Obesity (Overweight)

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Obesity (Overweight)


Obesity or being overweight is one of the major health problems related to nutrition in the United States today. Obesity is when one's weight is 15% over what is average for that person's height and frame. Morbid obesity is is when the excess weight exceeds 20% over what is considered average or normal.

A simple guideline to judge what is considered to be normal, overweight or obese is the BMI (Body Mass Index). The body to fat ratio is made clear by using one of these charts, you can determine which category you fit into by entering your height and weight.


The main cause of obesity in both children and adults is a combination of overeating and lack of exercise. Excessive ingestion of simple carbohydrates and sugars will definitely lead to excess fat and obesity. One pound of fatty tissue is equal to 3500 calories.

Glandular malfunction, emotional stress, boredom, bad habits, and an unreasonable love of food, are also common reasons for excessive weight gain. In many cases, people will overeat to compensate for emotional reasons, such as what they perceive as lack of love or attention from others. The quality of food that is eaten is also a great contributor, many fast foods and processed foods are high in salt, sugar and unhealthy fat content.

Caloric intake must be comparable to calories that are burned. Calories may be burned up by the basal metabolism, which includes normal bodily functions like breathing and digestion. More substantial amounts of calories can be burned or used up with exercise. When the number of calories used during the day exceeds the amount consumed, the body oxidizes its supply of fat to produce energy, and thereby a reduction of weight results. A daily reduction of 1,000 calories a day, can result in approximately 2 pounds of weight loss per week.

Related Health Conditions

Obesity often leads to health conditions such as heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), malnutrition, fatty liver, etc. Excessive fat is hard to metabolize, and can upset both liver and kidney function. It also puts extra demands on all of the body's organs. Therefore, allowing oneself to become overweight is harmful physically, emotionally and mentally.


The best treatment for obesity is to lose weight safely. A sensible diet that includes all the essential nutrients and minerals is required. A high-protein, low-carbohydrate and low-fat diet is usually recommended for safe and gradual weight loss. Becoming more active is key in losing excess pounds. Exercise doesn't need to be extreme to be effective. Simple habits like daily walks can help lose pounds and inches.

Beneficial Nutrients

Following are some nutrients and foods that may be helpful in the treatment of obesity.

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External Links

Body Mass Index