why is obesity considered a health risk

What are the health risks of obesity? The number of people with obesity in the UK has more than trebled in the last 25 years. Doctors now say that the condition is reaching epidemic proportions. Why are they so concerned? What is obesity? A person is considered obese if they are very overweight with a high degree of body fat. Some experts believe obesity is responsible for more ill health than smoking. Being significantly overweight is linked to a wide range of health problems, including:
Some (eg, breast and prostate cancers) and The most common way to assess if a person is obese is to check their. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared. If your BMI is above 25 you are overweight. A BMI of 30-40 is considered obese, while above 40 is very obese. A BMI of less than 18. 5 is underweight. Another useful method is to take a waist measurement because fat in the centre of the body (apple-shaped obesity) is much more strongly linked to health risks than fat more widely distributed on the arms and legs.


Women with a waist of 80cm or greater and men with a waist of 94cm or greater are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems. has recently been proposed as the standard assessment is less accurate for extremes of height - the short and the tall. The new calculator hopes to correct this. Why do people become obese? On average a physically active man needs around 2,500 calories per day, while a woman needs 2,000. If we eat any more, the extra energy is stored for later use, mostly as fat. This mechanism was life-saving during our hunter-gatherer days when food was often scarce. However, the boom in plentiful, cheap food, coupled with a general decrease in physical activity, means that those stores of fat are rarely called on. Instead they continue to grow. So why don t people just stop eating foods high in fat and sugar if they know they can cause physical problems? Scientists are still searching for the answers, but it appears that our brains have been wired to encourage the consumption of calorie-rich foods, even at the expense of good health.


Quite simply, these foods bring us pleasure. One revealed that an area of the brain related to addiction and reward - the nucleus accumbens - lights up when a participant is shown calorie rich, fatty foods compared to healthy food. Another area of the brain associated with pleasant tastes and reward, called the orbitofrontal cortex,. At the same time, people are increasingly living more s and therefore burning fewer calories. Studies have also shown that housewives in the 1950s were significantly slimmer than women today. This could be because their daily lives involved much more physical activity, including walking more and having fewer labour-saving devices. Therefore, that the rise in obesity is a result of our bodies inability to adapt to the changing environment. , another reason obesity is on the rise is because unhealthy eating habits are often passed down through families, due to a lack of good food education.


Unless obesity is tackled, the that 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children in Britain will be obese by 2050. People who are obese are at risk for several health conditions. These include: certain types of cancer (e. g. , colorectal, breast, ovarian, pancreatic) To take heart disease as an example, the risk of heart disease increases with increasing weight. For those who are a normal weight, their risk of heart disease is about 8%, whereas people who are overweight, obese, or severely obese have a risk of about 15%, 26%, and 45%, respectively. Obesity can also affect emotional health and lead to low self-esteem and possibly depression. Another health risk associated with being overweight or obese is metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome as a multifaceted condition characterized by a distinctive constellation of abnormalities that include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance.


Metabolic syndrome is now considered to be an important early sign of coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes. The concern with increased insulin resistance is that it causes poor blood sugar control, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These are all risk factors that make up the metabolic syndrome. The North American criterion for a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is having 3 or more of the following: fasting blood sugar equal to or over 5. 6 mmol/L (100 mg/dL) HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein) less than 1. 0 mmol/L (38. 7 mg/dL) for men and less than 1. 3 mmol/L (50 mg/dL) for women triglycerides equal to or over 1. 7 mmol/L (150 mg/dL) Although other definitions of metabolic syndrome are used in other countries, in all cases, abdominal obesity is an important part of the definition. Losing weight can significantly reduce these health risks. For more information on losing weight safely, see.

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