What Is Obesity?
Obesity is defined as having body fat in excess.
A person is not considered obese until their weight reaches 20% or more above what is considered normal. Body Mass Index (BMI) is today’s most common and reliable measure of obesity in the United States.
There are different categories for being overweight and being obese. An individual is classified as being at a healthy weight with a BMI of 24 or below. On the obesity chart, an individual is considered overweight if their BMI is between 25 and 29.9, and they are categorized as obese if their BMI exceeds 30.
The term “morbid obesity” describes someone between 50% and 100% over what is considered a normal weight. Morbidly obese can mean being more than 100 pounds overweight, having a BMI of or exceeding 40, or being overweight enough to experience severe impairments to normal health and function.
Although no one wants to be the killjoy at a holiday party or family get-together, staying on top of high-calorie seasonal temptations is important. You do not have to be a Grinch during the holiday season, but you should devise a solid plan of action to take care of your health needs. Obese adults should be particularly careful, as should children with childhood obesity.
According to the Associate Director of Clinical Psychology at Johns Hopkins Weight Management, “You need a plan that suits your health needs.” In addition, “you should develop strategies to support healthy eating, no matter the occasion.”
Prevalence of Obesity
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity increased from 30% – 42% in the past twenty years. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health states that children between the ages of 2 and 5 have experienced twice the number of obesity diagnoses than children in the previous thirty years.
However, since obesity is among the risk factors for serious health conditions, such as kidney disease and type 2 diabetes, it’s important to develop healthy habits to lose weight and improve your overall health. Thankfully, your #1 internal medicine provider in Rock Hill offers different weight loss programs to help you achieve a healthy weight.
Causes of Obesity
Obesity develops in response to consuming more calories than the number of calories being burned. For many, obesity comes down to consuming too many calories and exercising too little. However, other factors can lead to obesity without necessarily revolving around the prevailing wisdom of “calories in/calories out.” These factors include:
As you age, your metabolism ages with you. An aging metabolism reduces the breakdown of food, which means you require fewer calories to maintain your weight. This simple change is at the heart of weight changes during the aging process.
It is common to hear people lament the lack of change in their diets despite a dramatic increase in weight. However, a slowed metabolism is why 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds can follow the same diet and exercise routines and wind up with dramatically different weights.
Women may be at greater risk of being overweight than men. This is because men have a higher resting metabolic rate than women, meaning that men must consume more calories to maintain a steady weight.
Since men burn more energy while at rest than women, weight loss efforts may differ for men and women. Moreover, women also have to deal with menopause, which further reduces their metabolic rate. This is often the cause of weight gain in postmenopausal women.
Obesity (and thinness) tends to run in families. One study showed that participating adult weights were closer to their biological parents’ weights than their adoptive parents’ weights.
The adoptive family’s environment had less influence on obesity development than genetic makeup. This means that if your biological parent is overweight or obese, there is a 75% chance that you will also experience issues with weight. Conversely, if your biological parents are thin, you have the same chance of being thin.
It may seem discouraging to hear that genetics plays a significant role in weight but take heart. Many people who are genetically predisposed to being overweight or obese do not go on to develop either condition and can lose mass and effectively maintain a healthy body weight.
Genes play an essential role in the development of obesity, but they are not the only factors involved. A person’s environment can play a substantial role in whether or not they’ll go on to become obese or overweight. Environmental factors can include lifestyle factors, dietary practices, and exercise habits.
Active people will require more calories to maintain their current weight than inactive individuals. In obese individuals, physical activity may lead to a decrease in appetite and an increase in body fat metabolism. While many factors are involved in increased obesity rates, some researchers have suggested that a significant cause of obesity is decreased daily activity levels.
Psychological factors also influence eating habits and obesity. For example, people may eat when they feel negative emotions or boredom. People experiencing weight difficulties may also be facing emotional and psychological issues.
30% of people who seek treatment for serious weight issues have experienced challenges related to binge eating. A binge-eating episode is characterized by consuming large amounts of food in a short period, accompanied by feeling out of control.
Some illnesses can contribute to obesity and weight gain. Hormone issues such as hypothyroidism, depression, and even some rare brain diseases have been linked to overeating, resulting in continual weight gain.
Certain medications can cause excessive weight gain. These include steroids and even some antidepressants.
Need a Lasting Solution for Obesity in Rock Hill? We Can Help!
Even in the presence of external factors and genetic concerns, our primary care office offers viable treatments for obesity in Rock Hill, Charlotte, and the surrounding areas. Schedule an appointment with us today or call (803) 902-4088 to discover the best weight loss programs for you or learn more about our hCG diet and weight loss services!