The Mayo Clinic defines obesity as a complex disorder that manifests itself in the accumulation of a massive amount of body fat. Obesity is not only unsightly, resulting in feelings of low self-esteem, but can lead to serious diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.
For example, if your weight is 120 kg and your height is 185 cm, then your BMI = 35.
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BMI is useful for measuring body fat, but the exception should be made for certain athletes, such as bodybuilders, who have a greater than average muscle mass.
Obesity can have genetic, behavioral, and hormonal causes. In general, obesity is caused when you take in more calories than you burn off. This situation is caused by a combination of a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. Other factors that can lead to obesity include certain medications, smoking cessation, age and lack of sleep.
Obesity brings with it some health problems, both physical and psychological, and has been linked to the following health conditions:
Also, obesity can cause sexual problems, depression, social isolation, feelings of shame and guilt, and decreased work performance.
What are the facts concerning obesity in the US?
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The Centers for Disease Control states that 78.6 million (!) adult Americans are considered obese. That number is 34.9% of all adults living in America.
Broken down by groups, the percentage of obese American adults comes out to:
12.7 million American children between the ages of 2 and 19 are considered obese, according to the CDC. And even though the childhood obesity is starting to decline, it is still considered to be too high.
In 2015, the healthcare costs related to obesity were $147 billion. That figure comes to $1,429 in increased health care costs for each obese American.
As we mentioned above, obesity can occur when the consumed calories are significantly higher than calories burned throughout the day. So, the more active you are, the more energy your body requires and the more calories you can take in. For example, a 35-years old man, living a sedentary lifestyle is recommended to consume up to 2400 calories per day.
Thus, regular exercising and tracking your calories in and out, as well as your sleep quality can help you prevent getting into this condition, or motivate you to maintain a more active, healthy lifestyle. This is when wearable technology comes handy.
Adjusting your diet is also critical. Many people have a stereotypical idea that healthy means untasty. But you would be surprised how many mouth-watering and in the meantime healthy recipes are there to try!
The Rand Corporation defines social fitness as “the combined resources a person gets from his or her social world.” In relation to obesity and the quest to lose weight, this means deriving encouragement from others to effect lifestyle changes. The struggle to lose weight can be a difficult, often impossible task, for someone who has become trapped in that condition. Discouragement and relapses into bad behaviors often occur when one tries to lose weight alone.
However, when groups of people attempt to lose weight together, the added factors of encouragement and fun, simple to participate fitness competitions come into play. Even the loss of a few pounds which does not manifest in a change of appearance can elicit congratulations and serve as a spur for further weight loss.
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