Obesity is a chronic disease that usually involves genetic, emotional, lifestyle and environmental factors. It represents a health risk for adults and children, increasing the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, orthopedic problems and some types of cancer. Treatment should be guided by a specialist.
The main cause of obesity is inadequate or excessive diet. To maintain the ideal weight, there needs to be a balance between the amount of calories ingested and the energy expended throughout the day. When there is plenty of food and low energy activity, there is an accumulation of fat. Therefore, a sedentary lifestyle is the second important factor that contributes to obesity.
In addition, there are genetic factors, in which a person can inherit the disposition for obesity; having a slower metabolism, which facilitates the accumulation of fats and hinders weight loss, or having weight gain due to hormonal fluctuations.
There is also an influence of psychological factors, when stress or frustrations trigger binge eating crises.
Signs and symptoms
In addition to tight clothing and increased pointer on the scale, the accumulation of fat is an indication of obesity.
Episodes of sleep apnea, difficulty in moving, frequent tiredness and disturbances in the menstrual cycle in women are also indicators of the disease.
It is done by calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI), which assesses the relationship between weight and height. When the BMI is greater than 30, the person is considered obese. The higher the rate, the more likely the patient is to develop diabetes, cardiovascular and joint problems, high blood pressure and depression, problems directly linked to worse quality of life and less longevity.
- Underweight: BMI below 18.5
- Normal weight: BMI between 18.5 and 24.9
- Overweight: BMI between 25 and 29.9
- Obesity Grade I: BMI between 30 and 34.9
- Obesity Grade II: BMI between 35 and 39.9
- Obesity Grade III: BMI over 40.
Excess weight occurs from being overweight. There are also other ways of verifying excess weight that act in conjunction with the calculation of BMI. They are: calculating the percentage of fat and measuring waist circumference.
The best way to treat obesity is to adopt lifestyle changes, with a less caloric diet combined with a physical exercise program, always under the supervision of a professional.
Medications can also be used, from appetite controllers to those that reduce the absorption of fat by the body.
For the most severe cases, bariatric surgery may also be recommended, especially for those with a BMI over 35 and also having diseases associated with obesity, and for those who have a BMI over 40 and are unable to lose weight with other treatments.
In all cases, regular medical monitoring is essential.
The disease can be prevented since childhood, with the adoption of healthy eating habits and regular practice of sports throughout life