Eating extreme amounts of food, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, could lead to obesity and other deadly diseases. These diseases could not only lead to poor health but could also kill you! This article will elaborate on obesity and other eating disorders and how they are more closely related than presumed. We will try to understand the issue better and delve into the lifestyle changes necessary to resolve it.
There are several eating disorders wherein an individual affected with it would take extreme measures to reduce food consumption. Many individuals would eat without much restraint, which leads to obesity. Read on to know why eating more food can kill you with obesity and other deadly eating disorders.
Eating disorders are on the rise owing to the tremendous change in lifestyle seen in the recent past. In many cases, the modern-day lifestyle is defined by a sedentary lifestyle, bad diet, and stress. These habits, coupled with an obsession to have a skinny body, has led to the rise of several eating disorders.
While several eating disorders result in a person, drastically reducing their food consumption, some disorders lead to excess consumption of food. Let us take a look at some of the most common eating disorders:
Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common and well-known eating disorders. People who suffer from this condition starve themselves to the point that causes severe health issues, including death. Such people have an extreme fear of gaining weight and becoming fat. It generally affects women more than men. People who suffer from anorexia nervosa are constantly obsessed with their weight and believe that they are overweight even if they are underweight. They are constantly occupied with the thought of avoiding certain foods and monitoring their weight.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder where people have an extreme fear of body fat even if their weight is normal. It is characterized by cycles of binge eating and purging. Bulimia nervosa or bulimia, as it is commonly known, is a severe condition which could even lead to death. People who have bulimia may have no control over food and get into a cycle of eating large amounts of food and purging in an unhealthy way. Those afflicted with this condition may take in extreme measures to avoid weight gain. They may indulge in self-induced vomiting, try harmful medications and even follow extreme diets. Bulimia nervosa is more than just about food; it is a psychological condition where the individual is obsessed with self-image and hence challenging to resolve. Several treatment options could help you treat the condition and overcome it.
Binge eating disorder is a type of eating disorder where people may eat a large amount of food in a short period. This is a result of having no control over the quantity of food they consume and is often followed by a guilty feeling. If not controlled, binge eating disorder can result in obesity and cause other health issues such as diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
Like any other eating disorder, binge eating disorder results from psychological issues; those suffering from the disorder usually develop it due to depression or stress.
Pica is an eating disorder that makes an individual crave substances that do not offer any nutritional value. People who suffer from this disorder would consistently eat things such as, dirt, chalk, soap, detergent, paint and many other non-food items. Pica can cause serious health issues; individuals suffering from pica might suffer from nutritional deficiencies, infections and poisoning. Pica can affect people from all age groups but is often seen in children and mentally disabled.
Now that you know more about some of the most common eating disorders, let’s understand obesity and its health risks.
Obesity is a chronic lifestyle disease that can, if not reigned in, lead to severe health issues. It is a medical condition that is more than just an unhealthy obsession over the body’s appearance. While it might be challenging to reverse the condition if genetic predisposition is the cause; it can be resolved if the reason is unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits.
So, who is considered to be obese? An obese individual is one whose body mass index (BMI) is 30 or more. Obesity is more than just a physical problem caused by genetics or a bad diet; it is closely related to an individual’s mental health. The person afflicted with obesity needs to change their lifestyle habits and overcome any psychological blocks that stop them from committing to a weight loss goal. It is crucial to deal with obesity before it leads to severe health issues such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and more. Several treatments help fight obesity, and with the right mindset and commitment, it is an achievable feat.
You are now well aware of what obesity and eating disorders are, so how are these two related to each other? Let’s find out!
Eating disorders and obesity are part of an array of weight-related problems. There are several types of eating disorders; they include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, pica, rumination disorder, binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), obesity, unhealthy dieting, night eating disorder and purging.
All of these disorders are usually a result of unhealthy dietary practices and an obsession over appearance. Many individuals resort to extreme dieting and other measures to avoid weight gain or reduce their weight. Some do not practice any restraint in food consumption (binge eaters); this leads to weight gain, which leads to severe health complications. By now you must be curious on what causes obesity, read on to know more. Now you have a deeper understanding of what obesity is, but what causes obesity? Read on to find out!
There can be different causes of obesity, depending on the individual. For some, the cause of obesity could be genetic; while for others, it could be lifestyle factors. Ultimately it depends on the individual; finding the right cause is necessary for fighting it. Let us take a look at some of the most common causes of obesity:
Overeating too often is one of the leading causes of obesity. Junk foods, fast foods and highly processed foods, when eaten over a long period can lead to obesity. Foods rich in sugar and fats tend to increase your weight without providing the benefits of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
In most cases, obesity can be resolved with lifestyle changes, but if the cause of obesity is genes, it becomes difficult to tackle the problem. Many types of genes contribute to obesity. Such genes usually influence appetite, cravings, metabolism and other factors that dictate the body’s tendency to gain or lose weight.
There are several ways in which medications can cause weight gain. It can increase your appetite, affect your metabolism or get you so tired that you avoid exercising. Medicines that treat depression, diabetes, epilepsy and certain drugs such as steroids may cause weight gain.
For a long time, chronic stress has been linked to obesity. The stress hormone ‘cortisol’ is the culprit that causes obesity in long-term weight issues. Multiple studies prove that cortisol indeed is responsible for obesity.
The irregular sleeping hours, and even lack of adequate sleep can cause obesity. It is believed that a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep is required every night to regulate the body’s metabolism and to avoid hormonal imbalances. Such hormonal imbalances can lead to weight gain. Inconsistent sleep can increase your appetite, thereby leading to weight gain.
Hormones can control the metabolic rate and play a part in the body’s weight gain or loss. Hormonal imbalances can cause significant changes to the body, including its ability to utilise fat.
The modern-day lifestyle has resulted in long hours of immobility and encouraged a sedentary lifestyle with little to no exercise. Hours of sitting at the office, followed by a lack of physical activity at home, have increased cases of obesity and other disorders. The consumption of unhealthy foods worsens the situation.
Certain emotions trigger overeating; this is a response to deal with these emotions. Stress, anger and boredom are triggers that could result in excess consumption of food.
Many medical conditions can lead to weight gain, sometimes even extreme weight gain. Conditions such as Cushing syndrome, osteoarthritis and Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome are some health conditions that could result in weight gain.
The obsession among Indian parents to make their children healthy by feeding them excessive amounts of food is one reason for weight in children in India. This could also lead to obesity and other diseases later in life. At times it leads to obesity in childhood itself. The misconception that a skinny child is unhealthy is the root cause of this unhealthy habit among Indian parents.
Now that you have read the causes of obesity, you can find out how it can be diagnosed. It is crucial to diagnose obesity to treat it. The 10 most common ways to diagnose obesity is mentioned below.
Diagnosing obesity is the first step towards tackling it. Once it is diagnosed, it is crucial to understand the cause and create a treatment plan to fight it. There are many ways by which a doctor can diagnose obesity; a few being:
A general physical examination of your body can help your doctor determine whether you are obese or not. Your doctor would examine your heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, lungs, abdomen and also measure your height and weight to conclude if you are obese or not.
Your BMI (Body mass index) is one of the most significant indicators of your physical health. Your doctor will check your BMI, and if it is 30 or above, you will be considered obese. It is essential to check your BMI at least once a year to determine your health condition.
Depending on your health condition and specific symptoms, your doctor might get your blood test done to determine if you are obese. Blood tests to check the liver function, fasting glucose levels, cholesterol levels and the thyroid function help assess obesity.
The visceral or abdominal fat stored around your waist can determine if you are obese. The above-normal waist circumference in women is 35 inches and for men is 40 inches. A waist circumference above this measurement means that you are obese and at risk of suffering from heart diseases.
Your doctor may review in detail about your eating habits, physical activity, other conditions, medications, family health history, and your overall physical and mental condition to determine if you are obese.
Your doctor will evaluate any health issues that you have. The doctor would check for problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
The following are some of the ways you can treat obesity after it is diagnosed.
Treating obesity except for rare cases shouldn’t be difficult with some effort, consistency and determination. Few lifestyle changes can give the desired result without any harmful side effects. The most important steps to treat obesity are:
Diet, or to be precise, a bad diet, is often the biggest culprit that leads to obesity. Consuming foods that are high in unhealthy fats and calorie-dense, without providing much nutritional value can lead to obesity if a person lives a sedentary lifestyle. So, the first step towards treating obesity is to control the food intake; reducing the calorie intake can make a big difference. It is crucial to add highly nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish and cut down on unhealthy oily junk and processed foods. There are also several nutritional supplements out there that can help you fight obesity. However, this alone might not be enough; regular exercise is also essential.
Here are how some diet changes can help you treat obesity:
Many people have misunderstood the impact of fats on health. Fats are viewed as a major culprit in weight gain, but the fact is that not all fat is bad. Healthy dietary fats, such as polyunsaturated fats are extremely beneficial for your health. It is the saturated and trans fats that are harmful. So, include more healthy fats and reduce or stop the consumption of unhealthy fats.
Highly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat can cause obesity. Not only do they not offer much nutritional value, but they also encourage you to eat more.
Exercising and dieting are the two major components in a weight loss plan. Physical activities such as, walking, jogging, running, swimming, resistance training, and sports can contribute immensely to your weight loss goal. The key is to be consistent and put in a dedicated effort. You can also get help and support from healthcare professionals to achieve your weight loss goals and change your perceptions about eating and exercising. In rare cases, lifestyle may not give satisfactory results; surgery might be the only option.
Lack of proper sleep has been linked to obesity. So, maintaining a consistent sleep pattern is necessary to fight obesity. It is also crucial to reduce stress since stress is known to trigger food cravings. You could also eat slowly, eat high fibre food and increase your water intake as a part of a lifestyle change.
You must understand the deadly consequences of being obese. This would help you gain a clearer perspective of the risks and why you must prevent it from happening. Let’s learn more about the health consequences of obesity.
Vegan or plant-based diets have shown incredible results in the overall health of those who follow them. This type of diet focuses on eating whole foods, such as fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Apart from this, a vegan diet also helps reduce the risk of many other diseases.
Eating disorders and obesity are not just a lifestyle-related disease, but they can result in severe health problems, including death. Let us take a look at some of the consequences of suffering from obesity:
Obesity can result in high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Since heart diseases are often linked with high cholesterol and blood pressure, it is imperative to control obesity. Reducing even a little weight can considerably reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Obesity often results in type 2 diabetes. Indulging in regular physical activity can control blood sugar levels. Exercising and staying active can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown a link between obesity and certain types of cancer. Cancers of the thyroid, kidney, breast, liver, colon, and pancreas have been linked with obesity. Treating obesity can prevent such types of cancer.
Obesity can also lead to several other diseases such as osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and fatty liver disease.
You must be aware of the health risks posed by obesity and other eating disorders. Keep reading to find out ways of preventing obesity and the dangerous diseases associated with it.
As the old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”. Just like for any other disease, obesity must also be prevented, rather than being cured. Unless you suffer from any genetic disorder that causes obesity, this is a condition that can be easily prevented. Healthy eating and exercise are all that you need to ensure that you avoid obesity. These are some of the ways to prevent obesity:
It is a misconception that fat is bad for you, not all fats are bad. Try including more healthy fats in your diet, such as the ones found in nuts and seafood. As long as you avoid the ‘bad’ fat, your weight can be kept under check.
Regular moderate exercise is enough to maintain healthy body weight. The types of exercises you can engage in are humongous; you can do cardio, weight training or even yoga to keep your weight in check.
Stress can result in developing unhealthy diet habits. Try to tackle stress by exercising, yoga, engaging in activities that relieve stress.
Eating disorders are more common than believed, with the cases rising due to the modern-day lifestyle. There are many types of eating disorders, and they are all related not only to food but also an individual’s mental state. Most of them are caused due to stress, anxiety, depression and an obsession over body-image. Certain disorders, such as binge eating disorder can lead to obesity. Try preventing obesity as much as possible if you cannot do so; fight it by following a healthy lifestyle. If even that doesn’t help, consult a doctor and follow the treatment.