Obesity is a serious health concern in the United States. Obesity is described as a health condition in which one is severely overweight, and is divided into three categories: severe obesity, morbid obesity and super obesity. A person suffering from obesity is not simply “overweight.” A person considered overweight has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of about 25 to 30, and anything over 30 is considered obese. Of course, there are variations and exceptions to this general rule, but there is no denying that obesity is far too prevalent in our modern world of fast, cheap junk food and lack of exercise.

Causes and Symptoms of Obesity:

  • More than overweight; losing control of weight gain
  • Body Mass Index of 30 or greater
  • Consumption of a largely extraneous amount of calories
  • Sedentary lifestyle; thus continuing to pack calories in without burning any off
  • Family members are also overweight or obese (learn by example)
  • Most of food intake is fat, salt, sugar (junk food)
  • Eating large portions of food often
  • Possible eating disorder such as Binge Eating Disorder or Compulsive Eating Disorder
  • Depression, shame and guilt

Long-Term Effects of Obesity

Obesity should not be taken lightly. The long and even short-term effects are deadly. Obesity will almost certainly lead to at least some serious health problems such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

It’s important to note that everyone’s body has different shapes, sizes, proportions and needs. Sometimes a larger build is something that runs in families, but is not unhealthy. This is why it is important to know your statistics: BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Obesity comes not only with physical implications but also emotional and psychological ones. Sometimes psychological or emotional factors are the cause of control loss, which leads to obesity. People with obesity can suffer from depression, anxiety, loss of social life, as well as stress and pressure from family.

Treatment for Obesity

Obesity is absolutely treatable. It takes hard work, but it’s well worth it if it means you can live a longer and healthier life. Because obesity is different from being overweight, it’s best to seek assistance from a doctor, nutritionist, and fitness personnel. On your road to recovery, seeking psychological support from a therapist can help a great deal, as they are trained to help you understand why you overeat and continue to keep yourself in an unhealthy state. For an obese person, losing weight takes an extra effort, and it will take time to see results, but there is a simple solution: reasonable calorie intake of healthful foods, regular exercise and support from loved ones. For special cases of obesity, there are also surgical procedures such as the Lap Band and other gastric bypass surgeries.

What Should You Do?

Get help. Talk to your doctor about what is best for your particular case of obesity. They may be able to recommend nutritionists, fitness experts, and psychological help. It’s time to get serious about your health, for yourself and those around you. Make sure you know your health statistics, and know the necessary steps to become healthier. It’s never too soon to seek help for obesity.

Links and Resources for Further Reading

  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • The Obesity Society – Obesity.org
  • Obesity at Medline Plus
  • Obesity in America

Review Sources

  • Wikipedia – Wikipedia page about obesity, including different categories, causes, scientific data.
  • Center for Disease Control – CDC website about obesity, an epidemic in the US.
  • Obesity.org – Site for obesity resources, including support and membership.
  • Medline Plus – Medline Plus page about obesity, including description, statistics, consequences.
  • Obesity in America – Website to help people with obesity and who have obese loved ones. News, stats, and help.

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