In today’s fast-paced world, health concerns have become a top priority for many. One such concern that has gained significant attention is obesity. With the rise in sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits, obesity has become a global epidemic. To shed light on this issue, let’s delve into what obesity is, its causes, and how to identify if you’re obese, with insights from DocGenie’s expert doctors.
Obesity is defined as a chronic, progressive, relapsing, multi-factorial disease meaning that obesity is complicated. Genetics, hormones, medications, and other environmental factors increase the likelihood a person will develop obesity. We now recognize that obesity is a disease like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Causes of Obesity
Numerous factors contribute to the development of obesity, making it a complex and multifaceted condition. DocGenie’s doctors highlight some key contributors:
Unhealthy Diet: Consuming foods high in sugars, saturated fats, and processed ingredients can lead to weight gain over time. Excessive calorie intake from ultra processed (usually fast food or packaged) foods is a key culprit.
Lack of Physical Activity: Sedentary lifestyles, driven by desk jobs, long travel times and an overall decrease in physical activity, play a significant role in obesity. Regular exercise helps burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
Genetics: Genetic factors can influence an individual’s predisposition to obesity. People with a family history of obesity might have a higher risk of developing the condition.
Environmental Factors: Surroundings play a role in shaping habits. Easy access to fast food, large portion sizes, and reduced outdoor activities contribute to weight gain.
Psychological Factors: Emotional factors like stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to overeating as a coping mechanism, leading to weight gain.
Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
Sleep – inadequate sleep, night shifts – can contribute to Obesity
Medication – certain medication are obesogenic – meaning they contribute to weight gain, these may be certain psychiatric medications, and may other types.
Understanding whether you are obese involves more than just stepping on a scale. Here are some indicators to consider, recommended by DocGenie’s doctors:
BMI Calculation: BMI is a quick indicator of whether you might be obese. Calculate your BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. A BMI between 18-25 is generally acceptable.
Waist Circumference: Central obesity, where fat accumulates around the abdomen, is particularly concerning for health. Measure your waist just above the hip bone. A waist circumference of more than 35 inches (88 cm) for women and 40 inches (102 cm) for men indicates an increased risk of obesity-related health issues. These standards are stricter for South Asians where the recommended respective cut-off for females is 80 cm & males is 90 cm.
Body Shape: Apple-shaped individuals with excess weight around the abdomen are at a higher risk of obesity-related complications compared to pear-shaped individuals who carry weight around the hips and thighs.
If you suspect you are obese or have been diagnosed, it’s crucial to take proactive steps for a healthier life. DocGenie’s expert doctors offer these insights:
Balanced Diet: Consult a nutritionist to create a balanced and sustainable meal plan that aligns with your dietary preferences and health goals.
Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity. Consult a fitness expert to design an exercise routine that suits your fitness level and medical history.
Behavioral Therapy: Address emotional eating patterns through therapy. Techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy can help manage triggers for overeating.
Medical Intervention: In some cases, medical intervention might be necessary. Weight loss medications or, in extreme cases, bariatric surgery might be recommended by healthcare professionals.
Lifestyle Changes: Make gradual lifestyle changes that are sustainable in the long run. Small modifications like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking instead of driving can add up.
Obesity is a multifaceted condition that affects millions worldwide. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of obesity is the first step towards a healthier life. By understanding the causes and seeking guidance from experts like DocGenie’s experienced doctors, you can take control of your weight and overall well-being. Remember, it’s never too late to make positive changes for a healthier future.
In case you have Obesity and are worried about the severity of the infection, consult a highly experienced general physician on DocGenie. All our GPs are available for online video sessions. With DocGenie you can get quality medical help from the comfort of your home, in a cost effective way.
About the Author
Dr. Rachna Kucheria is one of the best general physicians in Delhi NCR. She is a US-trained Physician (Family Practice) on the lines of the old-fashioned ‘Family Doctor’ we grew up with and hope to find again. Her emphasis on early, accurate diagnosis; appropriate (few) medicines; and clear patient communication, sets her apart as one of the most trusted physicians in Delhi. She is licensed to practice medicine both in India & California. Her 27 years of experience includes practicing in the hospital, clinic and (patient) home setting, and for