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Obesity and its consequences

Obesity and its consequences

Many studies suggest that obesity is a key factor in the developing heart disease and, specifically, heart attack. Nowadays it is proved that obesity has an aggravating effect on atherosclerosis. This is especially true when the body fat distribution is located in the mid-section of the body.

While obesity can have some genetic factors in many cases it could be prevented or reserved with a little effort. Obesity often begins in childhood and is frequently correlated with dietary factors such as poor eating habits, high sugar intake (e.g. candy, softdrinks) and high fat diet (e.g. fast food). There are other factors involved as well, such as insufficient exercise, stress and family history.

To determine whether a person is overweight or suffers from obesity, you can check his or her Body Mass Index. BMI is a measure of weight proportionate to height. BMI is considered a useful measurement of the amount of body fat. Occasionally, some very muscular people may have a BMI in the overweight range. However, these people are not considered overweight because muscle tissue weighs more than fat tissue. Generally, BMI can be considered an effective way to evaluate whether a person is overweight or obese.

You can calculate your BMI by the following formula:

BMI=weight in kilogram / (body height in meters)²

For men a normal BMI is between 20 and 25 - for women it should be between 19 and 24.

In many ways, obesity is a puzzling disease. How the body regulates weight and body fat is not well understood. On one hand, the cause appears to be simple in that if a person consumes more calories than he or she expends as energy, then he or she will automatically gain weight. However, the risk factors that determine obesity can be a complex combination of genetics, socioeconomic factors, metabolic factors, and lifestyle choices, as well as other factors. Some endocrine disorders, diseases, and medications may also exert a powerful influence on a person's weight.

Treatment for obesity may include a combination of diet, exercise, behavior modification, and sometimes weight-loss drugs. A combination of diet and physical activity is probably more effective in sustaining weight loss than diet or exercise alone in adults. The type of physical activity does not seem important.