Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat is accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health.
A medical doctor, Dr Ezinne Nnamdi Louis of the Abia State University Hospital, said in an interview that obesity was most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity and genetic susceptibility. A few cases are caused by genes, endocrine disorders, medications or mentally disorders.
To avoid obesity, she recommended changes in diet and regular exercise. Diet quality can be improved by reducing the consumption of energy denied food, such as those high in fat or sugar and by increasing the intake of dietary fibre. Medications can be used along with a suitable diet to reduce appetite or decrease fat absorption. If diet, exercise and medication are not effective, surgery may be performed to reduce stomach volume or length of intestines. Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, increasing rates in adults and children.
Speaking on the effects of obesity on health, she said excessive body weight was associated with various diseases and conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, certain types of cancer and asthma. And to her, the causes of obesity include insufficient sleep, increased use of medication that can cause weight gain, pregnancy at an advanced age, epigenetic risk factor passed on generationally and excess food.
Corroborating her position, Dr. Marvellous Njoku of the New Era Hospital Aba, said the common causes of obesity include eating a poor diet food high in fats and calories, having an inactive lifestyle, not sleeping enough which can lead to hormonal changes that make you feel hungrier and crave certain high calorie foods, genetics, which can affect how your body processes food into energy and how fat is stored, growing older which can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight. Medications such as birth control pills can put one at a greater risk of weight gain.
She listed the complications of obesity to include heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, arthritis, infertility. And also, obesity can be treated by working along with a doctor to make lifestyle changes and medications or weight loss surgery.
Life style changes entail educating one on better food choices and help develop a healthy eating plan that works for you. A structured exercise programme helps as well to burn up fat.
To prevent obesity, one has to make a good lifestyle choices. Aim for moderate exercise. Eat well by choosing nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Eat high fat foods in moderation