Obesity is a medical condition that occurs when a person carries excess weight or body fat that might affect their health. A doctor will usually suggest that a person has obesity if they have a high body mass index.
Body mass index (BMI) is a tool that doctors use to assess if a person is at an appropriate weight for their age, sex, and height. The measurement combines height and weight.
A BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates that a person is carrying excess weight. A BMI of 30 or over suggests that a person may have obesity.
Other factors, such as the ratio of waist-to-hip size (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WtHR), and the amount and distribution of fat on the body also play a role in determining how healthy a person’s weight and body shape are.
If a person does have obesity and excess weight, this can increase their risk of developing a number of health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and some types of cancer.
Maintaining a healthy weight or losing through diet and exercise is one way to prevent or reduce obesity. In some cases, a person may need surgery.
Now read on to find out why obesity happens.
1) Consuming too many calories
A person has a lower risk of obesity if their diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
When a person consumes more calories than they use as energy, their body will store the extra calories as fat. This can lead to excess weight and obesity.
Also, some types of foods are more likely to lead to weight gain, especially those that are high in fats and sugars.
Foods that tend to increase the risk of weight gain include:
fried foods, such as french fries
fatty and processed meats
many dairy products
foods with added sugar, such as baked goods, ready-made breakfast cereals, and cookies
foods containing hidden sugars, such as ketchup and many other canned and packaged food items
sweetened juices, sodas, and alcoholic drinks
processed, high-carb foods, such as bread and bagels
Some processed food products contain high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener, including savory items, such as ketchup.
Eating too much of these foods and doing too little exercise can result in weight gain and obesity.
A person who consumes a diet that consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and water is still at risk of gaining excess weight if they overeat, or if genetic factors, for example, increase their risk.
However, they are more likely to enjoy a varied diet while maintaining a healthy weight. Fresh foods and whole grains contain fiber, which makes a person feel full for longer and encourages healthy digestion.