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In current times, the number of obese people has been increasing at alarming levels. Emerging lifestyle trends for most people nowadays, put little focus on carrying out a frequent exercise routine and maintaining personal fitness. Poor eating habits and the failure to practice eating balanced diets are also key contributors of increasing obesity cases. Consequently, the increased numbers of obese people has been linked to the upsurge numerous cases of chronic ailments. Therefore, it has become paramount that there should be an increased effort to address the causes and recommend solutions that will help in reducing obesity cases.
In order to address the problem of obesity, one needs to understand who an obese person is. Medical personnel and scientists have defined obesity as the condition, whereby an individual is 20% above his/her ideal weight. The question of what ideal weight is, takes into account: an individual’s height, age, sex and body size or constitution. The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines an obese person as one whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 and above (Gilman, 2006).
Obesity among individuals is caused by several factors. One of the factors, contributing to obesity, is the existence of an imbalance in energy levels. This imbalance results from eating food with a lot of calories, without proper, sufficient physical activity. Excessive body weight can also be as a result of an individual’s genetics, metabolism levels, behavior, environmental contributors, cultural factors and socioeconomic status. However, behavior and environmental contributors are the most common causes of obesity (Gumbiner, 2001).
As stated above, energy imbalance within an individual’s body over a long duration may lead to obesity. This imbalance may result from an individual’s behavior, his/her environment and genetics. A bad imbalance of energy levels within an individual occurs, when the number of calories he/she consumes is more than those he/she uses.
The biggest contributor to a person’s obese nature involves the choices of what one eats and the amount of physical activity he/she does. In recent times, evolving technology has led to decreased physical activity among a majority of people. The increased use of cars and elevators are just a few examples of how physical activity among individuals has been reduced. Other significant contributors to the reduction in people's physical activity arise from the increased usage of computers and televisions. These emerging technological trends are coupled with the increased consumption of restaurant and canned foods. These foods are usually accompanied by sugary soft drinks. The above factors offer a good explanation for the increase in obesity cases.
Medical practitioners have the notion that as an individual increases his/her state of being overweight; he/she is more likely to develop health problems. Examples of health complications that develop from being obese are heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, gout and breathing problems (World Health Organization, 2000).
There are several methods, which obese people can adopt to reverse their condition of obesity. Contrary to popular belief, obese people should not stop eating drastically. They should instead reduce their calorie intake by 100-200 calories per week. Obese people should also increase their intake of water, as it has been discovered to be a very effective appetite suppressant. The intake of lesser amounts of carbohydrates should also be practiced. Eating of salads before meals can also be adopted as it prevents one from overeating. Obese people should also eat properly balanced diets and avoid junk foods. Such people should formulate weight loss programs, appropriate for their bodies. They should, then, ensure they follow the program strictly. Finally, use of weights, exercise and work out strategies are highly advised.
From the above discussion on obesity, it is evident that if people adopt a culture of eating proper diets and engage in adequate physical activity, cases of obesity will be reduced drastically. This will save many people from the agony of having to treat obesity related health complications.