What is obesity and how can it affect you and your family?
With more than 30 percent of the population of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Little Rock, Arkansas, reported as obese, both cities rank in the top 100 fattest cities in America.
Obesity, which is defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, is becoming an epidemic in America and causing health issues in adults and children.
What causes it
Obesity has many different causes. One powerful factor is diet. Having an improper diet that consists mainly of foods high in fat and sugar may lead to obesity, as well as consistently having too-large portion sizes and not getting enough exercise. Eating habits like emotional eating (eating for comfort when you are mad, sad, bored or stressed) can lead to obesity. Obesity can also run in families, so genetics may play a part in whether or not you become obese.
Another factor is your surroundings. Studies have shown that obesity can be “contagious.” If individuals’ friends or family members start to gain weight, it dramatically increases the chances that they will also gain weight, and the closer the members in a social network are, the stronger the effect.
Some common diseases associated with obesity include:
Being obese adds stress to organs and joints, forcing them to work harder than is optimal. An excess of body fat can raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which leads to a higher instance of certain diseases in obese people as well as a shortened life expectancy.
If you are obese, it is important that you take the first step toward leading a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. First, talk to your doctor about working toward getting yourself to a healthier weight. Ask your doctor for advice on a safe way to start losing weight or for a referral to a fitness trainer or nutritionist.
If diet and exercise are not working, your doctor may prescribe certain prescriptions for weight loss and to suppress your appetite. Weight loss surgery can help you lose large amounts of weight, but also has great risks associated with the procedure, as many surgeries do.
Losing weight is not easy, and will take a lot of time and work. Even small reductions in weight can significantly decrease the negative health risks associated with obesity.
Velocity Care is owned and operated by board-certified emergency medicine physicians and is committed to providing premier medical care with little or no wait for you and your family. Visit a Velocity Care clinic today if you are in need of a physical examination or you feel you may have high blood pressure.
Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo
This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.