Posts Tagged ‘causes of obesity’

Genetics and Weight

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments


So your great, great grand Aunt suffered from diabetes and her great, great grand Dad also had the same type of illness. Both of them are obese. And when you look at your family members right now, they are all on the heavy side. Then, you go on thinking, it runs in the family. It is in our genes. We are all going to be obese.

The thing is you may be right. Family history and genetics play a role in someone’s health like heart disease, obesity, cancer, alcoholism and other diseases. Genetics has an impact on the chemical functions in our bodies such as our hormones, body fat composition and metabolism which greatly affect our weight.

But do you know of anybody whose parents are heavy-set however, the child is lean? Or vice versa? I am pretty sure that there are people who do not follow after their parents’ weight even with the kind of genetics make-up they have. You see, the effect of genes on our gain weight is hard to define, even if there is. The other crucial point is, there are more factors that affect one’s weight aside from genetics like lifestyle, food choices, activities, exercise, mindset and so much more.

If you are raised by two overweight parents, there’s a big chance that you will be overweight not only because of your genes but because of your environment, your family lifestyle and so on. Think about it, you don’t have your own fridge of healthy food choices. The family has a fridge full of sweets and all those delicious treats that help us gain more weight.  Naturally, what they eat, you also eat.

But when the family decides to make a lifestyle change and a shift in mindset and healthy food choices, there’s a bigger possibility of achieving weight loss success despite of your genes.

Genes do not dictate who you are going to be. You don’t have to be a slave to something that you can’t change. However, you can do something about what you can change.


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Best Ways to Prevent Obesity

Posted on: December 3rd, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


Prevent obesity by eating!


Okay, you can stop scratching your head now. You read it right. The answer to obesity is not eating less or starving yourself to death with all the fad diets on the market. It is about eating well.

1. Do not skip breakfast

Contrary to what most people think that skipping breakfast will lose them a few pounds, studies actually show eating a healthy breakfast helps one consume fewer calories throughout the day.

2. Choose to eat foods high in fiber

High-fiber foods keeps you full with few calories and little fat.  Eating more whole grains provides you with a good source of nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin B6.

3. Eat Raw, Leafy Green Vegetables

Aside from the fact that greens and raw vegetables are remarkably low in calories, they are also high in water, rich in vitamins C and E, folate, and carotenoids which are important for your overall health.

4. Eat fish, chicken and beans

Fish, chicken and beans are good sources of protein. Although, you should not overdo on the portion of protein, it is just as important to eat some protein with every meal. When you're dieting getting enough protein helps you lose the fat, not the muscle.

5. Go for the healthy nuts

The healthy fat in nuts is deemed to make people feel full which can prevent cravings and can help you shed the pounds. The protein in nuts also uses calories as it gets digested. According to studies, the majority of people who eat nuts on a regular basis have lower BMIs than those who don’t.

6. Take in a lot of calcium
Aside from protein, calcium is an essential element on how fat is broken down and stored. Note that the more calcium in a fat cell, the more fat it burns. You can eat low-fat dairy foods, broccoli and fortified orange juice as most effective sources of calcium.

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The risks of developing obesity in adolesence

Posted on: October 18th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


Do you know that childhood obesity has tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years? From a record of 5%, there's an 18% increase in the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who are obese during the said period. 

Being overweight or obese poses a lot of risks and difficulties for a lot of people. However, it becomes even more problematic during the awkward stage of adolescence.  While there's the problem in the social and psychological aspects like stigmatization and poor self-esteem of the adolescent, obesity also has both immediate and long-term effects on health and well-being which include the following:

  • cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • the risk of having pre-diabetes which is a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes
  • bone and joint problems
  • sleeping disorders like apnea
  • higher risk for adult health problems (heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis )

Obesity can become a lifelong battle for the youth. But this can also be prevented, managed and treated.  Here are some practical ways how:

  • Introduce a weight-management program – the idea is to have a plan on how to lose the weight slowly but surely. It is important that the adolescent is willing to submit himself or herself to a program. It would also help if the program interests him or her.

    As a family, develop a comprehensive plan which would include reasonable weight loss goals, dietary and physical activity management, behavior modification, and family involvement.

    When a child or adolescent with obesity also has emotional problems, a child and adolescent psychiatrist can work with your family physician regarding the program.

  • Develop a healthy eating habit slowly – An obese adolescent must learn to eat and enjoy healthy foods in moderate amounts and this should start at home. Food advertisement can be so enticing but when these types of food are not easily accessible at home, there will a greater chance of developing a healthier eating habit.
  • Engage in physical activity and establish a more active lifestyle – the only way to lose weight is to decrease the number of calories being eaten and to increase the level of physical activity. Energy in equals energy out.

    To achieve a long lasting weight loss, the adolescent must develop his or her self-motivation. However, it is of great importance that the family is behind him or her since obesity often affects more than one family member. A family activity can improve the chances of successful weight control for the child or adolescent.

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The risks of developing obesity in childhood

Posted on: September 24th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

ID-10063993Do you have a child who is suffering from obesity?  Being overweight and obesity can be treated in childhood. It may be reversed or prevented.  If you don't address this problem, your child is a likely candidate to be obese or overweight as an adult. Or worse, your child has an increased risk to develop various health problems. It can also lead to social and emotional complications which can affect the well-being of your child.

Some Health Problems involving obesity in childhood

  • Type 2 diabetes -  affects how your child's body metabolizes sugar (glucose). Type 2 diabetes can often be reversed by eating healthier foods and exercising.
  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure -  lead to the buildup of plaques which can cause a narrowing and hardening of the arteries this can lead to a heart attack or stroke later in life.
  • Asthma and other breathing problems.  Due to the excess weight on your child's body, the development and health of your child's lungs can be impaired
  • Sleep apnea – this is just one form of sleeping disorder which your child can suffer from because of obesity.  Your child may snore or have abnormal breathing when he or she sleeps
  • Early puberty or menstruation- obesity can create hormone imbalances for your child which causes puberty to start earlier than expected.

Some Social and emotional problems involving obesity in childhood

  • Low self-worth – an obese child is often the target of  bullying and teasing which can have a great impact on his or her self-esteem  and self-worth
  • Learning problems- there's a tendency for an overweight child to have school-related anxiety which can lead to declining academic performance.
  • Depression- with a very low self-worth coupled with the health complications from being obese, this can be very overwhelming for a child which could lead to depression. 

To address the issue of obesity in childhood, one must look into the changes that can be made to the child's lifestyle. It will be best if the whole family cooperates with the changes to be made.   This will also be advantageous for other members of the family who are overweight.

Encourage your child to eat more healthily and engage in a variety of physical activity. Make the small changes gradually for there is a higher rate of success with your child adapting to these changes  in the long-term.

The child would want to see a role model and you as a parent can make a big impact.  You can help him or her to stay healthy. Be involved as much as possible in helping your child make these changes.  Monitor the changes and discuss these with your child.  And don't forget to encourage and reward him or her for the small achievements made.

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How to change bad eating habits for weight loss success

Posted on: July 17th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

ID-100112565Did you know that obese people doubled in number since 1980? That at least 2.8 million people die each year because of being overweight or obese leading to various complications and illnesses?

If obesity is preventable, why have we reached these numbers?

Well, some of the known culprits are:

  • Habits
  • Lifestyle
  • lack of exercise
  • mindset

For this article, I would like to focus on habits—our bad eating habits. For then again, we may say, it doesn't seem difficult to change our unhealthy eating habits. But I am making a safe bet that it can be one of the hardest things we have to do if we want to lose weight. After all, these habits did not grow on us overnight. It took us years to form them and became deeply ingrained within us that we do it on autopilot.

So will it also take you years to change these bad eating habits? I won't say no but I would certainly say if you don't start now—you will never get anywhere. Know that anything is possible when we you really put your heart and mind to it. Be patient.

Here are some strategies to change your bad eating habits:

  • Do it NOW and do it small

    There's no right timing to change your bad eating habits but NOW. Do not just plan to change your eating habits. Decide to do it and start small.

    Why take small steps when you will probably be tempted to want to see the results immediately? You see, taking baby steps may not seem ideal for you but it is your best chance for success. As you go through these small transformations and notice your successes, you will be encouraged to keep going. So if you want long lasting results, you need to play the long haul.

    And yes, try not to break the pattern for at least 21 days to a month. That's how long it will take to form new habits—your healthy eating habits.

  • Sleep

    Here's another habit that we have developed through the years—our sleeping habits. Studies show that there is a great connection between your sleeping habits with your losing weight. When you lack sleep, you produce hormones that increase your appetite and hormones that decrease the feeling of fullness.

    When these hormones take over, it may be doubly difficult for you to win over the practice of healthy eating habits. Your brain may cause you to crave for foods that will sabotage your efforts like sugar and refined carbohydrates.

    So, you might as well get a good night sleep if you want to develop good eating habits.

  • Make a Plan and write it down

    This is the missing ingredient that's why people fail. Even businesses fail without a plan. Treat losing weight as a serious business (although don't beat yourself to it) and concretize it by writing down a plan. Be specific about the small steps you want to achieve. If you want to start having a healthy breakfast, jot it down. If you want to begin taking more fruits and vegetables, write them down. It may even work to your advantage if you put in your planner where you can always see it. This will constantly remind you and keep you consistent in your new healthy habit forming.

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What is Obesity? How Do I Calculate my BMI?

Posted on: July 11th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


What is obesity? It is the condition of being very fat or overweight. (Ref:

An obese person has collected so much body fat that his bodyweight is at least 20% higher than it should be. And one of the best ways to know whether you are obese is calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). If your BMI shows you are in between 25 and 29.9, then you are considered overweight. For 30 and above, you are considered obese.

What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is utilized to determine whether you are underweight, healthy weight, overweight or clinically obese. You can measure your Body Mass Index (BMI) from your height and weight.

Your body weight status according to BMI may rely on the country that you reside. For example, Japan's health body weight is a BMI of between 18.5 and 22.9, overweight from 23 to 24.9, and obese for over 25.

In the USA, a healthy body weight is a BMI of 27 after adopting the World Health Organization guidelines in 1998. Before that, you are considered healthy weight if you have a BMI of 26.8 which is already "obese" in Japan.

Now, there are two ways to calculate your BMI—metric and imperial systems.

The Metric system divides your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.

For example:

Weight 52 kilograms

Height 1.9 meters

1.922  = 3.68

52 divided by 3.68 = BMI is 14.13

However, the Imperial system your weight in pounds is multiplied by 703, divided by the square of their height in inches.

For example:

Weight 102 lbs

Height 60 inches (6 feet)

602 = 3600

102 X 703 / 3600 = 19.91

From World Health Organization, it is assessed that:

BMI less than 18.5 – Underweight

BMI between 18.5 and 25 – Healthy weight

BMI between 25 and 30 – Overweight

BMI between 30 and 40 – Obese

BMI over 40 – Very obese, morbidly obese

Your BMI can't separate and measure your body fat content and your muscle content. For instance, you can have a higher BMI if you are a 6' 5" athlete compared to someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle of the same height. Most probably, the latter may be overweight while you are not because of high muscle-to-fat ratio.

There are a lot of discussions regarding the veracity of BMI. It can be faulty for some. After all, there can be other aspects that may be ignored like muscle structure and ethnic origin. But for others, they have definitely taken advantage of the results as their guide towards the treatment of obesity