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Obesity - Why Does This Really Happen?

Jan 29, 2008
Today, everyone has become more conscious of growing overweight. Mediums of communication such as the television and Internet constantly remind us of the risks and dangers liked to obesity. People today, do not want to be obese either due to the fear of not being socially accepted or because they are aware of the risks associated with obesity.

From an evolutionary perspective, the ability of the body to store the excess calories in the form of fat cells was considered a life saving ability. This is because when a person consumes excess calories that aren't utilized for building muscle, the rest are stored in chemical bonds of fat known as the 'Adipose Tissue' and are used for maintenance of the body's internal temperature and cellular repair.

Energy - which is used to measure calories is not the same as fat. However, this energy becomes available to us when fat cells break down into simpler components. This usually happens when a person increases movement like through exercise or when the body triggers a need for more energy.

Carbohydrates are a chief source of this energy. Starch and sugars (mainly glucose) which are considered the 2 main forms participate in a process known as the 'Krebs Cycle', also scientifically referred to as the 'Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle'. In this process, sugars are consumed and once they enter the body they are broken down into ATP molecules that are further split into ADP molecules thereby releasing energy.

When the body runs out of glucose to use in this cycle, it turns to the stored fat in the body as a substitute.The breaking down of these fat cells is what leads to weight loss and helps people reduce the percentage of body fat. However, the body might build muscle mass in the process so weight loss might not be that noticeable.

Moderation is the key to healthy living.When people consume more calories that what is utilized by the body over long periods of time they are at a higher risk of developing several health problems like heart diseases and diabetes etc. that outweigh the benefits of a ready supply of energy. The social consequences of being obese in today's health conscious society are also well known.

Most individuals who are aware of this information try to keep their weight and percentage of body fat within a certain range. This range differs from person to person based on their metabolism, body type, their individual BMI's |(Body Mass Index) and from season to season (a reasonable amount of stored fat in winter can actually be considered healthy).

It is important to know your body type and be able to calculate your BMI in order to determine if you are obese, just slightly over the preferred weight range or just lack muscle tone. One must realize that there is no exact, static or perfect weight for them.
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