Obesity: A Major Dilemma of Today's Generation

Posted by Dr. Chirag Thakkar on July 19th, 2019

What is Obesity?

Eating junk food has become very common nowadays; especially youngsters and teenagers who like to spend a lot of time with friends together. These eating habits lead to weight gain, which later leads to obesity. Obesity is basically a condition or state when a person is abnormally overweight. A person's overweight is determined by Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a tool used to see whether a person's weight is according to its height and age. A person is obese if his BMI is 30 or more than that.

Causes of Obesity:

Overeating and adding up the extra calories to your body can be a reason for obesity. Some causes of obesity include:

1. Eating Habits: Excess weight and obesity can be caused by consuming more calories than required by the body. Foods that are high in sugar and fats are also a reason for obesity. These foods are fast Foods, Fried Foods, processed and fatty foods, foods with added sugar, canned foods containing hidden sugars, sweetened juices, and high carb foods.

2. Sleepless Nights: Sleep deprivation also increases the risk of gaining weight and developing obesity. Both children and adults are affected by sleep deprivation. When a person does not get enough sleep, hormonal changes occur, which increases the appetite.

3. No Physical Activity: Technology has made us handicapped. Our chores are mechanized due to which we do not get enough physical activity. Walking, biking, or exercise not only help us maintain a healthy lifestyle but also keep us active.

4. Psychological Factor: Emotions also affect many people's eating habit. People in depression, anger, stress, or even happiness can increase your appetite and gain weight.

5. Medications: Some medicines have side effects which result in gaining weight. Medicines of depression, diabetes, contraception, and blood pressure alter the function of brain and body, increasing your appetite.

6. Genetics: If one or both parents are obese, the children are more likely to develop obesity. Your eating habits affect the gene, which are suppressed and which are not. It is difficult for people with a genetic disposition to maintain a healthy weight.

Diseases Caused by Obesity: Obesity is a health hazard problem, and many people are more likely to develop diseases at a very early age. Various severe medical conditions include:

  • Breathing problems including asthma and apnea.
  • Heart diseases and strokes.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Blood Pressure.
  • Cancer.
  • Stones in kidneys and gall bladder

People who have a family history of chronic disease or prehistory of any medical condition are at a greater risk of re-developing any of the diseases mentioned above.

Age Group Most Affected by Obesity: Obesity is increasing worldwide among children and adults due to our sleeping and eating habits. According to a study, almost 1.9 billion people are overweight. These included adults, 18 years, and older people. Over 340 million children and adolescent aging from 5-19 are overweight. Middle-aged people and those who are at the age of retirement are the most “at-risk” group to become obese. People between the age of 25 and 34 have the second lowest rate obesity rate, whereas 16-24 years of age group, including males and females, are at a lesser risk of becoming obese.

Effects of Genetics on Childhood Obesity: Genes also become a reason for a person to become obese. Bardet- Biedl and Prader-Willi syndrome are the two disorders which are directly caused by genes resulting in obesity. A person with a family history is 2-8 times at a higher risk of developing obesity than a person with no history. Weight gain and adiposity are influenced by heredity, which increases with age.

Prader- Willi Syndrome: This disease is present from birth in an individual, which affects all the body parts, and the person feels hungry all the time, resulting in becoming obese at the end. The missing gene causes it on chromosome 15 from the father’s side. Children have a lot of food craving in this disease, and children also develop diabetes, blood pressure, and joint and lung problems at an early age.

Conclusion: The genes which interact with environmental factors are involved in gaining weight and thus becomes the cause of severe obesity.

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Dr. Chirag Thakkar

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Dr. Chirag Thakkar
Joined: June 25th, 2019
Articles Posted: 8

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