Obesity is a disease condition in which the body accumulates too much body fat. Technically it is different from being over-weight, but both refer to a condition when the weight of the person is more than what is considered healthy for the height. Obesity occurs when more calorie than needed is consumed.
The amount of calories consumed by an individual has a direct link to their weight. When more calorie than needed is consumed, there is a risk of obesity. Obesity doesn’t happen overnight. It develops gradually over time, as a result of poor diet and lifestyle choices, such as: eating large amounts of processed or fast food – that’s high in fat and sugar. Drinking too much alcohol – alcohol contains a lot of calories, and people who drink heavily are often overweight.
A proper balance in the diet and lifestyle of individuals can help put a balance in the body weight of individuals. Fatty diets and diets high in carbohydrates should be taken in minimal amounts. Also, a healthy lifestyle which includes exercises should be done regularly; this will help burn out the calorie that is consumed and stop it from depositing in the system as adipose tissues.
Obesity has been proven to increase the risk of other health related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers. A research carried our recently showed that food and diet patterns help prevent stroke, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Many of the food recommended to prevent these conditions also help in the control and management of obesity. Foods recommended in the management of obesity include; vegetables, whole-grains, nuts and fruits.
The type of fat in food is more important than the quantity when weight control is to be considered. Saturated and trans-fats should be avoided in meals and diets while mono and poly unsaturated fats is advised. Low fat diets have a tendency of increasing the risk of obesity because they are higher in carbohydrate sources such as bread and rice which has high calorie content.
It is usually advised that the protein content in meals be increased. High protein diets tend to be low in carbohydrate and high in fat. High protein diets are advantageous because people feel fuller when consuming protein foods that when they consume carbohydrate or fat foods. High protein and low carbohydrate diets help improve blood lipid profile and other metabolic markers thereby preventing heart diseases and diabetes.
One cause but often overlooked cause of obesity is high alcohol intake. This is because alcoholic substances have more calories per ounce. Therefore, frequent alcoholics have the tendency of storing up calories from the alcoholic beverages which will overtime result in obesity.
Summarily, obesity is a life threatening disease condition and it is aided by diet and lifestyle. Regular work-outs and exercises should be encouraged in management of obesity. Also, meals should be carefully planned. Meals should be rich in protein and high in fibre. Processed foods should be minimised while increasing whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, plant oils and healthy source of proteins like white meat, fish and beans.