Obesity is a worldwide concern that has seen a drastic increase in prevalence in the last few decades. Affecting close to 650 million people across the world, it is a serious problem that not only affects physical health, but also increases the risk of developing mental health issues and increases stress levels in individuals.
Obesity is of alarming concern worldwide. It is estimated that by 2035, almost half of the planet’s inhabitants will suffer from the disease. According to the World Atlas of Obesity 2023, that would be about 4 billion people worldwide. Currently, almost 40% of the adult population is overweight and obese.
Obesity is a disease
The WHO (World Health Organization) defines obesity as an excess of accumulated fat that puts people’s lives at serious risk. In addition, people of all ages can suffer from obesity. Also at an early age, it is estimated that by 2035, nearly 400 million children will be obese.
Until no more than a decade ago, obesity was thought to be anchored to carelessness and willfulness. Today, medicine treats obesity as an involuntary disease, since in most cases it is hereditary.
According to professionals at Oxford University, there are two factors that predispose a person to be overweight. One is the biological predisposition that brings in their genes inherited from parents and grandparents. The other factor is the environment, living conditions, low income, social inequity, poor health care, sedentary lifestyle, among other factors.
Consequences of being obese
Being overweight wreaks havoc on the body and can lead to serious health problems. Those who suffer from it, can hardly perform physical activities, which aggravates the problem. Generally, excess weight in the joints causes the individual to suffer from osteoarthritis.
Obesity, in most cases, brings with it respiratory problems, mostly at night, with the appearance of apnea. In addition, it can increase blood sugar levels, cholesterol, increased blood pressure and is prone to diabetes 2.
The accumulation of fat in the arteries, can cause cardiovascular problems, being the major cause of death in obese people.
Obesity can be prevented
However, obesity has its treatment and can also be prevented. A balanced diet is one of the best ways to prevent it. Consuming less fats and sugars and more vegetables, fruits, nuts and cereals. The WHO recommends a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity daily.
Chronic obesity requires long-term treatment. This being so, the treatment should include habits that induce the person to make a change in his or her way of life. Such as varying their eating habits and doing physical exercise on a daily basis. According to the degree of obesity reached, physical exercise will gradually increase.
Some people do not achieve weight loss with the above treatments. There are special medications to help diet and physical exercise. But they present a risk and may have adverse or side effects. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a specialist before starting to take them.
In people with severe obesity, (whose body mass index is over 40), there is bariatric surgery. The gastric bypass is very effective in these cases.