Overweight and obesity are both both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. They are defined by the World Health Organization(W.H.O) as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation which can impair health.
For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called ”body mass index”(BMI)
According to W.H.O, body mass index(BMI) is a simple index of weight for height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat. The B.M.I can also be defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters(kg/m)
An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
Overweight and obesity are a results of energy imbalance. For each individual, this may be due to a combination of several factors. Individual behaviors, environmental factors and genetics all contribute to the complexity of the obesity epidemic. However, the choices a person makes in eating and physical activity also contribute to overweight and obesity.
How To Prevent Overweight And Obesity
Our bodies need calories for daily functions such as respiration, digestion, locomotion and daily activities. Weight gain occurs when calories consumed exceed this need. Physical activity plays a role in energy balance, because it uses up calories consumed. It is recommended that a person accumulate at least 30 minutes in adults and 60 minutes in children of moderate physical activity most of the week.
Even greater amounts of physical activity may be necessary for the prevention of weight gain, for weight loss or for sustaining weight loss.
Below are some ways to prevent overweight and obesity:
- Plan family activities that provide exercise and enjoyment
- Provide a safe environment for your children and their friends to play actively. Encourage swimming, biking, skating, ball sports and other fun activities.
- Reduce the amount of time you and your family spend in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or playing video games.
- Guide your family’s choices rather than delicate foods
- Encourage your children to eat when hungry and to eat slowly.
- Cut down on the amount of fat and calories in your family’s diet
- Don’t place your child on a restrictive diet
- Avoid the use of food as reward
- Avoid withholding food as punishment
- Children should be encouraged to drink water and to limit intake of beverages with added sugars, such as soft drinks, fruit juice drinks, and sports drinks
- Plan for healthy snacks
- Stock the refrigerator with fat-free or low-fat milk, fresh fruits and vegeatbles instead of soft drinks or snacks that are high in fats, calories or added sugars and low in essential nutrients
- Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day and may be important in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
The importance of maintaining a healthy weight cannot be over emphasized. Besides its crucial health benefits, it can boost your self-esteem, which in turn can enhance your productivity.
Dangers of Overweight and Obesity
Being overweight or obesecomes with a lot of health risks and dangers. These risks can lead to life threatening or even death, if proper care and attention is not given to the situation
Listed below are some of the health risks and dangers of being overweight or obese :
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
This a serious health condition, where the heart of a person works more than it is normally supposed to work. It increases as a personages or grows. The normal blood pressure is within the range of 110/70 and 125/80. A person is said to have high blood pressure when his blood pressure is with the range of 140/90 and above. The situation is even more dangerous, when the blood pressure is above 180/110
- HEART DISEASES
If a person is overweight and obese, it puts much pressure on the heart to pump more blood than usual and this can cause some heart diseases. When theses heart diseases are not treated, it can lead to high blood pressure which can eventually lead to stroke or a heart attack.
- SLEEP APNEA
This is a very serious condition where a person’s breathing stops and starts again. Normally those snore loud during sleep and wake up tired even after a long night sleep are suspected of having sleep apnea.
As a result of overweight and obesity, some cancers like breast cancer and bowel cancers can be possible
This is a disease that occur in the human body, when glucose or sugar level is high. People who are either overweight or obese tend to have a high glucose or sugar level which eventually results in diabetes.
- LACK OF CONFIDENCE
Overweight and obese individuals are not able to involve in regular everyday activities due to their nature, which tends to kill or dim their self confidence.