Obesity- how it affects your health
What is obesity, how it affects your health and how we can help achieve your goals.
Weight is an important measure of overall health, as it affects our body’s ability to function in a healthy way. Obesity occurs when there is excessive body fat that presents a risk to your health. Being overweight or obese is often associated with simply eating too much, but obesity is influenced by many factors including the quality of your diet, physical activity, genetics, health conditions, medications, and underlying emotional problems. Obesity can lead to serious health complications and decrease your overall quality of life.
What is BMI?
Body mass index, or BMI, is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared.
For men and women aged 18 and older, the following ranges define underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese BMI measurements:
Underweight: less than 18.5
Normal weight: 18.5 – 24.9
Overweight: 25.0 – 29.9
Obese: 30 and above
Obesity Trends in Adults
If your BMI is considered overweight or obese, you’re not alone. In the United States, the prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically over the last several decades. The most recent statistics show that approximately 30% of adults are overweight, and approximately 42% of adults are considered obese. The rate of obesity in adults today is 39% higher than rates 20 years ago. This trend may be associated decreasing trends in physical activity, along with increases in the availability of highly processed foods.
Obesity in Children
The prevalence of excess weight in children has also risen over previous decades. Currently, approximately 16% of children are considered overweight, while 19% of children have a BMI that falls within the obese range. As a result of this trend, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are diagnosed at younger rates than previously seen.
Ways to Fight Obesity
Consume more “good” fats.
Not all fat is bad. Consuming more healthy dietary fats can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of obesity. Examples include polyunsaturated fats, such as walnuts, flax seeds, fatty fish (salmon, tuna) and sunflower seeds.
Reduce sugar and processed foods
Processed foods are often high in fat, salt, and sugar. This nutrition composition encourages overeating, leading to an increased risk of obesity. Instead, fill your plate with vegetables and fruit to keep you full and prevent overeating. Aim for five to nine daily servings of fruit and vegetables.
Regular physical exercise is important in preventing or fighting obesity. Participate in 150 mins of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, as well as weight training at least two times each week.
High levels of stress can lead the brain to crave high-calorie and poor nutrient foods. Having a healthy, balanced mind and body is key in fighting obesity. Reduce stress through meditation, journaling, getting plenty of sleeping, yoga, and taking time to spend with family and friends.
Complications of Obesity
Untreated obesity can lead to long-term complications and numerous chronic health conditions including:
Type 2 diabetes, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Heart disease, Stroke, Sleep apnea, Joint pain, Sexual health issues, Depression
How Can We Help?
We offer a comprehensive assessment including screening for weight, BMI, diabetes, high cholesterol thyroid conditions, high blood pressure, and more.
Our treatment plans are customized based on individual needs and we use a variety of approaches including diet/ lifestyle modifications, exercises and medications as needed. Our experts are here to support you in your journey to fight and/or prevent obesity, and live a long, healthy life!