Obesity is a public health problem that has constituted several negative impacts on individuals in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height is considered obese.” This problem has become more persistent in our society today due to people consuming excessive amounts of food, eating out frequently, poor diet, and lack of exercise. However, many other factors also contribute to obesity such as genetics, medication use, place of habitat, education level, and income. People that are obese are not grasping the immense negative effects obesity has on their health and it is crucial that they know the risks and complications of this problem.
The current way of measuring obesity is through the calculation of a person’s body mass index (BMI), which is their weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. The BMI can be used to screen weight classifications that may lead to health problems although it is not a diagnostic of the body fatness or the health of an individual. Therefore, if an individual wanted to determine if their high BMI is a health risk, a healthcare provider would have to implement a further evaluation, such as an evaluation of their diet, physical activity, family history, skinfold thickness measurements, and other suitable health screenings.
For someone who is obese, there are many negative effects that can take place on their health. According to Stanford Health care, “Each year obesity-related conditions cost over 150 billion dollars and cause an estimated 300,000 premature deaths in the United States.” The obesity-related conditions can range from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint problems, sleep apnea, cancer, metabolic syndromes, and psychosocial effects. The main condition most people associate obesity with is diabetes, mainly type 2. Type 2 diabetes is when the person who is obese has a resistance to insulin, which is the hormone that regulates blood sugar. Another common problem related to obesity is high blood pressure. Statements from the Framingham Heart Study suggest that “approximately 78% of the hypertension cases in men and 65% in women can be directly attributed to obesity.” It has also been said that hypertension increases the risk of other diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD), congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke, and kidney disease. It is crucial that a person gets their weight under control to avoid these possibilities.
The question is, “Why do people become obese?” Well, there several factors that contribute to why a person becomes obese. One of the main reasons is that the person is consuming an excessive amount of calories, particularly from fatty and sugary foods. The excess energy from those is stored in the body as fat. A moderate calorie intake for an average woman would be 2,000 calories whereas an average man would be 2,500 calories. Whereas people who are obese are always surpassing their calorie intake, therefore they continue to gain more weight. Another factor is obese people are leading an inactive lifestyle. Mainly because of the uprising of electronics such as television, computers, and cell phones. Because of these electronics, people are starting to become lazier than they ever were previously. Numerous people are gaining weight because they aren’t moving enough and the less you move around, the fewer calories you burn.
There are various approaches that allow a successful weight loss and maintenance that can help prevent obesity. A step that can be useful towards an overweight person would be to give advice. Giving advice to an obese person is crucial, whether it is coming from a primary care clinician, family member, or close friend. Providing advice may promote a behavior change from that person. It has been said that getting psychological assistance from a trained healthcare professional may help change that person’s way they think about food and eating. Also, increasing physical activity can play an essential role in preventing obesity. As for physical activity, there are many possible routes someone can take. That person could either join a local weight loss group, take up exercises such as fast walking, jogging, swimming or sports activities for up to 30 minutes to an hour. If someone doesn’t have the “time” to exercise, something as little as eating slowly and avoiding places where they know they will be tempted to overeat could be extremely beneficial.
Establishing healthy eating habits can drastically change a person’s life. However, the individual just has to make a few tweaks to their normal eating habits. One healthy eating habit is that the person can still eat all the foods they enjoy, but to do so in small portions. Portion control can help that person learn to be satisfied with eating less food, which surprisingly can help them both physically and financially. Eating smaller quantities can restrain cravings and help lessen overall calorie intake. Essentially, when eating smaller calories than you burn, your body will break down that stored fat to use as energy Another key healthy eating habit is to prep your food. According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, it states that “in one study, young adults who regularly prepared food consumed fast food less frequently and were more likely to meet dietary recommendations.” Essentially, if an individual is eating a balanced, calorie-controlled diet, then improvements will undoubtedly show in them.
Losing weight is not an overnight solution. Weight loss takes time and commitment, and it will work best when the individual has fully completed their weight loss journey. A person ready to lose a drastic amount of weight needs to make sure they are ready to make permanent changes and do so for the right reasons. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy for someone to change their habits. An individual planning to make weight-related changes first and foremost has to address other stresses in their life first such as relationship conflicts or financial problems. Managing these problems is crucial because it should improve the individual’s ability to focus on achieving a healthier lifestyle, instead of being distracted by nonsense. Another major thing to keep in mind is to set realistic goals. When aiming from long-term goals of losing weight, the individual needs to set their goals to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. The person should not set unrealistic goals such as “I’m going to lose 10 pounds by next week.” Losing weight takes time and the individual needs to be aware of that situation.