• Obesity is defined as having too much body fat relative to a person’s height and weight and is estimated to affect one-third of adults in the US.
• Genetics, lifestyle choices and environment can increase an individual’s risk for obesity.
• Mental health can also be affected by obesity, including eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
• Managing obesity requires focusing on nutrition, physical activity, and mental health support.
• Ultimately, it’s important to remember that nobody should feel ashamed for having obese and seek help when needed.
Obesity is a common problem in a country like the United States. It increases the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. It’s estimated that about one-third of adults in the US are obese. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What is Obesity?
First, you need to know that obesity isn’t just about having a few extra pounds. It’s defined as having too much body fat about your height and weight. Generally, it is considered “obese” if a person has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher.
Physical Reasons For Obesity
Obesity can happen to all sorts of people. But it’s more susceptible when they have these risk factors:
One of the significant causes of obesity is genetics. While not everyone with a family history of obesity will become obese themselves, studies have shown that specific genes can increase the risk. These include genes related to appetite control, metabolic rate, fat storage, and hormones that affect hunger and fullness signals. Additionally, it has been found that certain genetic combinations can lead to overeating or an inability to metabolize food properly.
Another major cause of obesity is lifestyle choices. These choices may include eating a diet high in processed foods, overeating food overall, leading sedentary lifestyles (not getting enough exercise), skipping meals or snacks, or not getting enough sleep at night. These things can contribute to weight gain over time if they become habits.
The environment also influences obesity rates by influencing people’s dietary choices and access to physical activity opportunities.
For example, living in neighborhoods without access to healthy foods or safe places for physical activity puts people at higher risk for weight gain because they do not have access to the tools needed for healthy living. Additionally, exposure to marketing messages promoting unhealthy food can make it difficult for people to make healthy choices when presented with various food options.
Mental Effects of Obesity
Obesity can also affect mental health. Here’s what you need to know about that:
Those who have obesity often struggle with an eating disorder. This could be in the form of binge eating or avoiding eating altogether. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder, such as feeling ashamed or guilty after eating or rapidly gaining/losing weight, is essential. If you’re experiencing this, it’s vital to get professional help. Visit a center for eating disorder to get the help you need. They have the knowledge and resources to help you, such as therapy like CBT and nutrition counseling.
Depression and Anxiety
People with obesity are also more likely to have depression and anxiety. This is because being overweight or obese can be seen as a source of shame, guilt, or embarrassment. Those with obesity need help from a professional if they feel their mental health is suffering due to their weight.
Obesity can be managed, and you can make several lifestyle changes to do so. Here are some tips for doing that:
You must focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet. That includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limiting processed foods can also help as these tend to be higher in calories and lower in nutrients than other foods.
Getting regular physical activity is vital in managing weight. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise, such as walking or biking. You can do this in one block or break it up throughout the day.
Mental Health Support
Focusing on your mental health when managing your weight is also essential. Seeing a therapist or counselor can help you learn how to deal with any emotional issues related to your weight. Additionally, it’s crucial to find a supportive network of friends and family who can provide encouragement and help you stay motivated on your journey.
Overall, obesity is a grave health concern in the US and around the world. Understanding what causes it and getting help from professionals can make all the difference in managing your weight and improving your overall health. Nobody should feel ashamed for having obese; it’s about making healthier choices to care for yourself.