In recent years, obesity has become a major problem in the western world and the rate at which it is increasing is cause for concern, since it affects people from all walks of life. Obesity is a condition where a person weighs considerably more than normal for a person of similar height and build. As a result, the body must work harder to perform certain vital functions, leaving an obese person vulnerable to fatigue and chronic illness. According to recent research, obesity is a fast-growing problem, yet it is eminently preventable.
One factor responsible for obesity is genetic predisposition. Some people are more likely to be obese than others due to heredity. The make-up of a person’s DNA determines whether or not they will gain weight easily, and this is why children of obese parents are more like to become obese themselves. While there is little or nothing you can do about your genes, there are causes of obesity that are within your control.
Little or no physical activity is a major contributing factor in obesity. With the introduction of technology, people have become less active. They no longer walk, preferring to use their cars; they use elevators instead of stairs; they spend too much time in front of the television or computer, instead of engaging in physical activity. As a result, the body stores the calories that would have been burnt during exercise as fat.
The main reason people become obese is that the number of calories they take in exceeds the amount they expend. If excess calories are not used, they are converted to fat and stored.
As a result of advances in food technology, processed foods have become more prominent in the typical modern diet. Many people do not consider the number of calories in the foods they eat. Sweetened drinks and fast foods make it extremely easy for people to eat too much and therefore gain weight.
Being overweight means you are more prone to health problems such as sleep apnea, diabetes, some forms of cancer, osteoarthritis, heart disease and strokes. The condition also leads to psychological and social problems such as depression and lack of self esteem. It’s no exaggeration to say that obesity poses numerous health threats.
Healthcare professionals, parents, teachers, companies and industries all have a part to play in preventing obesity. More attention needs to be paid to the processes involved in food production. Parents should be careful in selecting the foods their children eat, and should also make sure they regularly engage in some form of physical activity. With a varied, healthy diet and a reasonable level of physical activity, it is possible to prevent obesity from threatening your health.
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