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
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.
Obesity is considered as a complex disease defined by an excessive accumulation of body fat. Excessive body fat can hinder normal organ function and lead to various health issues. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over, while a BMI of 25-30 is considered overweight.
Obesity could be due to various genetic, behavioral, and hormonal factors. It could also be caused by certain 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. These excess calories then get stored as fat deposits in the body.
These risk factors make individuals more likely to develop obesity:
- Genetics: Genes pretty much dictate not only our appearance, but we also a great deal of our body functions from. 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 cancer types, arthritis, and obstructive sleep apnea As these non-communicable diseases are often interrelated, the risk of developing one after the other increases, ultimately leading in complications that would require drastic medical attention.
As with any health issue, managing the risks factors is a test of both discipline and motivation. It’s especially the case with obesity which has no medicinal treatment. 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 manage and prevent developing 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. It’s recommended 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. , since discipline is the name of your game.
- 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.
When it comes to obesity, you are not what you eat–you are what you decide to put your mind into. A positive mindset and mental fortitude would give back in dividends when trying to manage your weight. Not only will your health thank you, but you’ll also find your newfound routine quite refreshing!
Learn more about Healthy Eating here.
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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.