Everything About Obesity:4 Frequently Asked Questions

Everything About Obesity:4 Frequently Asked Questions

Despite the hype, obesity is about private, not public, health — because whether a person is fat has no health effect on somebody else. There’s no such thing as second-hand obesity. And despite obesity being dubbed an “epidemic,” it’s not. That would require added weight to be contagious, like smallpox

Obesity can lead to hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart attacks and brain strokes. Here’s everything you need to know about obesity. See the Expert Answers

What is obesity?

  • Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.

Everything About Obesity:4 Frequently Asked Questions BMI CHART

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Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: Are you Obese? 
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Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: Are you Obese?

Body Fat Percentage Photos of Men & Women-Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: Are you Obese? 


What causes obesity?

  • Obesity is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little.
  • If you consume high amounts of energy, particularly fat and sugars, but do not burn off the energy through exercise and physical activity, much of the surplus energy will be stored by the body as fat.

Why obesity is a problem?

People with obesity are more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:

  1. Obesity is serious because it is associated with poorer mental health outcomes and reduced quality of life.
  2. Obesity is also associated with the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
  3. Heart disease and strokes. Obesity makes you more likely to have high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart disease and strokes.
  4. Type 2 diabetes. Obesity can affect the way the body uses insulin to control blood sugar levels. This raises the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
  5. Certain cancers. Obesity may increase the risk of cancer of the uterus, cervix, endometrium, ovary, breast, colon, rectum, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate.
  6. Digestive problems. Obesity increases the likelihood of developing heartburn, gallbladder disease and liver problems.
    Sleep apnea. People with obesity are more likely to have sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.
  7. Osteoarthritis. Obesity increases the stress placed on weight-bearing joints, in addition to promoting inflammation within the body. These factors may lead to complications such as osteoarthritis.
  8. Severe COVID-19 symptoms. Obesity increases the risk of developing severe symptoms if you become infected with the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). People who have severe cases of COVID-19 may require treatment in intensive care units or even mechanical assistance to breathe.
Everything About Obesity:4 Frequently Asked Questions
Everything About Obesity:4 Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Start Doing Today In Order To Reach My Weight Loss Goals?

It is important to remember that reaching your weight loss goals will not happen overnight. But your Personal Trainer and Nutritionist will help you to start your journey today. Some options include healthy eating and increased physical activity.

How can we solve obesity?

  • Consume less “bad” fat and more “good” fat.
  • Consume less processed and sugary foods.
  • Eat more servings of vegetables and fruits. …
  • Eat plenty of dietary fiber.
  • Focus on eating low–glycemic index foods. …
  • Get the family involved in your journey. …
  • Engage in regular aerobic activity.

I hardly eat anything. Why am I still gaining weight?

  •  Obesity is a multifactorial condition. Food intake is just one part of it.
  • Almost 70% of obesity is genetic in origin.
  • The other determinants of weight gain are neurohormonal factors, appetite regulation and energy balance, metabolic adaptation, sleep and stress-related factors, level of physical activity, environmental factors.
  • Quantity of food intake matters and is one of the modifiable factors in the management of obesity but it is not the sole cause for weight gain.

How can I cure obesity?Can you reverse obesity?

  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can also help manage or reverse some of the serious conditions associated with obesity, such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
  • Maintenance of weight loss is the biggest challenge and most people end up regaining weight over a period of time. The faster the weight loss, faster it is to come back.
  • Crash diets are the easiest to crash. Hence it is important to understand the nature of the disease.
  • Obesity is a chronic condition that needs long term monitoring and support.
  • Diet and lifestyle modification, drug therapy, endoscopic therapies and bariatric/metabolic surgery may be needed in various permutations and combinations depending on the clinical profile of the patient and severity of the disease.
  • Patients and their treating clinicians must understand that to be able to keep the weight under control, escalation of therapies along with regular counseling effort will be needed from time to time.
  • Obesity cannot be cured, but it can be controlled effectively with good guidance from a qualified weight loss specialist.

How Effective Are Endoscopic Weight Loss Therapies? Are They The Same As Bariatric Surgery?

  • Recently there has been a lot of focus on the newer endoscopic therapies. They are a welcome addition in the armamentarium for our battle against obesity.
  • Endoscopic therapies include the balloons (conventional endoscopic balloons and the newer Elipse balloon) and the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty.
  • These therapies are usually bridge therapies and meant for patients with grade 1 or grade 2 obesity.
  • Bariatric surgery is meant for patients with grade 3 obesity or those who need to lose 30 kg and above in terms of weight loss.
  • Endoscopic therapies alone may fall short of achieving these weight loss goals in patients with grade 3 obesity and may be recommended only if patients are medically unfit for surgery.
  • Every therapy has its place in the treatment pyramid and will give the best results only when performed for the right group of patients.

Is bariatric surgery covered by insurance?

  • Yes, bariatric/metabolic surgery is now covered by most insurance companies.
  • You can avail of cashless cover or reimbursement if you fulfill the qualifying criteria as per your company.
  • Every company has a set of criteria in terms of waiting period which is usually 3 to 4 years.
  • In general, if your BMI is above 40 Kg/m2, and the surgery has been recommended by a medical professional, you may be eligible for insurance coverage.
  • If your BMI is above 35 Kg/m2 along with two other co-morbidities like diabetes or hypertension etc, it can also be considered for insurance.

What foods can help prevent obesity?

  • Eat Well
  • Whole grains (whole wheat, steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa)
  • Vegetables (a colorful variety-not potatoes)
  • Whole fruits (not fruit juices)
  • Nuts, seeds, beans, and other healthful sources of protein (fish and poultry)
  • Plant oils (olive and other vegetable oils)

Bottom Line

If you’re concerned about your weight or weight-related health problems, ask your doctor about obesity management. You and your doctor can evaluate your health risks and discuss your weight-loss options.

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