What is “Obesity”?
First thing’s first, you must know that being obese and being overweight are two different things. The expression, overweight, is used for when an individual’s weight is simply above average. Whereas obesity is an expression used for when a person has an excessive amount of fat stored in their body.
Obesity = Diseases = Death
Considering that about 200 million adult women and 300 million adult men suffering from obesity, the World Health Organization (WHO) has discovered that obesity is “the fifth leading risk of global deaths” with a minimum of 2.8 million deaths every year.
Having said that, such deaths do not solely occur due to this condition; instead, it is because obesity leads to other potentially fatal diseases. To elaborate, obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, arthritis, an array of cancers, and psychological effects such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and even mental illness.
What exactly causes obesity?
For one, a lack of energy balance is an inevitable cause. If an individual does not balance the energy taken into the body, through the ingestion of foods and drinks, with the energy released out of the body, through exercising, breathing, and digesting, then the risk of being obese will heighten.
Additionally, a person’s environment may hinder the opportunity to adapt to a healthier lifestyle. For example, factors like long work/study hours, a lack of sleep, not having parks or affordable gyms around, all make it harder for one to pursue such an ideal way of life.
Another common cause is emotional factors, including boredom, anger, stress, or grief. Then again, some people are obese due to uncontrollable reasons such as genetics, medical issues, pregnancy, and age.
Moreover, advertisements produced by unhealthy food corporations that include cartoon characters and animals lure children into buying them, and therefore boost kids’ chances of becoming obese.
“Obesity happens one pound at a time”, well so does its prevention. Hence, what can you do to help your body improve it’s nutrition, and thus avoid obesity? These are some of the things that the WHO recommended as beneficial for eradicating obesity.
Firstly, you must follow a healthy meal plan. This means that you should limit the amount of calories taken in on a daily basis by consuming less or no junk food and anything sugary. In addition, having smaller portions of foods which contain vital nutrients -such as iron (from proteins), fiber (from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), omega-3 fatty acids (from eggs and fish), calcium (from low-fat dairy products), and vitamin D (from cod liver and even just sun tanning)- may have a huge impact on the reduction of fat.
Secondly, you mustn’t snack; instead, simply have the 3 meals of the day. According to dieticians, women must consume from 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day, while men must consume from 2,200 to 2,400. Hence, it’s never a bad idea to keep track of your balanced diet by writing down what you ate and how much calories you had eaten everyday in a journal.
Thirdly, exercise! You know what they say: “sweat is like your fat crying.” Thus, pursue physical activities that you would actually enjoy, but ones that will also make you sweat, even if it’s just doing jumping-jacks for 10 minutes everyday. One thing which could motivate you is to surround yourself in a healthier environment where there is access to gyms, sports centers, parks, or even just sidewalks.
Finally, things the food industry can do to for your advantage are promoting a healthier diet by decreasing the levels of fat, sugar, and salt in products, as well as making them cheaper in order to facilitate the availability of nutritious food options to people.
An Extra Something
The hard work on your strive for a healthier life will be worth it in the end. Nevertheless, in order to actually achieve your goal, there is one very important thing you need: a strong support system! Since obesity is known to be “socially contagious”, one of the greatest ways to help prevent it is to have a community of family and friends to guide you along the way in your path to success.
By: Faissal Darwish