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How to Prevent Obesity: Learn to Stop This Health Risk Before It Happens

Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD · General Practitioner

Written by JB Aquino · Updated Oct 18, 2021

How to Prevent Obesity: Learn to Stop This Health Risk Before It Happens

Obesity remains a major health concern worldwide.  It is considered by the World Health Organization to be among the biggest threats to global health in 2019. Learning how to prevent obesity can go a long way in stopping this global health epidemic.

In the Philippines, obesity also poses a grave threat. One in three Filipino adults aged 20-59 (28.8 percent) are considered overweight, of which 9.6 percent are considered obese. The issue isn’t restricted to adults, as childhood obesity in the Philippines has been growing at a slow but alarmingly steady rate. 5.8% of children aged 5-10 years old in 2003 were considered overweight, but the same age range grew to 9.1% in 2013.

Children who grow up overweight or obese are more likely to develop noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) at a young age. They’re also more likely to carry obesity well into adulthood if not given intervention. Before this happens, it is important to take steps on how to prevent obesity.

Risk Factors 

Obesity is a complex disease which involves an excessive accumulation of body fat. Excessive body fat can hinder normal organ function and lead to various health issues. The medical definition of obesity is having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over. A BMI of 25-30 means you are overweight.

To learn how to prevent obesity, we must first look at its causes. Obesity happens due to various genetic, behavioral, and hormonal factors. Other causes include conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hypothyroidism, or growth hormone deficiency.

On a basic level however, it occurs when individuals consume more food – that is, calories – than they typically burn in a day. The body stores these excess calories as fat deposits.

These risk factors make individuals more likely to develop obesity:

  • Genetics: Genes dictate not only our appearance, but also many characteristics of our body. This includes where excess body fat accumulates, and how efficiently our metabolism works. Unless acted upon, parents with obesity tend to have children who are at a higher risk of obesity.
  • Lifestyle: Diet and overall behavior play a major risk factor in developing obesity. Excessive consumption of calories, a sedentary lifestyle, and even having a sweet tooth all contribute to excess calories in your body.
  • Other factors such as rebound weight gain from quitting smoking or excessive attempts to lose weight, stress, lack of sleep, and psychological problems could all contribute to behavioral issues and weight gain.

Developing obesity also exposes you to various health issues. These include conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes (which could lead to diabesity), certain types of cancer, arthritis, and obstructive sleep apnea. These non-communicable diseases have links to each other.  And the risk of developing one after the other increases, ultimately leading to complications that require medical attention.

How to Prevent Obesity

There is no medicinal treatment for obesity. Rather, individuals need to work on managing symptoms and dedicate themselves to live a healthier lifestyle.

It’s best to nip the disease straight in the bud. Here are some tips on how to prevent obesity in the first place:

  • Get started or maintain a physical wellness routine. Working out is not only good for weight loss and body strengthening. It also keeps unwanted calories at bay, and even keeps your heart healthy. Doctors recommend to have at least 150-300 minutes of active workouts a week in order to stay in shape.
  • Focus on a healthy diet and avoid empty calories. Focus on healthy, complex carbs, and avoid sugary food and drinks. Simply swapping out white rice for whole-grain rice such as red or brown rice could be a start, and so is drinking more water over sugary soft drinks.
  • Consistency is key. Commit to your chosen diets and routines. 
  • Be on top of your mind. This is especially true for people who gain unwanted weight due to psychological triggers and conditions. Focus on your goals and keep track of your behaviors so you can plan to better manage these triggers.

For those who are already obese, managing obesity is similar to how to prevent obesity. Diet and exercise are the pillars in proper management of this condition.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to how to prevent obesity, you are not what you eat – you are what you decide to put your to. A positive mindset and mental fortitude delivers positive dividends when trying to manage your weight. Not only will your health improve, but you’ll also find your newfound routine has many benefits for your entire wellbeing.

Learn more about Obesity here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

General Practitioner

Written by JB Aquino · Updated Oct 18, 2021

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