Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat. Troubling numbers come from the Center of Disease Control: 35.7 percent of American adults are obese and that number grows to 69.2% if you include people that are overweight in general.
IN And OUT Energy
The simple formula known to most is about calories IN and calories OUT.
To maintain a healthy weight range your IN energy has to equal or be close to your OUT energy. It does not have to balance perfectly each day but should be balanced throughout a few days.
Balanced IN and OUT energy = weight stays the same
More energy IN than OUT energy = weight gain
More energy OUT than energy IN = weight loss
You do not burn many calories if you live a sedentary life. With an inactive lifestyle, it is very easy and usual to take in more calories than what the body needs. You can easily increase the required caloric intake by adding simple exercise and creating an active routine.
If this new age of technology and comfort most people commute to work by car or other type of transportation that requires no physical exertion, watch TV a few hours a night in a relaxed non energy requiring comfortable position. It is easy to see how most of your waking time, the average is 15 hours, is spent sitting without much physical activity. This is outside of our usual human norms and can have serious consequences on our physical and mental health.
The unavoidable marketing of unhealthy foods and sugary drinks is all around us with no site of escape. My daughter has never had Coca Cola or Pepsi in her life but is the first one to recognize the logo and shout out “look, coca cola!”
The junk food is everywhere you look: schools, gas stations, drive throughs, work and even restaurants. It is not hard to see how making a healthy choice for food can be extremely difficult, especially to an individual who might not have the knowledge or opportunity to chose what is better. Healthy food is usually less accessible and in many cases comes at a higher price.
Most experts agree that environmental causes are the driving force for the huge increase in obesity.
Researchers believe that environment influences people from a very early age, some even think it happens before we are even born. It is known as “fetal programming”. For example babies whose mother smoke during pregnancy are more likely to become overweight. Studies suggest that conditions in the womb may somehow alter the growing baby's metabolism and show up later in life.
Childhood habits often carry on into adulthood. Kids who are exposed to sugary drinks will most likely continue to drink it as adults. Habits formed in childhood most of the time stick with people fort he rest of their lives.
There are many features that come with modern life that promotes weight gain.
Some medication can lead to weight gain if you don't compensate through diet or activity. These medications include:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Diabetes medications
- Antipsychotic medications
- Beta blockers
Lack Of Sleep
Getting less than seven hours of sleep per night can cause hormonal imbalances and therefore increase hunger. It can make you crave foods higher in calories and carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain.
Research shows links between sleep and weight gain. In one research conducted in Chicago, the study showed that adults who got less than 8 hours of sleep had lower levels of Leptin (hormone that controls hunger) and higher levels of the hormone gherlin and also had higher levels of fat. The participants that slept fewer hours had weighted the most.
Research shows that people who are obese may be more likely to become depressed and vice versa, people who are depressed are more likely to become overweight or obese.
Dangers Of Obesity
Besides the onset of physical medical problems there are many emotional and mental problems associated with obesity.
Being overweight can affect how you feel about yourself, how you see yourself, and how others treat you. Obese 6-9 year olds are 60% more likely to be bullied in school.
Obese and overweight people are often blamed for being lazy or weak-willed. It is not uncommon for overweight or obese people to have lower income or have fewer or no romantic relationships.
How To Lose Weight
You really have to want to change your life style and eating habits. It is not easy at first but there is no need to make drastic changes right away. It is best to take small steps and make small changes. Try to focus long term rather than waiting to see drastic changes on a scale daily.