Types of Obesity
It is typically classified into different types or categories based on various factors, including the distribution of body fat, its causes, and associated health risks. The classification of obesity types can help healthcare professionals tailor treatment and intervention strategies. Here are some common types of obesity:
- Visceral Obesity: Visceral fat is fat stored deep within the abdominal cavity around internal organs, such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. This kind of fat has been related to an increased risk of metabolic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Visceral obesity is often characterized by a "beer belly" or "apple-shaped" body.
- Subcutaneous Obesity: Subcutaneous fat is located just beneath the skin. This form of fat is less metabolically active than visceral fat and is typically associated with a "pear-shaped" body. While excess subcutaneous fat can contribute to obesity, it may be less strongly linked to certain health risks compared to visceral fat.
- Android Obesity: Android obesity is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the abdominal area, resulting in an "apple-shaped" body. This type of obesity is more commonly seen in men and is associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease.
- Gynoid Obesity: Gynoid obesity is characterized by the fat accumulation in the hips and thighs, resulting in a "pear-shaped" body. This type of obesity is more commonly seen in women. While it may be less strongly associated with certain health risks compared to android obesity, it can still contribute to obesity-related health issues.
- Endogenous Obesity: Endogenous obesity refers to obesity that is primarily driven by internal factors such as genetics, hormonal imbalances, or metabolic disorders. This type of obesity may be challenging to manage through lifestyle changes alone and may require specialized medical care.
- Exogenous Obesity: Exogenous obesity results from external factors such as overeating, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor dietary choices. It is often associated with an excessive calorie intake and lack of physical activity.
- Childhood Obesity: Obesity that occurs in children and adolescents is referred to as childhood obesity. It can have serious health consequences and may persist into adulthood if not addressed. Childhood obesity is often linked to poor diet, lack of physical activity, and genetics.
- Morbid Obesity: Morbid obesity is a severe form of obesity characterized by a BMI of 40 or higher. It is associated with a significantly increased risk of obesity-related health issues and may be an indication for bariatric surgery in some cases.
It's important to recognize that these types of obesity are not mutually exclusive, and individuals may exhibit a combination of features. Obesity is a complex condition influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Effective obesity management typically involves addressing the underlying causes and tailoring treatment to the individual's specific needs and risk factors. Healthcare professionals can provide guidance on the most appropriate approach to managing obesity based on an individual's unique circumstances.
Symptoms in Adults
Some of the most prevalent signs and symptoms can have a detrimental impact on one's life. Adults commonly experience the following symptoms:
- Excessive body fat accumulation
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble while sleeping
- Skin problems
- Inability in performing some physical
- Psychological impact
Symptom of Children and Adolescents
- Eating disorders
- Fatty tissue deposits
- Stretch marks on hips and back
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep apnea
- GI reflux
- Orthopedic problem
When to see a doctor?
You should see a doctor if you have concerns about your weight, experience obesity-related health issues, or need guidance on weight management.
Causes of Obesity
Eating more calories than you burn in daily activity and long-term exercise can lead to obesity. These excess calories, over time, contribute to weight gain. Common specific causes of obesity include:
- Genetics, which can affect the way your body processes food into energy and how fat is stored
- Getting older, which can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight
- Not getting enough sleep, which can lead to hormonal changes that make you feel hungrier and crave certain high-calorie foods
- Pregnancy, as weight gain during pregnancy, can be difficult to lose and can eventually lead to obesity
But it's not always just about eating and eliminating calories or having a sedentary lifestyle. While those are causes of obesity, some causes cannot be controlled. Certain health conditions can also lead to weight gain, which can lead to obesity. It includes:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome : Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes an imbalance of female reproductive hormones.
- Prader-Willi syndrome : A rare condition present at birth that causes excessive hunger.
- Cushing's syndrome : A condition caused by having high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your system.
- Hypothyroidism : Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough important hormones
- Osteoarthritis : Osteoarthritis (OA) and other pain, causing conditions that can lead to reduced activity
A complex combination of factors can increase a person's risk of obesity.
Many individuals have genetics that makes losing weight impossible for them.
Environment and community:
Your environment at home, at school, and in your community can influence how and what you eat, and how active you are. You may be at increased risk for obesity if:
- Live in a neighborhood with limited healthy food options or with
- High-calorie food options, such as fast-food restaurants
- I have not yet learned to cook healthy meals
- Don't think you can afford healthier food
- You don't have a good place to play, walk, or exercise in your neighborhood
Psychological and other factors:
- Depression may lead to weight gain often, as some people can resort to emotional comfort food. The risk of weight gain can also be raised by such antidepressants.
- Quitting smoking is always a good thing, but quitting smoking can also lead to weight gain. In some people, it can lead to weight gain. For that reason, it is important to focus on diet and exercise while you quit smoking, at least after the initial period of abstinence.
- Medications can also increase the chance of weight gains, such as steroids or birth control pills.
Complications of Obesity:
Obesity has been linked to several health complications, some of which can be life-threatening if left untreated:
BMI is a rough estimate of a person's weight to their height.
Other more precise body fat and body fat distribution indicators include:
- Skinfold thickness testing
- Waist-to-hip comparisons
- Screening tests, such as ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs
Your physician can even prescribe such scans to help diagnose health hazards associated with obesity. These may include:
- Blood tests to check cholesterol and glucose levels
- Liver function tests
- A diabetes screening test
- Thyroid tests
- Heart tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
- A measurement of the fat around your waist is also a good indicator of your risk for obesity-related diseases
To calculate your BMI
Calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index), use the following formula:
BMI = weight (kg) / (height (m) * height (m))
Here's a step-by-step guide:
Measure Your Weight: Weigh yourself in kilograms (kg).
Measure Your Height: Measure your height in meters (m).
Calculate Your BMI: Divide your weight (in kg) by the square of your height (in meters).
For example, if you weigh 70 kg and your height is 1.75 meters:
BMI = 70 / (1.75 * 1.75) = 70 / 3.0625 = 22.86 (approximately)
Your BMI is approximately 22.86 in this example. This value falls into the "Normal Weight" category, as per the typical BMI classifications.
|18.5 – 24.9
|25.0 – 29.9
|30.0 – 39.9
For a doctor to diagnose obesity in a child above the age of 2 or a teen, their BMI must be in the 95th percentile for persons their age and biological sex:
|Percentile of BMI
|5% to 85%
|85% to 95%
|95% or over
Too often, obesity leads to heavy dieting, hoping to reach "ideal body weight." A certain amount of weight loss can be achieved, but the weight loss usually comes back quickly. Within five years, most individuals who lose weight regain weight. More effective and lasting treatment for obesity must be found.
We need to learn more about the causes of obesity, and then we need to change the way we treat it. When obesity is accepted as a chronic disease, it will be treated like other chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure. Obesity treatment cannot be a short-term "solution", but must be an ongoing, lifelong process.
Your doctor may also want to work with you as part of a team to help you lose weight. That team could include a dietitian, therapist, or other health care staff.
Some of the specific treatments of obesity that will help are:
- Healthy eating plan and regular physical activity
- Changing the habits
- WeightManagement programs
- Weight-loss drugs
- Bariatric surgery
- Special diets
You may take actions to avoid harmful weight growth and related health problems whether you're at risk of obesity, currently overweight, or at a healthy weight. Preventing weight gain is similar to preventing weight loss: daily activity, a nutritious diet, and a long-term commitment to watch what you eat and drink.
- Regular Exercise: To avoid weight gain, you should get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity movement every week. Fast walking and swimming are examples of moderately demanding physical activity.
- Follow a Healthy Diet: Low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, should be prioritized. Limit your intake of saturated fat and sweets, as well as alcohol.
- Keep Track of Your Weight: People who weigh themselves at least once a week have a better chance of losing weight. Monitoring your weight can tell you if your efforts are paying off and can help you see little weight gain before it becomes a major issue.
Do’s and Don’ts
Dos for Obesity:
- Consult a Healthcare Professional: Do seek guidance from a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian before starting any weight management plan.
- Set Realistic Goals: Do set achievable and realistic weight loss goals. Aim for gradual, steady progress rather than rapid weight loss.
- Adopt a Balanced Diet: Do focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Portion control is important.
- Regular Physical Activity: Do engage in regular physical activity that you enjoy. Aim for a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training.
- Stay Hydrated: Do drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Sometimes, thirst can be mistaken for hunger.
- Monitor Food Intake: Do keep a food diary to track your eating habits and identify areas for improvement.
- Get Adequate Sleep: Do prioritize getting enough sleep, as sleep plays a role in regulating appetite and metabolism.
- Seek Support: Do consider joining a support group or working with a therapist or counselor to address emotional eating and behavior modification.
Don'ts for Obesity:
- Don't Skip Meals: Don't skip meals, as this can lead to overeating later in the day. Aim for regular, balanced meals and snacks.
- Avoid Extreme Diets: Don't engage in extreme or crash diets, as they are often unsustainable and can be harmful to your health.
- Limit Processed Foods: Don't consume excessive amounts of processed and high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, such as sugary snacks, sodas, and fast food.
- Avoid Liquid Calories: Don't consume too many sugary or high-calorie beverages, including sugary drinks and excessive alcohol.
- Avoid Excessive Restriction: Don't excessively restrict yourself, as it can lead to feelings of deprivation and make it harder to maintain healthy eating habits.
- Don't Rely Solely on Supplements: Don't rely solely on weight loss supplements or pills without consulting a healthcare professional.
- Avoid Sedentary Lifestyle: Don't lead a sedentary lifestyle. Try to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
- Don't Neglect Emotional Well-Being: Don't neglect your emotional well-being. Address stress and emotional eating through healthy coping strategies and seeking support if needed.
Add tomatoes, carrots, and dark leafy vegetables to your daily diet and keep your stomach full throughout the day. These vegetables have low-calorie content and are healthy for your health.Green tea is one of the most effective remedies for weight loss. Include 2-3 cups of green tea to reduce obesity in your everyday routine.Many of us avoid exercising daily. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity or being overweight. However, exercise helps burn extra body fat and keeps you healthy. So, it's time to exercise daily.Make a mixture of 1 teaspoon of honey and lemon juice in a glass of warm water and drink this mixture every day in the morning.Mint leaves are very useful for weight loss. Add them to your daily diet as peppermint tea. You can also chew them after meals.Apple cider vinegar is very effective in breaking down body fat. Make a mixture of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink it every day on an empty stomach.
Obesity Care at Medicover Hospitals
Medicover Hospitals provide comprehensive obesity care services, including personalized weight management plans, bariatric surgery options, and access to experienced healthcare professionals specializing in obesity management. With state-of-the-art facilities and a patient-centered approach, Medicover Hospitals aim to support individuals in their journey towards achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.