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Obesity is a Risk to Your Health

Aug 17, 2007
Obesity is a disease that can lead to various serious problems. Many studies have shown that the prevalent rates of obesity have increased dramatically in the present decade and are expected to double if it is not controlled. Following in it's wake are diseases like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and even some forms of cancer.

Obesity is defined as being 20 percent or more above one's desirable weight range. It is a medical condition that refers mainly to storage of excess body fat. The human body naturally stores fat tissue under the skin and around organs and joints. Fat is critical for good health because it is a source of energy when the body lacks natural energy necessary to sustain life processes, and it provides insulation and protection for internal organs. But the accumulation of too much fat in the body is associated with a variety of health problems.

Causes
A calorie is the unit used to measure the energy value of food and the energy used by the body to maintain normal functions. When the calories from food intake equal the calories of energy the body uses, weight remains constant. But when more calories are eaten than the body needs, the body stores those additional calories as fat, causing subsequent weight gain. One pound (1 lb) of fat represents about 3,500 excess calories.

Obesity is partially determined by a person's genetic makeup. If a child inherited the excessive body fat cells of his obese parents, more likely, he will tend to eat more than his body needs; thus, making him an obese too. Copying poor eating habits of parents also affects a child's body weight.

Lifestyles also play a key role in the triggering obesity. Eating big servings of food at restaurants and fast foods more frequently than nutritious home-cooked foods could help adding more calories and fats rather than limiting them. Devoting less time for exercise and other physical activities do not control weight gain. And doing untiring recreational activities such as browsing the internet, video games, movies, and television, plus using laborsaving devices of the modern living, such as personal computers, telephones, and remote controls, promote an inactive lifestyle.

Effects and Possible Complications
Obesity increases the risk of developing disease. Possible complications include:

* Heart disease
* High blood pressure
* Cancer
* Diabetes
* Gallbladder disease
* Breathing problems
* Bloating and stomach upsets
* Varicose veins
* Severe psychological problems

In fact, according to some studies, almost 70 percent of heart disease cases in the United States are linked to excess body fat, and obese people are more than twice as likely to develop high blood pressure. Obese women are at nearly twice the risk for developing breast cancer, and all obese people have an estimated 42 percent higher chance of developing colon cancer. Almost 80 percent of patients with Type 2, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus are obese. The risk of medical complications, particularly heart disease, increases when body fat is distributed around the waist, especially in the abdomen. This type of upper body fat distribution is more common in men than in women.

The social and psychological problems experienced by obese people are also challenging. Discrimination for "fat" people is most likely to occur in educational institutions, employment, and social relationships. Other psychological effects include stress, nervous tension, boredom, frustration, lack of friends, depression, inferiority complex, and poor self-esteem.
About the Author
Friedrich Asen is a personal and spiritual development expert, counsellor, coach and author since 20 years. For more articles about obesity and weight loss please visit his site ObesityKiller.com.
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