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Guidebook: Obesity & Everything There is to Know


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According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention obesity is both common and costly. Obesity affects 93.3 million adults in the United States alone and can cause several related medical conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, infertility, stroke, heart disease, and premature death. The epidemic has left so many people struggling with excess weight and other complications, and people with it usually have a much higher medical cost than those without.

There’s no doubt about it: obesity is a life-threatening disease that can severely affect your way of life. The dangerous health condition affects people of all sexes and races but is most prevalent in middle-aged Hispanics and African Americans. The good news is that obesity is something you don’t have to live with; by taking a few simple steps in the right direction and changing your diet and lifestyle, you can become healthy and stop being a statistic sooner than you think.

So what exactly characterizes being obese?

Obesity is a weight-based categorization that is identified in direct correlation with your body mass index, or BMI. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for the disease the lower your quality of life is.

How can I calculate my BMI?

There are several apps and websites which will allow you to input your information information to calculate your BMI. The basic formula is to divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters).

BMIs fall into 11 different categories ranging from ‘very severely underweight’, through ‘normal healthy weight’, and up to ‘obese class VI - hyper obese’. You are classified as obese if your BMI is 30 or higher.

If your BMI is 25 or higher, you are considered “at risk” and is described by doctors as being on your way to obesity.

What are some warning signs of obesity?

Since checking your BMI isn’t something that people do often, they’re usually taken by surprise when they’re doctors calls them obese. But if you think about it, there were actually some warning signs which you not have realized. Some of these signs include:

Reduced cardiovascular endurance - maybe the flight of stairs you usually take has started causing you to be short of breath.

Difficulty with functional movement - has bending over to tie your shoes started to cause you discomfort? What about twisting to the side to reach over something and feeling a strain? These could all be signs that your body is leading toward obesity.

Other health complications - a recent diagnosis of high cholesterol, blood pressure, or sleep apnea could also be a warning sign that you need to start making lifestyle changes.

How can I treat obesity?

There are no quick tricks or medications that will immediately fix an obesity problem. It make take time and it will definitely take effort, but a lifestyle change has to be put in place - no quick fix here! So what kind of lifestyle changes you ask…

Diet - Eating a balanced diet is key. Stick to the basic rules of nutrition, cut out fast food, and control calorie intake while increasing nutritional quality of your foods.

Exercise - Regular exercise is a must when living a healthy lifestyle. Get a trainer, if your must, or do your research online and put together your own exercise routine.

Activity - Increase your amount of movement immediately. If you’re sitting for long periods of time, get up and take a quick walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. No matter how small the change, it makes a difference.

Keeping in mind that there are no quick medicines that will make a difference in combating obesity, your doctor may prescribe medicines that will assist you while you're changing your life. If it gets to a point that you require fast weight loss because of serious health risks, then their are surgical options such as gastric bypass, gastric banding, sleeve gastrectomy, and biliopancreatic diversion. While surgery is often called “an easy way to treat obesity”, it comes with many risks - ones that you can avoid if you take the right steps.

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Kelsey Harris

Associate Writer

Kelsey joined the Wavez staff in June 2019 and has been impressing readers ever since. She graduated from USC with a bachelor's degree in English and specializes in our Health and Finance categories.