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How to deal with obesity



Obesity: Understanding its causes

Obesity is a common medical condition, which has become of increasing concern especially in industrialized countries where food availability is not a problem. It is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30, due to excessive deposition and storage of body fat. Obesity is different from overweight, although sometimes these terms are used interchangeable. Both conditions are characterized by a body weight higher than ideal. However, unlike obesity, overweight is not necessarily associated with excess body fat, but can also result from excess body water, developed muscles or “heavy” bones.

 Obesity typically results when calorie intake is higher than calorie expenditure. This explains why excess food intake (and especially excessive consumption of high-calorie and high-fat foods) and lack of physical activity are the main factors leading to obesity. More rarely obesity is caused by hormonal imbalances or deficiencies, as it occurs in people with hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome (a hormonal disease resulting from excessive production or use of cortisol, a steroid hormone).

 Although many people look at obesity simply as an aesthetic issue, actually it is primarily a medical issue. In fact, it is well known that obesity is a major risk factor for a variety of medical conditions, including type-2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnoea and certain types of cancer. That is why it is important that obese people lose their excess fat: it has been shown that, by losing only 5 to 10 percent of their weight, obese people can greatly reduce the risk of developing all the above obesity-related diseases.

Treating Obesity*: Options available

 The treatment for obesity is simply weight loss through diet, exercise, prescription medications (such as appetite suppressants) and, in the most severe cases, weight loss surgery. Diet and exercise are always the first choice, due to their safety and long-term effectiveness. In general terms, diet should be low in fat and calories, while providing the necessary amounts of essential nutrients, especially water, vitamins, minerals, as well as essential amino-acids and fatty acids. However people greatly vary in their needs and that is why the specific weight loss diet plan should be always tailored to each individual obese patient. As regards exercise, doctors usually recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, for 5 or more days a week. Just as the weight-loss diet plan, also the exercise program should be planned in consultation with the doctor, according to the specific needs of each individual patient.

 Prescription medications and weight-loss surgery are other treatment options, but they are not curative alone. These methods are intended only as an aid to weight loss and must always be integrated with a proper dietary and exercise plan to be really effective. In addition, due to their potential health risks, weight loss medications and surgery are usually recommended only for people where diet and exercise have failed or for people who are severely obese or have serious obesity-related health conditions.

 We have made available in our resources section some Healthcare tools for your to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) easily with our BMI Calculator.

If you would like to protect yourself or your family from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us for a free quotation; we will help you to choose the most appropriate International Healthcare plan.

 International Health insurance plans is an global Health Insurance broker. We have built excellent relationship with top International Health insurance providers. We offer free advice to choose your personalized Medical insurance over a wide range of International Health Insurance plans. You may also contact us. Our quotation is totally free.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.

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