What is obesity?

We explain what obesity is, the types that exist and the symptoms of this disease. In addition, its causes, consequences and treatment.

  1. What is obesity?

Obesity  is a chronic disease that has several possible origins , consisting of excessive accumulation of fatty tissue in the body. It is often considered an extreme and dangerous degree of overweight , which far exceeds the normal limits of energy storage by secreting lipids , and rather jeopardizes the proper functioning of the organism.

The problems of obesity go far beyond physical appearance, since the volume of body mass is so much that it costs the body much more work than normal to move or even function, because the musculature must make an enormous effort (including the heart ) and constant.

In addition, obesity is part of the metabolic syndrome whose consequences and derived diseases have made it the fifth cause of human death in the world . Every year 2.8 million adults worldwide die due to obesity-related causes.

Thus, although it is considered medically an individual condition, certain possible hereditary patterns in obesity have been determined  and it is currently considered a public health problem in many Western countries, especially in regard to minors.

The fight against obesity is complex and lacks rapid solutions, much less in countries whose average diet abuses the consumption of lipids and carbohydrates, especially those from processed sugar.

  1. Types of obesity

Exogenous obesity is the product of a poor or disorderly diet.

Two types of obesity are commonly distinguished, according to their origins:

  • Exogenous obesity . That which is the product of a poor or disorderly diet, combined with poor physical action that allows burning excess calories.
  • Endogenous obesity . That which is due to metabolic disorders of genetic origin, such as hormonal or pancreatic deficiencies, in turn due to other types of disease.
  1. Symptoms of obesity

The World Health Organization has established certain limits to define from when simple fatness becomes obese or morbid fatness. For this, the body mass index (BMI) is used, which is the squared ratio between the weight and height of an adult human being.

When this index is equal to or greater than 30 Kg / m2, or when the abdominal perimeter (where the excess lipid is usually deposited) exceeds 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women, we will be facing a case of obesity.

  1. Causes of obesity

Obesity generally responds to causes of metabolic type , such as hormonal deficiencies (especially in the thyroid and gonads) that prevent the burning of fats for more exercise and diet, or insulin deficiencies and linked to the metabolism of sugars .

While a messy diet rich in lipids and sugars can make a person fat, even at the limits of being considered obese, it is most likely that obesity is not caused by eating disorders , as well as genetic factors. Many obese people exercise regularly and obsessively control their diet, without thereby reversing or “curing” their fat.

  1. Consequences of obesity

Obesity can cause self-image problems.

Obesity has a series of negative consequences on physical and psychological health, such as:

  • Pre-diabetes . Obesity mostly leads to uncontrolled glycemia and carbohydrate metabolism , which usually degenerates into diabetes mellitus, seriously endangering health.
  • Cardiovascular risks  . A heart weakened by the weight of fat, against very dense blood (rich in cholesterol) and forced to work excessively is a lethal combination, which leads to heart attacks, ischemic problems (stroke, arteriosclerosis) and other heart disease.
  • Self-image problems . Obese patients often have problems of socialization or problems of self-acceptance due to the brutal pressure that our societies exert on the physical and the canons of beauty, which often triggers obsessive eating behaviors and contributes to worsening the picture.
  • Other derived problems . Obese people often suffer from sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, tendency to certain forms of cancer, as well as skin and gastrointestinal diseases.
  1. Obesity treatment

The treatment of obesity requires first of all the determination of its causes. There is no simple procedure to combat it , and the dosage of drugs that remedy the hormonal or metabolic base imbalance must generally be combined, together with significant changes in lifestyle, such as a controlled diet and regular exercise.

It should be understood that obesity is not usually remedied by eating less or doing miraculous diets , which can also cause irreparable damage to an already weakened organism.

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