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WHAT ARE OBESITY AND OVERWEIGHT



Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person's weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters.

For adults, WHO defines overweight and obesity as follows:

  • overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25; and

  • obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight and obesity as it is the same for both sexes and for all ages of adults. However, it should be considered a rough guide because it may not correspond to the same degree of fatness in different individuals.

For children, age needs to be considered when defining overweight and obesity.


What causes Obesity and Overweight?

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Globally, there has been:

  • an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars

  • an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.

What are common health consequences of overweight and obesity?

Raised BMI is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as:

  • cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012;

  • diabetes

  • musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints)

  • some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon)

How can overweight and obesity be reduced?

Overweight and obesity are preventable. Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (the choice that is the most accessible, available and affordable) and therefore preventing overweight and obesity.

At the individual level, people can:

  • limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;

  • increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts

  • engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).

Individual responsibility can only have its full effect where people have access to a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, at the societal level it is important to support individuals.

The food industry can play a significant role in promoting healthy diets by:

  • reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods

  • ensuring that healthy and nutritious choices are available and affordable to all consumers

  • restricting marketing of foods high in sugars, salt and fats, especially those foods aimed at children and teenagers

  • ensuring the availability of healthy food choices and supporting regular physical activity practice in the workplace. Source: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight



SUMMARY:


Preventing overweight and obesity involves regular physical activity, a decrease in saturated fat intake, a decrease in sugar consumption, and an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts. In addition, family and healthcare professional involvement may help to maintain a healthy weight. Did you know that Overweight and Obesity are some symptoms of having PCOS? Read more.. https://www.proweightlossprogram.store/post/what-is-pcos https://www.proweightlossprogram.store/post/causes-of-pcos


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