A person who is obese is said to have too much fat in the body. During the past decades, the number of individuals with obesity has increased dramatically not only among adults but in children as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1/3 of the adult population in the United States is obese while 12.5 million or 17% of children and teenagers from ages 2-19 also have obesity. Obesity used to be a health problem only in high-income countries but at present, cases of obesity in middle- and low-income countries are also on the rise.
Obesity is diagnosed based on a person’s body mass index (BMI). The body mass index is computed using the individual’s weight in kilograms and dividing it by the square of one’s height in meters. Individuals with a body mass index of 30 and above are considered to be obese while those with a BMI of 25 to 29 are already considered overweight. Being obese is different from being overweight as the latter doesn’t necessarily refer to excess weight due to fat and may be because of muscles, bones, and water in the body.
Effects of Obesity on the Health
Obesity and overweight are considered to be the fifth leading risk for deaths worldwide. A minimum of 2.8 million adults die yearly due to obesity and deaths from certain conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are also associated with obesity. Obesity has a serious impact on the health and it is considered to be a major risk factor for numerous chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer including breast cancer and colon cancer.
These different health conditions do not only cause considerable disability but can also lead to premature death. As an individual becomes more overweight and ultimately obese, the possibility of experiencing numerous health problems also increases. Obesity does not only cause personal burden due to the effects on the health but can also cause financial burden due to high healthcare costs.
Obesity is highly preventable and it involves good weight management. Knowing how to lose weight effectively is important to be able to achieve a desirable weight level. There are different options when it comes to weight loss including weight loss pills, weight loss diet, and exercise.
Weight Loss Pills
Weight loss pills can be taken to lose weight. While most weight loss pills are effective in making you lose weight by speeding up the body’s metabolism or preventing absorption of fat, these aren’t free from any side effects. Among the side effects associated with the use of weight loss pills include heart attack, stroke, heart problems, diarrhea, liver injury, suicidal thoughts, and kidney failure. According to experts, weight gain is caused by several factors such as emotional, social, biological, environmental, and psychological and a weight loss pill cannot address all of these needs. Since obese individuals are already at risk for developing heart disease and stroke, taking weight loss pills can only aggravate these risks.
Weight Loss Diet
Weight loss tips usually include following a weight loss diet and this is correct. Weight loss diet may involve eating less calories or consumption of fat burning foods. It is important to achieve balance between the amount of calories consumed and the amount of calories used up by the body in order to lose weight effectively. Intake of fats and sugar should be limited and emphasis should be given on eating goods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
Exercise is an important component to effective weight loss. Increasing the amount of calories used up by the body is equally important as decreasing the amount of calories consumed. At least 30 minutes of moderate- to high-intensity physical activity 5 days a week can help burn excess calories and keep the body healthy by improving heart and lung function.
Obesity is a growing problem not only in the United States but in other countries as well. Weight management is the key to preventing unhealthy weight gain. Diet and exercise are better for weight loss compared to weight loss pills as these do not cause any side effects and are more likely to produce positive results in the long run.