Obesity is a condition where the amount of fat in the body is significantly higher compared to muscle mass. This condition is also referred to as being overweight and can lead to various health problems due to excessive weight.
Defining obesity solely as being overweight would be incomplete. Although the outward manifestation of the condition is often excessive weight, it’s important not to overlook the emergence of various health risks associated with it.
What Are the Symptoms of Obesity?
Symptoms of obesity can vary from person to person. Before discussing these symptoms, the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and obesity needs to be explained. According to international standards, individuals with a BMI of 30 or above are considered obese.
As the BMI increases, the level of obesity also rises. For example, individuals with a BMI between 35 and 39.9 are classified as morbidly obese, while those with a BMI of 40 and above are categorized as super morbidly obese.
The most significant symptom and sign of this condition is excessive weight. In addition to excessive weight, other symptoms that may arise due to obesity include:
Formation of fat around the abdominal region, leading to an increase in waist circumference. One of the major drawbacks of excessive weight is its impact on breathing. It serves as a primary contributor to problems like sleep apnea and snoring. Excessive weight can result in skin folds in specific areas of the body, leading to various skin disorders. Continuous pressure on joints due to excessive weight can manifest as pain. Joints in the knees and hips are particularly affected. There’s an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Obesity can negatively affect individuals’ self-perception, leading to decreased self-esteem. Additionally, psychological issues might arise as a result of this condition. Chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes can develop.
What Causes Obesity?
Obesity is a complex condition with various underlying causes. There are several significant factors contributing to this disease. Common causes of obesity include:
Irregular and unhealthy eating habits are a primary cause of this condition. Consumption of unhealthy and calorie-dense foods, weight gain due to irregular eating habits, can eventually lead to obesity. Adopting a sedentary lifestyle and lacking physical activity increases the risk of weight gain. Having a family history of obesity indicates a genetic predisposition to the disease. Slow metabolism and other metabolic issues are important risk factors. Emotional factors and stress can trigger eating disorders, which can lead to obesity. Changes in hormone levels can negatively affect dietary habits and increase the tendency to gain weight. Certain medications used to treat various illnesses can lead to weight gain and subsequently, obesity.
How Is Obesity Treated?
Various methods are available for treating obesity, with weight loss being the primary goal. The initial approach for weight loss involves diet and exercise.
Diet involves restricting calorie intake, while exercise burns calories. This combination leads to weight loss. It’s important to remember that for weight loss to be permanent and sustainable, lifestyle and dietary habits need to be changed.
Although diet and exercise are the primary treatment options, they might not always be effective. In such cases, considering the individual’s BMI and overall condition, obesity surgery methods can be used. Obesity surgery makes it easier for patients to lose weight.
Different methods are employed in obesity surgery, including sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and gastric balloon.
Sleeve gastrectomy involves removing around 80% of the stomach. This aims to reduce food intake and calorie consumption.
Gastric bypass is a comprehensive procedure that involves both reducing the size of the stomach and bypassing a portion of the small intestine. This results in decreased food consumption and absorption, leading to more effective weight loss.
Gastric balloon involves placing a balloon in the stomach to induce smaller meal portions.
Obesity surgery is widely preferred today. With these procedures and post-surgery diets, it’s possible to permanently overcome obesity.