Posts Tagged ‘who obesity’

The risks of developing obesity in your 20’s

Posted on: November 8th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


We've always known that obesity or being overweight is a serious matter. It can lead to illnesses and other health conditions especially if it stretches out from childhood to adolescence until one reaches his or her 20's. These illnesses can 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 )

By the time an obese person has reached middle age, there is already a bigger risk in developing life-threatening diseases. For instance, there is a risk in developing hardened plaque in their arteries which can cause a heart attack or a stroke later in life.

According to Jared Reis, an epidemiologist in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's division of cardiovascular sciences, "…The obesity epidemic… people are becoming obese at a younger age than in previous generations, and they are spending a longer period of their life with obesity…. a longer duration of obesity independently contributes to hardened plaque in the arteries, which is sometimes called silent heart disease because there are no symptoms."

An  interesting finding from a recent study shows that for every year the young adults were obese, their risk of developing hardened plaque increased by 2% to 4%.

When we are young, we think we are invincible. If not for our bodies, we think that we will live forever. More often than not, we traverse through our youth ignoring that we are part corporeal and if we don't take care of it, it can malfunction and grow ill.

I am just as guilty. I have been there and done it. But I have conquered it.

And I am optimistic that anybody can also do it. 

However, (I have to be bias here) allow me to say that the contemporary times is much worse because our young people are more exposed to a lifestyle that courts a lot of temptation. 

There's the pull of the adverts of mouth-watering food and supersized helpings. Plus, the lifestyle that is sedentary—work and play can be tied to facing the computer all the waking hours of the day.    

But as I have said it is not unheard of that we have weight loss successful stories.

We need to address the issue of obesity and being overweight. If we do not put our focus on addressing obesity for people who are in their 20's and younger we may have in our hands  an epidemic of coronary artery disease just like there is currently an epidemic of obesity.

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.

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield/

What Causes Obesity?

Posted on: September 13th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

ID-100112630Obesity happens when your body takes in more calories and stores these as fat without you burning them through exercise and normal daily activities.

Let us consider the various factors (usually a combination of these) which affect one's body weight and cause obesity:

  • Disparity between the energy you put in from what you put out

    The ideal equation is an energy balance which is determined with the energy you put IN which should be equivalent to what put OUT. A lack of this will cause obesity.

    The energy you put IN is derived from the energy or calories from food and drinks you take in. If the energy you put OUT which your body uses for physical activities does not consume what you put in, then, you're in trouble.

    You don't have to balance the two every day. The balance is accumulated through time. Overweight and obesity develop over time when you take in more calories than you use.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle
    You should understand now why being such a couch potato will do you more harm than the pleasure you get out of watching TV the whole day.   People who are inactive have the tendency to gain weight. Remember the ideal equation discussed above. 

    Unfortunately, more and more people bury themselves in computers doing work, schoolwork, and leisure activities giving no more room to move.

    And what's with being dependent on cars and elevators instead of walking? (Sigh…)

  • Environment

    Despite the rigid campaign for "health", what we see in our environment doesn't fully provide more venues for healthy lifestyle habits.

    Take the following examples:

    1.       Affordable gyms for the public to make it easy for people to be physically active rather than the exotic ones where celebrities frequent and where one needs to maintain dues.

    2.       Fast food chains and oversized food portions which are good businesses. But are they good for the health?

    3.       Access to healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is costly.

    4.       Unregulated food campaigns from food companies which are often directed to children. Campaigns which are really about high-calorie, high-fat snacks and sugary drinks.

  • Emotional Factors

    There are people whose eating habits are triggered by their emotional state. Depression, loneliness, anger, low self-esteem are often times the potent emotions which can lead people to eating more than their usual intake.  In time, this can lead to weight gain and cause overweight or obesity.

  • Not enough sleep

    Sleep is one factor which affects your hormones like ghrelin and leptin which make you feel hungry or full. When you lack sleep, ghrelin goes up and leptin goes down which makes you feel hungry compared to when you have a full eight-hour sleep at night and you are well-rested. 

Image courtesy of marin /

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.

    Image courtesy of marin/

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