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There is a rising problem in our country, a problem that was previously mostly known in western countries; the problem is that of #obesity.
Estimates show there are about 250 million obese people which is about 7% of the world’s population!
What does it mean to be obese? Is being fat or big the same thing as being obese?
Why is it a rising concern in our society today?
What are the medical risks and solutions?
Before answering these questions we need to know what obesity is.
Most of us just say a person is obese just by looking at the person.
Though you can guess a person is obese by looking, that is not the objective way and you may label people who are not obese as being obese.
What is meant by the term BMI?
Medically, we define obesity using what is called the Body mass index or #BMI. If you have a BMI of 30 and above, medically we say you are obese, between 25-29.9 is regarded as being overweight.
Calculating one’s BMI is pretty easy. You just need to know your height in metres and your weight.
Lets say your height is 1.5m and your weight is 100kg.
Now get the square of your height, this is 1.5 times 1.5 which is 2.25.
Divide your weight by the square of your height, that becomes 100kg divided by 2.25, this gives 44.4.
Recall that we said a BMI above 30 means a person is obese, so this is a case of obesity.
Actually if your BMI is 40 and above you are morbidly obese.
Why don’t you check your BMI today? All you need is a tape measure and a scale.
Note: Normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9
What are the causes of obesity?
Is eating food the only cause of obesity? The answer is no.
Yes, you can become obese when what you take in (energy) exceeds what you give out.
Other times obesity can result from some diseases like thyroid disease, it can also come about as a result or side effect of using certain drugs e.g. steroids, oral contraceptives and some drugs used in treating depression.
Obesity may also run in some families.
So what are the health problems associated with obesity?
These problems are myriad: obesity puts one at risk of diseases like diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis which is thickening of the walls of the arteries – this can predispose to a heart attack, arthritis which is inflammation of the joints and also some cancers like breast and gall bladder cancers.
Obesity may also cause disturbances in breathing while sleeping, it may also make you feel depressed and withdraw from society,
Join me tomorrow as we discuss myths and beliefs about obesity.
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