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OBESITY-A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Obesity is an excess of adipose tissue or body fat. It can be defined as a proportion of body weight composed of adipose tissue (percent body fat) that exceeds a range that is considered healthy. Adult males are generally considered obese when their percent body fat is 25% and adult females are considered obese when their percent body fat is 33%.

Methods to detect obesity

1- Body Mass Index:

Because it is often impractical to determine body composition in the clinical setting, and because accurate measurements of height and weight can be easily obtained, obesity in adults is often defined as a BMI of more than 30.0 kg/m2. Though not a direct measure of body fatness, BMI (also known as Quetelet’s index) can be considered a proxy for measures of body fatness and is regarded as a convenient and reliable indicator of obesity. Overweight is a body weight in excess of some standard  weight, usually in relation to height. In adults, overweight is generally defined as a BMI of 25.0-29.9 kg/m2, “healthy weight” is defined as a BMI of 18.5-24.9 kg/m2, and underweight is defined as a BMI below 18.5 kg/m2.

2- Waist Circumference

A practical approach for estimating the amount of adipose tissue in the hips and thighs is to measure the circumference of the hips or buttocks. This measurement is taken at the point yielding the maximum circumference around the hips or buttocks. Waist circumference is particularly useful in assessing the disease risk of patients who are categorized as having a healthy body weight (BMI of 18.5224.9 kg/m2), who are considered overweight (BMI of 25.0229.9 kg/m2), or who are mildly obese with a BMI of 30.0234.9 kg/m2.

 

Males

40 inches (102 centimeter)

Females

35 inches (88 centimeter)

3- Waist to Hip Ratio

The WHR(Waist to Hip Ratio) is calculated by dividing the WC measurement by the hip circumference measurement. A WHR 1.0 results when WC is greater than hip circumference. The WHtR(Waist to Height Ratio) is calculated by dividing a person’s WC by his or her height. Both have been shown to better identify health risks than BMI alone.

Shapes of obesity

1- Pear Shape

It combines a slimmer “ectomorph” upper body with an “endomorph” lower body. People with this shape have extra fat in the hip and thigh area. It is more common among women, and it may be part of the reason they often live longer than men.

2- Apple Shape

It is also called a “beer belly,” which means you have more fat stored around your stomach, while your lower body stays thin. It is more common in men, and it’s worse for your health than the pear shape. That is because belly fat is often a sign that you have more fat deeper inside, around your internal organs, as opposed to just beneath the skin. This kind is more closely linked to heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Etiology of obesity

Obesity develops when the body’s chronic energy intake exceeds its energy expenditure. At first glance this may seem simple and straightforward. However, because of the multiple and complex neuroendocrine and metabolic systems influencing energy intake and energy expenditure, obesity is actually a heterogeneous group of disorders. Its etiology remains elusive, and its successful, long-term treatment is difficult.Among the key factors contributing to obesity are specific medical and psychiatric disorders or their treatment, genetics, and an obesogenic environment that promotes a high energy intake and discourages physical activity.

Medical Nutrition Therapy

1- High protein energy-restricted diets:

They result in larger reduction of body weight, reduction of body fat mass and long-term weight loss maintenance. They promote a sustained level of satiety, sustained energy expenditure and increased fat oxidation and sparing of fat-free mass.

High Protein foods include:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
2- Low-Carbohydrates diet:

The low-carb diet is that decreasing carbs lower insulin levels and causes the body to burn stored fat for energy, which ultimately leads to weight loss.

A low-carb diet restricts foods high in carbs including

  • Sugar
  • Gluten Grains
  • Trans Fats
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Highly Processed Foods

Allowed foods in low-carbs diet

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains

Physical Activity

Physical Activity is bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure(can be measured in kilocalories). When combined with dietary changes, physical exercise can result in additional weight loss, and when not combined with dietary changes, it can result in modest weight loss. Furthermore, physical activity is linked to enhanced long-term weight loss and weight loss maintenance after initial weight loss.

Dn.Khadija Naseer is Consultant dietitian at Din Medical Complex Burewala, Lecturer at Masterjii Network. She can be reached at @dn.khadijanaseer.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended as sound medical advice for your particular illness; rather, it is meant to increase awareness of common health issues. Before implementing any recommendations made in this article or choosing a treatment plan based on its contents, you should always speak with a qualified healthcare professional.

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