The impact of obesity
Luke Coutinho

Luke Coutinho
11 June 2021

This article is authored by Luke Coutinho. Luke is a globally renowned and award winning Holistic Lifestyle Coach in the field of Integrative Medicine.

Not every ‘fat’ person is obese but every overweight person is considered to be suffering from obesity. The term overweight may refer to a variety of things, but it most commonly refers to your Body Mass Index (BMI), which should be less than 30 kg when measured using your body weight and height. When a person's BMI is 30.0 or higher in adults, he or she is considered obese.


Obesity is a complex disorder characterized by an excessive amount of weight in the body as a result of an excess of calories accumulated as fat. Obesity is more than a superficial issue; it is a medical problem that intensifies the risk of developing other chronic diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.


Let’s dig into what causes obesity.


What Causes Obesity?

This medical problem is caused due to various reasons that are listed below:


  • Consuming calories more than required for your body along with a sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity.
  • Your genes have a big role to play in obesity as they can impact the process of how your body digests and processes the food and calories you consume.
  • A slow metabolism rate often causes obesity in individuals.
  • During pregnancy, women may tend to gain weight that might be tough to lose in a long run making them obese.
  • A medical problem known as (PCOS) can also be one of the causes of o obesity in middle-aged women.
  • Hypothyroidism and Osteoarthritis can be other medical conditions causing obesity.
  • Depression and behavioural changes such as mood swings, anger, and hurt may lead to emotional eating that can further cause obesity.


Looks like a real thing, isn’t it? The good news is that obesity can be handled with sincere efforts and some thoughtful nutritional and behavioral improvements. If it feels right or if the symptoms worsen, one should seek medical advice. If there is a cause, there is an effect, and obesity has a significant impact on a person's health and life. Obesity has a clear impact on one's wellbeing as well as the quality of one's life. Let us take a closer look at the effects of obesity on a person's overall health.


Impact Of Obesity On Overall Health


Obesity should not be taken lightly, since it can have serious consequences for one's general health. Many that have been obese for a long time are more likely to develop chronic illness, which can lead to a worsening of health. Obesity, at the same time, has an effect not only on a person's health but also on their personal, mental, and social lives. It can be life-threatening if not handled at the right time and in the right way, leading to disability or death at an early age.


The impact of obesity on overall health is exhibited in the following forms:


  • Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular diseases, palpitation, in some of the cases heart strokes.
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disorders - the person might face difficulty in breathing
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Osteoarthritis, joints pain, muscle soreness.
  • Morning sickness, fatigue, fibromyalgia
  • Fluctuation in the thyroid, hormonal imbalance
  • Kidney diseases
  • A weak liver and other liver diseases might lead to liver failure as well
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Swollen and expanded ovaries can cause infertility and an upset bladder resulting in leakage.
  • Sleep Apnea


Obese people also deal with and face emotional, mental, and behavioural consequences. Since we're talking about physical wellbeing, psychological, behavioural, and emotional factors must be considered as well. Other mental and behavioral impacts of obesity include stress, mood changes, low self-esteem, losing hope, pessimistic attitude toward life, trouble managing relationships and everyday life circumstances, frustration, and emotional triggering.


Finding the source of the problem and never ignoring it, is wise, but searching for a long-term solution is often wiser. One might assume that losing weight and aiming to become thinner by strict dieting is the best way to treat obesity and reduce its effect on all aspects of health and life, but is this the best approach to treating and managing obesity? Let's think about it for a moment.


Why We Should Focus On Obesity And Not Being Thin?


As a wellness, fitness, and life coach, I believe and advise everyone that the primary aim should always be to remain healthy rather than just to get slim and lose weight! When it comes to managing obesity, one should be specific about what they want to do long-term: is it just losing weight or concentrating on cultivating holistic healthy habits and making lifestyle changes to treat obesity?


"You don't have to lose weight to become healthier," one of my favorite professors, Gary Wittert, stated.


An obese person's goal is to become holistically stable, which cannot be achieved solely by weight - loss. How can losing weight alone be the solution to this medical dilemma, given the wide range of effects and consequences of obesity? It is necessary to restore a foundation of health and quality of life in this zone.


It's also important to consider the traditional weight-loss paradigms. People normally lose weight rapidly in the first few months after starting a strict diet, but then they reach a stagnancy and gradually begin to gain weight. They starve themselves to the point that their diet is almost non-existent, and then after the dieting is over, they are riddled by uncontrollable impulses to eat the foods for which they had starved themselves. As a result of which the weight they have lost comes back again.


Getting thin or going on a diet should no longer be a target or priority. The emphasis should still be on developing healthy food habits, behavioural, and lifestyle behaviors that can aid in the treatment of obesity and its associated diseases.


Since I already discussed how to cultivate healthier behaviors to treat obesity, it's also important to understand how to prevent obesity, as prevention is often preferable to cure! Let's take a look at it.


How To Prevent Obesity


Following are the preventive tips for adults they can follow in their daily routine:


  • Focus on eating more green vegetables and fruits, as well as a protein-rich diet that includes legumes, pulses, soy, beans, and a few nuts. Almond, soy, or skimmed milk may be substituted for normal milk. Consume more good fat and less poor fat in your diet. Eat a lot of fibrous foods and stay away from sugary foods and beverages. Processed and packaged foods are high in salt, fat, and sugar. Incorporate natural foods into your everyday diets, such as ginger, turmeric, flaxseeds, berries, bananas, apples, green tea, and avocado.


  • Every day, make a sweat! Daily exercise is an excellent way to avoid sickness and keep the body fit as a fiddle. It is a good idea to engage in some cardio, aerobics, brisk walking, yoga, pranayama, and aerobics. You can also spend 45-60 minutes a day participating in a sport of your choice. Begin slowly and gradually increase your ability, and you will achieve your goal!


  • Focus on your mental and emotional wellbeing to avoid the stress that leads to emotional eating behaviors, low self-esteem, anger problems, dissatisfaction and resentment, a sense of stigmatization, social alienation, and abusive behaviour patterns. To heal and relax, practice meditation or some other meditative technique.


  • Participate in activities with family and friends. We always overlook the importance of social interaction in influencing our attitudes and bringing positivity into our lives. If you want to build long-term healthy behaviors, socialization is an essential part of that process. Meeting people will help you improve your mindset and view of life. Socialization and being closer to family and friends will help you develop and become a humble individual. It will give you a new outlook on life and the ability to deal with issues constructively.


  • Keep an eye on your calorie intake; it should not raise the number of calories you require for the day. If you consume more calories than you need, try to burn them off by exercise or physical activity.


  • Stop sitting for long periods of time and take short breaks when working if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Maintain a bedtime routine; a disrupted sleeping schedule can lead to stress and weight gain.



Foods That Cause Obesity


Obesity may be caused by overeating, emotional eating, or even food addiction. It's understandable to have food cravings for certain foods, but when those cravings become excessive, it's a problem. Fast and fried food addiction is quite prevalent in both adults and children. However, if their behaviour is not regulated, they can develop health problems, one of which is obesity. They are tempted to eat sugary, pre-packaged, and refined foods because they are tasty and handy, but they are eating a lot of calories, fats, sugar, and salt, which can damage their health and cause weight gain.


  • Isn't it hard to resist those greasy mayonnaise-laden burgers, sandwiches, crispy fries, and fritters? Pasta, cookies, soda, and sweet drinks can be delectable, but they are the leading sources of fats and calories, as well as the chief causes of obesity.


  • Foods with added fructose. Eating high-fructose foods and drinks causes fructose to be accumulated in the liver as fat. This can hinder insulin resistance and cause liver inflammation.


  • Processed animal products and sausages, bacon, and other processed and frozen foods contain inflammatory blends that can modify the metabolism and appetite hormones.


  • Foods made of refined grains are high in calories and include chips, cereal cookies, crackers, and other similar products.


  • White bread, which has less fibre, should be avoided.


  • Alcohol has never been healthy for anybody, and in the case of obesity, it can only make things worse.


  • Fried foods such as fried potatoes, fritters, parathas, and samosas can satisfy your cravings and taste buds but they will only add to your current weight.


The Bottom Line


A healthy body and overall wellness go hand in hand, and this is what one can concentrate on if they want to get healthier. However, ignoring it and continuing to live an unhealthy lifestyle, poor eating habits, and a variety of other factors can lead to Obesity, a complex medical condition. Recognizing the severity of obesity and committing to adopting healthier habits and behaviors is a positive first step toward improving one's health and managing this medical condition. Obesity may be prevented and treated by making dietary changes, exercising regularly, and making other major lifestyle changes.





Ensure wholesome fibre-filled goodness with unpolished Tata Sampann Dals


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