), simple weighing (the weight is compared to an estimated ideal weight), hydrostatic weighing (submersion of a person in a water with special equipment to measure the weight when the body is submerged).

Causes of overweight and obesity

The overweight or obesity may start to develop in case of:

  • an imbalance between the received food and energy spent, increased food intake and decreased energy expenditure;
  • obesity which is not the endocrine pathology occurs due to some problems with pancreas, liver, small intestine and colon;
  • genetic disorders.

The factors that can lead to the overweight and obesity are:

  • sedentary lifestyle
  • genetic factors especially increased an activity of the enzymes of lipogenesis and reducing the activity of enzymes lipolysis
  • increased consumption of digestible carbohydrates: drinking sugary drinks, a diet rich in sugars
  • some diseases, particularly endocrine diseases (hypogonadism, hypothyroidism, insulinoma)
  • eating disorders (e.g., binge eating disorder – eating disorders caused psychological problems)
  • the tendency to stress
  • not getting enough sleep
  • psychotropic drugs
  • alcoholism
  • poor nutrition
  • overeating
  • smoking cessation

There are also different social determinates which can influence on people understanding of obesity, and by this help to treat themselves as a normal weight. For instance, in 1989 in developed countries, women of high social class were not tender to obesity, but in the same time in undeveloped world women, men and children from high social classes faced very fast tempo of obesity processes. It’s thought that in wealthy countries people could afford healthy food and knew about the importance of physical exercises when in developing countries were other attitudes and capacities. So we can say that even now social factors may effect on a person because now urbanization is playing a big role in improving rates of obesity.

The process of gaining weight

Regulation and mobilization of fat from fat depots are done by a complex neurohormonal mechanism. The main role in the process of gaining weight plays a dysfunction of the central nervous mechanisms of cerebral cortex and hypothalamus, where are the centers that regulate appetite located. Some disbalance in a coordination of energy consumption and appetite, determining the arrival of energy and intensity of metabolic processes, leads to the accumulation of fat. Apparently, the functionality of the centers that regulate feeding behavior can be congenital or acquired from a childhood in connection with the lifestyle of the family and so on. Violations of the functional state of hypothalamic centers that regulate appetite may also be a consequence of inflammation or injury involving damage to hypothalamus.

The symptoms and types of obesity

Clinical manifestations of different kinds of obesity are mainly similar. There are differences in the distribution of excess fat in the body and in the presence or absence of symptoms of nervous or endocrine systems.

  • Alimentary obesity – is common for people with a hereditary predisposition to be overweight. It develops when a caloric intake exceeds the energy spending. The subcutaneous adipose tissue is mostly accumulated in the abdomen and thighs. No signs of the endocrine glands.
  • Hypothalamic obesity – is observed when people have diseases of the central nervous system with damage in the hypothalamus. The deposition of fat is mainly in the abdomen (in the form of an apron), buttocks, thighs.
  • Endocrine obesity – is common for patients with certain endocrine diseases. It’s characterized by uneven deposition of fat in the body and other signs of hormonal disorders (feminization or masculinization, gynecomastia, hirsutism).

The health problems related to overweight and obesity

The problem with excessive weight doesn’t only include a personal discomfort, but the risks to gain a lot of health problems.

There are such issues:

    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Heart disease: atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart attack
    • High blood pressure
    • Stroke
    • Gallstones
    • Osteoarthritis and other joint problems
    • Hypertension
    • Cholecystitis
    • Sleep apnea
    • Cancer: in the breast, prostate, colon, rectum, esophagus, pancreas and kidneys
    • Metabolic syndrome and a big risk of cardiovascular disease
    • Breathing problems

Treatment

In order to get rid of risk to have one of these problems and feel more comfortable during the obesity, losing the weight healthy you should follow special diets, do regular exercises, cut your harmful habits and start a healthy way of life.

There are a lot of medicaments that created for weight management and after the consultation with a specialist, you can choose what fit for your organism.

If the medicine doesn’t work for you, there is a possibility to deal with a weight by surgery methods, the example of it is liposuction.

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