Obesity – the silent killer on raise in Bengaluru

Obesity – the silent killer on raise in Bengaluru

Obesity known as the silent killer is on raise in namma Bengaluru.  What we need for a healthy life is just 30 per cent of what we eat, and another 70 per cent of what we eat only invites obesity and other diseases.

Obesity and mental health are interlinked. 

What some people may not realize is that obesity can also take a toll on mental and emotional health, making daily activities like socializing, dating and even traveling more challenging.

Taking steps to lose weight by making lifestyle adjustments could help ease the mental and physical burden associated with the condition.

What is obesity?

Junk food cause of Obesity

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health.  People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height, is over 30 kg/m2 ; the range 25–30 kg/m2 is defined as overweight.

Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake,  lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility.  A few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications or mental disorder.

Effects of obesity :

Obesity effects on human body

Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Excessive body weight is also is associated with various diseases and conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis and asthma. As a result, obesity has been found to reduce life expectancy.

Public health :

The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that overweight and obesity may soon replace more traditional public health concerns such as under-nutrition and infectious diseases as the most significant cause of poor health.  Obesity is a public health and policy problem because of its prevalence, costs, and health effects.

Public health efforts seek to understand and correct the environmental factors responsible for the increasing prevalence of obesity in the population. Solutions look at changing the factors that cause excess food energy consumption and inhibit physical activity.

Management of Weight gain :

The main treatment for obesity consists of dieting and physical exercise.  Diet programs may produce weight loss over the short term,  but maintaining this weight loss is frequently difficult and often requires making exercise and a lower food energy diet a permanent part of a person’s lifestyle.

In the short-term low carbohydrate diets appear better than low fat diets for weight loss.  In the long term; however, all types of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets appear equally beneficial.  

Causes of Weight Gain and Obesity :

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the world.  It’s associated with several related conditions, collectively known as metabolic syndrome.

The factors that are leading causes of weight gain, obesity and metabolic disease are :

  1. Genetics – Some people appear to be genetically susceptible to weight gain and obesity.
  2. Engineered junk foods – Stores are filled with processed foods that are hard to resist. These products also promote overeating.
  3. Food Addiction – Some people experience strong food cravings or addiction. This especially applies to sugar-sweetened, high-fat junk foods which stimulate the reward centers in the brain.
  4. Aggressive marketing – Food producers spend a lot of money marketing junk food, sometimes specifically targeting children, who don’t have the knowledge and experience to realize they are being misled.
  5. Insulin – High insulin levels and insulin resistance are linked to the development of obesity. To lower insulin levels, reduce intake of refined carbs and eat more fiber.
  6. Certain medications – Some medications may promote weight gain by reducing the number of calories burned or increasing appetite.
  7. Leptin resistance – Leptin, an appetite-reducing hormone, doesn’t work in many obese individuals.
  8. Food availability – In some areas, finding fresh, whole foods may be difficult or expensive, leaving people no choice but to buy unhealthy junk foods.
  9. Sugar – Scientists believe that excessive sugar intake may be one of the main causes of obesity.
  10. Misinformation -. Misinformation may contribute to weight gain in some people. It can also make weight loss more difficult.

What foods should an obese person avoid?

What to Eat –

Food Pyramid to avoid obesity

Choose minimally processed, whole foods:

  • 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)

Drink water or other beverages that are naturally calorie-free.

Limit these foods and drinks:

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks)
  • Fruit juice (no more than a small amount per day)
  • Refined grains(white bread, white rice, white pasta) and sweets
  • Potatoes (baked or fried)
  • Red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed meats (salami, ham, bacon, sausage)
  • Other highly processed foods, such as fast food

How does weight affect mental health?

A new study showed that a weight-loss intervention can help overweight and obese people with serious mental illnesses—such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression—lose significant weight and keep it off. Medications to help control mental illness symptoms can increase appetite and encourage weight gain.

Link between obesity and mental health :

The link between mental health and obesity is complex and may vary based on individual like age, gender, race, ethnicity and culture or structural like nationality and region characteristics. Age may influence mental health causes or consequence of obesity and may moderate the mental health-obesity link.

Early adolescence and late adolescence are very different in terms of cognitive and social functioning.  Analysis of a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7-12 who had participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health suggested that only among the youngest adolescents, a significant link could be found between overweight and obesity on depression.

People are living longer than ever before, and paradoxically, that brings more problems.  Family dynamics and stress play an integral role in mental health. Extended families are not as geographically close today as in the past. Adult children are leaving home later, and their greater dependence on their parents contributes to more problems for everybody involved.

What is happening in Bengaluru ?

Obesity is slowly engulfing Bengaluru.  For every 10 Bangaloreans, 4 are obese.  The reasons are rapid urbanization, transformation to metro, lifestyle alteration and poor diet.

Obesity mainly is a result of changes in diet and physical activity. In the city the rise in obesity is due to factors known as the ‘nutrition transition.’ Urban areas, being much further along in the transition than rural areas, experience higher rates of obesity.

The city offer a greater range of food, usually at lower prices, and city work often demands less physical exertion than rural work.

The need of the hour is getting committed to a healthy way of life by eating low calorie diet and doing regular exercises for the rest of one’s life.

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