What is obesity and overweight?
The word ‘Overweight’ can be used in two different ways. Sometimes it is referred to someone who is heavy. Other times, it is used when a someone is in between normal weight and obesity. Overweight and obesity can be defined as the accumulation of excessive or abnormal fat that may likely affects one’s health.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height used commonly to differentiate between overweight and obesity in adults. It can be defined as the weight of a person in kilograms divided by the square of the person’s height in meters (kg/m2). For an overweighed person, the BMI is 25 or above. An obese person, the BMI is 30 or above.
Causes of obesity and overweight
The main cause of obesity and overweight is when the energy between the calories consumed and the calories expended is imbalanced. On a global level, there has been:
Common health consequences for overweight and obese people includes:
An increase in BMI is a one of the major risk factors for some noncommunicable diseases like:
The higher the BMI, the higher the risk of having these noncommunicable diseases.
Children with obesity have higher chance of having breathing difficulties, fractures, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, disability, psychological effects, andmay even die prematurely.
Also, double-burden of malnutrition which occurs majorly in low-income and middle-income countries also causes overweight and obesity.
Children in most low- and middle-income countries face the issue of malnutrition especially during pre-natal, infancy, and young childhood. These children eat meals that have high fat, sugar, salt, energy-dense, and micronutrient-poor foods which are lower in cost and nutrient quality. Compound with this, they tend to engage in low physical activity thus increasing childhood obesity.
Ways of reducing Obesity and Overweight
Overweight and obesity, and other noncommunicable diseases, can be prevented. When an individual has a Supportive environment and community, the person’s choice will be better shaped and they will make better choice when it comes diet, and physical activity thereby preventing overweight and obesity.
At the individual level, people can:
The food industry can be of help by sensitizing the important role healthy diets plays and doing the following;
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