Obesity – Diagnosis, Genes and Prevention

Obesity, which was once confused with the generic condition of being overweight, is now categorically considered as a possibly hazardous medical condition which may lead to more troubling health issues like diabetes and heart diseases, if not controlled in time. It is also now concluded to be one of the leading factors of preventable deaths in the developed countries; especially in America. Each year billions of dollars are spent in the production of diet pills, diet foods, diet programmes, books and more is spent in the treatment of diseases that had been caused by Obesity. Nearly 1/3 of their total population is obese and the figure includes children as well.

Diagnosis of Obesity

Of course, if an individual is obese, it becomes clearly obvious from his physique. However, if a person wants to be sure that he is obese and not overweight, then he can try one or all of the following methods.

 

  • One of the best ways of determining it is by visiting a physician who is going to observe the fat layer in the different areas of the body and will also calculate the Body Mass Index or BMI. The BMI is a calculable ratio of body weight and height and is usually measured in kg/m2. Anyone who has a BMI greater than 30 is obese.
  • An individual can also have a fair idea by measuring the waist line. For guys a waistline more 40 should be alarming and for women, a waistline which is more than 35 is an indicator of obesity.

Causes of Obesity

Obesity is a condition that usually results when a person consumes greater number of calories than what his body can burn. The calories which are in excess are turned into fat and stored at different areas in the body. Therefore regular over-eating, easily leads to obesity. Obesity is now labelled as one of the chronic or long-term diseases that are likely to have adverse effects on the health.

Over-eating and unhealthy eating habits are the biggest causes of Obesity; however, there are few other causes that lead to obesity in an individual. And these are as follows.

 

  • The type of genes an individual inherits also outlines the possibility of the person becoming obese in his lifetime. If one or both parents of a person are obese then it is very likely for the child to be obese. The gene responsible for obesity is the FTO gene or Fat mass and obesity-associated protein.
  • The type of lifestyle a person leads also determines if he/she is going to be obese. Generally a lifestyle in which there is a lot of eating, with little or no exercise promotes obesity.
  • Cultural and environmental factors also have major influence on the likelihood of obesity.
  • Apparently gender also has a lot to do with obesity. Women tend to be more obese than men because they have lesser amount of muscle which basically burns the calories.
  • Age also matters because older people start losing muscle and their metabolism also slows down.
  • Certain medications, like steroids and those used to treat neurological and mental illnesses can also lead to obesity.

Treatment of Obesity

If an individual is obese then the best course of action is to cut on the diet and to start exercising. The diet should be free from bad carbs, unnecessary and unhealthy fats and all sorts of processed and junk foods. Obesity, like other serious illnesses, should not be taken lightly.

Read more about the genetics of migraine or diabetes.

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