A chronic disease by nature, Obesity is increasingly becoming a global health problem that has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and other developed countries. The cost of obesity treatment has sky-rocketed to $147 billion annually in US alone and has increased 37% over the last decade. Besides being a threat to the economy, it has multiple serious long term consequences such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. Obesity comes second only to tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death in US.
Excessive weight gain and extra fatty tissue are obviously the major signs of obesity. However, the weight gain causes a lot more symptoms to be manifest in the patient gradually over a period of time. As the disease advances, these become more and more prominent
- Running out of breath – even with minor exertion sometimes
- Lethargy, tiredness
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Excessive perspiration
- Pain in weight bearing joints like knees, hips and also in the back
- Sleep apnea
- Rashes in the folds of skin such as in the groins, between thighs, axillae, below breasts, etc.
- Low self esteem
- Always feeling hot
- Daytime sleepiness
When you take consume more calories than you are able to burn off, you start gaining weight. The body stores these excess calories as fat. Over a period of time, this fat increases; if there is no corrective change in the lifestyle and this contributes to obesity.
Additionally, the reasons of obesity are:
- Poor eating habits and food choices: Diets and drinks high in calories, oversized food portions, fast foods, skipping breakfast, etc. are habits detrimental to weight management
- Lack of physical activities / exercise: Sedentary life that is without adequate physical activities is another major contributor to obesity
- Genetic: The amount of fat stored in the body as well its distribution is largely determined by the genetic make up of an individual
- Family history: 0n account of having similar lifestyle and food habits, people from the same family may suffer from obesity of a similar pattern. If one or both of the parents are obese, a child’s risk of being obese is significantly increased
- Pregnancy: Weight gain during pregnancy is a normal and essential phenomenon; however, some women may find it difficult to lose this excess weight after childbirth
- Certain hormonal problems such as Cushing’s syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOD/PCOS), arthritis, etc. are the causes of obesity