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Understanding Obesity: A guide to evaluate your weight

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By Dr. Mahesh Chikkachannappa

Obesity is a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems. Obesity and adolescence is not amenable to a single easily modified factor. Biological, cultural and environmental factors such as readily available high-density food choices impact youth eating behaviours. Media devices and associated screen time makes physical activity a less optimal choice for children and adolescents. The need for Interventions to change the address of Gynec environment by Institute in policies around the food industry and in the school needs to be clarified. Obesity is preventable. Thus, identifying early determinants or ‘warning signs’ of future development of obesity is important.

Markers of obesity

Obesity is a chronic progressive disease that affects the body from head to toe. It can affect joints, limit your mobility, lungs, liver and reproductive health. Intake of excess calories or excess fat consumption and excess carbohydrate in the diet and inadequate physical activity are the main causes of obesity. It is considered a worldwide epidemic and the incidence of obesity among people has increased over the last few years. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the cases have become more evident. When the lockdown was in place people were restricted to moving out of their homes, the sudden change in the lifestyle, lack of physical activities and work from home culture has resulted in many people feeling anxious and depressed which lead to an increase in unhealthy binge eating and indulge in bad habits in many. All these contribute to the development of obesity.

Understanding the ideal body weight

In India, being fat is considered a sign of prosperity and good health in many cultures. But one must understand that in order to be fit your height and weight should be in proper proportion. Body Mass Index is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. It is used to check if your height matches the weight of your body. It determines the excess fat in the body and the status of weight in connection with the fat. The number differs in men and women. The calculator is helpful in focusing on the health issues and getting an idea about the body mass. It is a very simple process one can calculate the BMI on its own or can be done online.

Normal BMI starts from 18.5 kg/metre square to 25 kg/m2. If the number is less than 15 it means you are underweight. 25 to 30 BMI is regarded as overweight and, beyond 30 means you are obese.

Healthy eating is the key to maintain an ideal weight

One must not forget the saying that you are what you eat. To maintain healthy body weight, it is important to eat healthy food and do physical exercise. Alongside, focus more on building a healthy body rather than losing weight instantly.

Losing weight in severely obese people can be a challenging task which often ends up in losing hope when it fails. For them, visiting a weight management clinic to seek help can be beneficial. Support from family, a dedicated plan and a motivated set of individuals are required to help address each person’s obesity on an individual basis. In certain cases, bariatric surgery has shown great merit in helping control weight and reverse obesity-related comorbidities. However, it is recommended to reach out to a dietitian or an endocrinologist experienced in weight management. They will be able to guide you and help with your diet plan, exercises and weight management options based on your body.

*Dr. Mahesh Chikkachannappa Sr. Consultant – General, Laparoscopic & Bariatric Surgery, Aster CMI Hospital

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