Obesity and Over-weight: An Introduction

Obesity or over-weight is an increase in body weight for a given age, height, gender, and body composition. In simple terms, obesity is an increase in body weight by 20% or more. Obesity is considered the fastest growing pandemic in the world. Developing countries and developed countries are affected by the ill effects of obesity.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1.9 billion people were over-weight, and 600 million people were obese as of 2014, and the prevalence is still growing. Obesity leads to many complications, including Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Sleep apnea, Stroke, Depression, Anxiety, and many more.

Obesity can be caused by many factors, including diet, lifestyle, medications, and family history. Diet rich in calories, junk food, sugary food, soft drinks, alcohol consumption, and no physical activity contribute to obesity.

All the risk factors can be modified with the help of diet and physical activity. There are various markers of obesity like body weight, BMI (Body Mass Index), Skinfold thickness, Waist circumference, Waist to Hip ratio, Fat per cent and many more. BMI above 24.9 kg/m2 is considered overweight, while BMI above 29.9 kg/m2 is considered obesity. Asians, particularly Indians, are at a greater risk of getting obesity.

Obesity

Obesity can be managed with the help of lifestyle modification, which includes diet therapy and physical exercise. Diet therapy includes taking a calorie-restricted diet derived from complex carbohydrates and proteins.

Though fat is restricted, it is not avoided altogether. The diet to be consumed should be rich in fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and water-soluble (B, and C) Vitamins. A total of 300 Kcal and 500 Kcal are restricted from the recommended dietary intake of females and males. A sedentary female’s normal recommended calorie intake is 1920 Kcal and 2320 Kcal per day.

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The sources of complex carbohydrates include whole fruits with peel, whole grains, whole cereals, whole pulses, and vegetables. The diet should be rich in dietary fibre, which provides early satiety, making the person feel full for a more extended period.

Good sources of proteins like milk, eggs, meat, and fish should be consumed. Fat sources to be consumed include nuts, oilseeds, and egg yolk. Along with the food, a person should drink 3-4 litres of water per day.

Along with diet therapy, a person should engage in physical activity, including walking, jogging, running, playing outdoor sports, or gymming. Every individual should engage in physical activity of at least 30 minutes, five days a week.

It is rightly said that a healthy mind can reside only in a healthy body, so by keeping the above points in mind, a person can keep obesity and its side effects at bay.

The Faculty of Allied Health Science (FAHS) offers 9 UG and 9 PG courses and Ph.D. programmes in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Nutrition & Dietetics and Radio-Imaging Technology. This year we have introduced a new PG course – M.Sc. Biotechnology and Bioinformatics. The Faculty of Allied Health Sciences is committed to providing the highest quality education by strengthening classroom teaching by highly skilled and experienced faculty with hands-on training through clinical postings in our Hospital within the campus with 24×7 working labs equipped with all modern facilities.

Written By:-
Shelly Garg
Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition & Dietetics
Faculty of Allied Health Science
SGT University

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