Obesity: How to identify signs and symptoms

It is imperative to be aware and informed about the signs and symptoms of obesity and how you can prevent it.  

Shivangi Sarkar
Written by: Shivangi SarkarUpdated at: Oct 24, 2022 09:30 IST
Obesity: How to identify signs and symptoms

Obesity is the largest epidemic worldwide that reportedly kills people of all ages. This deadly disease currently affects more than 2 billion people worldwide. Due to changing food systems and reduced physical activity, this disease has been spreading rapidly. It is imperative to be aware and informed about the signs and symptoms of obesity and how you can prevent it.  

What is obesity? 

Our body is composed of carbohydrates, proteins, muscles, fats, and other nutrients. Due to different factors, when an excessive amount of body fat gets stored in our bodies, this creates an imbalance that results in severe weight gain. This condition is known as obesity, and in severe cases, it can even become fatal.

obesity

To understand obesity, we need to understand the Body Mass Index(BMI).

BMI is a scale that measures the body fat of an individual by comparing their height and weight. You can find various BMI calculators online. A BMI of less than 18.5 indicates an underweight individual. 18.5-24.9 is a healthy BMI. A BMI of 25-29.9 indicates an overweight individual. A BMI of more than 30 indicates obesity. 

Also read: Obesity Brainpop Quiz: Prevent Obesity By Avoiding High Carbohydrate Foods At These Times

What are the causes of obesity? 

The main reasons why obesity occurs in a person are when they consume more calories than they burn and also due to a lack of exercise and movement.  However, there are other causes of obesity as well.

1. Family Inheritance: It is common for obesity to run in a family. This is because an individual may inherit a slower rate of metabolism from their parents. This causes them to use less energy, and the excess energy gets stored as fat. 

2. Lifestyle Choices: An unhealthy diet, consumption of foods with high-fat content, and liquid calorie consumption like alcohol, and aerated drinks can contribute to the disease. 

3. Hypothyroidism: The hormones secreted by the thyroid gland are responsible for regulating our metabolism. Hypothyroidism decreases the production of this hormone and can cause obesity. 

Lack of sleep, excessive stress, and the intake of steroids and other medication for hormones can also lead to obesity.

What are the signs and symptoms of obesity?

The following is a list of signs and symptoms you should look out for if you think you are becoming obese. 

1. Excessive weight gain

Due to the excess fat stored in the body, an individual can face difficulty breathing. This is because the fat makes it difficult for the diaphragm to relax and contract, which causes shortness of breath. 

Also read: Expert Talk: How Concerned Should You Be About Being Obese

2. Excessive deposition of fat in areas like hips, thighs, neck, and abdomen

Obesity isn’t a deadly disease by itself, but it causes complications that can make one prone to fatal diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Obesity makes one vulnerable to other diseases. While there is no magical cure for the disease, you can prevent and overcome the symptoms of obesity by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and monitoring your weight. Remember to avoid unhealthy foods with high fat and sodium content. It is best to contact a healthcare professional to further assess and help you with your condition.

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