Obesity is a condition in which body fat accumulates so much that it starts having adverse effects on a person’s health. There’s a difference between being overweight and obese. This is measured by BMI or Body Mass Index. People with BMIs between 25 and 29 are considered overweight. Anyone with a BMI of and above 30 is considered obese.Worldwide, at least 2.8 million people die each year due to obesity, as reported by WHO. In India, there were close to 29.8 million obese people in 2014, when a study was conducted. In India, women are more likely to be obese than men, with a ratio of 2:1.
There are no symptoms of obesity, other than disagreeable amounts of body fat, which is quite obvious. Both overweight and obese people experience some difficulties due to their excessive weight, which are:
- Increased sweating
- Inability to cope with sudden or much physical activity
- Feeling tired easily and most days
- Back pains and joint pains
When to see a doctor?
If you are obese, or even overweight, you should see a doctor, at least for a consultation if not treatment. Get help before your excess weight starts causing severe problems. Always trust premier institutions like Paras Hospital Groups which have specialized departments for such conditions.
Causes and Risk Factors
The thyroid gland is responsible for making thyroxin (T₄) and triiodothyronine (T₃) hormones.These hormones play a vital role in controlling the metabolism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland makes too much of these. Common causes are Graves’ disease, or toxic nodular goitre. Risk factors include:
- Gender: Being Female increases chances of developing the disease
- Age: Being over 60 does too
- Recent pregnancy
- Having an auto-immune disease (like type 1 diabetes)
- Family history of such diseases
- Consuming significant amounts of iodine through food or medicationsMostly obesity can be explained to be a result of excessive food intake and a lack of physical activity. But sometimes, the underlying reason could be genetics, medical reasons and/or psychiatric illnesses. There is thin line betweencauses and risk factors of obesity, they are:
- Consuming too many calories
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Not sleeping enough
- Endocrine disruption, caused by some foods that interfere with metabolism
- Medications that make people put on weight
- The obesity gene
Treatment and Management
A doctor can advise you on the ways to treat obesity, after a series of tests, which will help him/her in formulating a strategy for you. The strategy will include:
- Healthy diet, consisting of fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, potatoes, bread etc., in a balanced manner, and only small amounts of food high in fat and sugar
- Exercise, is of prime importance if you want to get rid of obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight requires that you burn energy.
- Medication, should be used to lose weight only when authorised and prescribed by your doctor.
- Surgery, known as bariatric surgery can be an option for excessively obese people, who don’t have a choice left, and that too only after several tests by your doctors who have to follow several guid