Obesity can be defined as a condition characterized by the excessive or abnormal accumulation of fats in the body tissues. Before an individual is categorized as an obese, he/she becomes overweight; a condition characterized by abnormal weight. Thus, the two terms, overweight, and obesity are closely related, and they refer to a body weight that is greater than what is considered to be normal and healthy for a certain height. One of the reliable measures of overweight and obesity is body mass index (BMI) which is calculated from the height and weight. BMI is a simple index that is usually used to classify overweight and obesity individuals. It referred to as the individual’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters. The World health Organization (WHO) has stated that a BMI greater than or equal to 25 is taken to be an overweight, while a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is classified as an obese individual. Thus, an individual first becomes an overweight and when this weight is not checked, the condition transforms to obesity (Tchoubi, Sébastien 14). The BMI measure applies to both sexes and all ages. However, it should be considered to be a rough guide that can enable us to know f we are at risk or safe. This paper focuses on obesity as the main causes of health problems in the modern world.
Obesity is regarded as one of the leading causes of death around the world. Many studies have reveled that the prevalence of overweight and obesity are higher in developed countries than the developing countries. One reason that explains this phenomenon is that these conditions are caused by bad eating habits where individual take in more of protein and fatty foods (Doku &Neupane 1). In most developed countries, many families can afford all kinds of food, and thus, they tend to over eat the protein and fatty foods than other kinds of foods that are even nutritious. Most families in the developing countries cannot afford different kinds of food most especially the protein and fatty foods such as meat, fish, and pork because they are a bit expensive (Doku &Neupane 1). Thus, this works as an advantage to such families because they do not over eat foods that cause overweight. However, recent studies have shown that even in the developing nations, the problem of overweight and obesity is increasing rapidly (Tchoubi, Sébastien 12). This is because some developing nations are now in a position to offer their population enough food and such rich families have access to every kind of food hence, they practice poor eating habits.
Human bodies are made up of tissues and organs that work interdependently. For these body tissues to work efficiently and comfortably, their nourishment ought to be adequate and sufficient (De Vogli, Kouvonen, & Gimeno, 43). Our bodies are composed of the food compounds and elements that are ingested, digested and absorbed into the blood stream. For all these processes to occur with minimal interruptions, the bloody tissues and organs have to be healthy. The body organs health depends on the good nourishment of the body cells with the right quantity of the nutrients at the right time (Tchoubi, Sébastien 12). This implies that individuals need to eat a balanced diet food that has required body nutrients in the right proportions. However, when certain major nutrients for instance when we consume food with more protein and fats, it lead to abnormal accumulation of fats and increase in the body tissues resulting to overweight then obesity.
Statistics from the WHO shows that obesity has doubled all over the world since 1980. In the year 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults who are 18 years and over were overweight and out of this number, 600 million individuals were obese (WHO.int 1). In other words, this implies that 39% of adults over 18 years in 2014 were overweight, and 13% of the world’s adult’s population were obese. More statistics reveals that 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013 (WHO.int 1). As mentioned earlier, overweight and obesity are not only prevalent in the developed countries, but it is now on the high rise in the middle-income sand lower income nations. In fact, some research points out that the rate of increase of childhood overweight and obesity is more than 30% higher than those of the developed nations (WHO.int 1). This condition is rapidly becoming a threat to the human health in the developing nations than in the developed nations. These statistics clearly shows that overweight and obesity is a real world health problem that needs to be addressed since it is the main cause of the death.
The major fundamental cause of overweight and obesity is the energy imbalance between calories consumed and those expended. Thus, an increased intake of high calories foods leads to overweight (Van der Horst, Brunner, & Siegrist, 598). This means that most people become obese because of their poor feeding habits. In the modern days, there are so many eateries that offer fast foods snacks and drinks (De Vogli, Kouvonen, & Gimeno, 65). Most population especially the youth in schools prefer these junk foods without knowing that they are dangerous food that adds weight to their bodies; these junk foods end up causing body overweight (Van der Horst, Brunner, & Siegrist, 599). This is the reason the rates of the overweight and obesity among the youth is higher than the adult population.
The second cause of the obesity in the modern world is sedentary behaviors among the population especially the youth and children. Most youth and children no longer play nor indulge in strenuous activities since their parents can afford a good life for them (Miller, Benelam, Stanner, & Buttriss, 308). Most children and young adults spend most of their time inactive activities watching television, movies and reading novels (Van der Horst, Brunner, & Siegrist, 601). These inactive activities make them spend most of their time in the sedentary state, a fact that makes them lose fewer calories compared to what they take in. As discussed earlier, once the intake calories are more than the expended calories, it is obvious that such as individual would add weight and, later on, become an obese individual (Miller, Benelam, Stanner, & Buttriss, 311). Body exercises are very much important because it helps an individual to lose some of the excess body fats and lipids hence, one does not become overweight. Moreover, young generations fear strenuous activities due to their laziness, this negatively boosts their body weight.
The third cause of overweight and obesity is the genetic makeup. Some families have overweight genes; these genes are inherited by the offspring. There are high chances that when parents are overweight, the offspring can also be overweight individuals due to genetic makeup (Miller, Benelam, Stanner, & Buttriss, 308). However, researchers point out those individuals from such families can take precautions by practicing healthy eating habits and maintaining body exercise to avoid being obese victims (De Vogli, Kouvonen, & Gimeno, 34). It means that obesity can easily be controlled by observing lifestyle habits such as practicing better eating habits, eating balanced diet foods and avoiding sedentary behaviors by engaging in active activities that would help in cutting down some extra calories in the body.
As discussed, obesity is the major public health problem globally due to its high prevalence and consequential mortality rates. Obesity is known to be associated with various health issues. Researchers assert that obesity itself does not kill, but it offers a chance for opportunistic diseases to attack the body (Tchoubi, Sébastien 5). Some of the health problems that comes as a result of overweight and obesity are; first cardiovascular problems. People living with obesity conditions are prone to cardiovascular problems and in most cases, when they occur; they lead to death (De Vogli, Kouvonen, & Gimeno, 43). The fact that obesity is characterized by the accumulation of the body fats, these fats accumulate and block the heart blood vessels causing insufficient blood supply to the heart muscles; this leads to heart failure hence death.
Secondly, obesity leads to psychological complications to the victims. It is known well that overweight individuals do not feel happy with their body weight. Most of them feel low and inferior during their social interactions (Tchoubi, Sébastien 8). This causes psychological problems, a situation that leads to stress, disorientation and withdrawal. When obese individuals reach to such points, they can easily commit suicide or become antisocial because they do not feel as healthy people (Miller, Benelam, Stanner, & Buttriss, 314). Children who are obese tend to be relaxed and withdrawn; this condition affects their interaction with other children and also affects significantly their classroom learning.
Thirdly, obesity and overweight lead to poor metabolic reactions in the body. In a human body, there are so many functions that go on, they include; digestion, respiration, homeostasis, excretion, thermoregulation and blood circulation (De Vogli, Kouvonen, & Gimeno, 43). When an individual is overweight, most of these functions are interrupted hence causing poor body metabolic functions that later on affect their health. Obesity also causes hypertension and breathing problems due to the blockage of some respiratory channels. The stress that results from psychological problems leads to high blood pressure that is quite dangerous to the life of the victims.
From the discussion, we have found that obesity is mostly caused by our lifestyle behaviors. Therefore, the methods of prevention should also focus on our lifestyles. The first way we can prevent overweight and obesity is limiting the intake of fatty and high carbohydrate foods that add many calories in our bodies (De Vogli, Kouvonen, & Gimeno, 43). The second way of preventing obesity is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. These foods improve the digestions and metabolic reaction in the body. Thirdly, obesity can be prevented by engaging in regular physical exercise that help lose some extra calories.
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