BENGALURU: Obesity is a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems. Obesity and adolescence is not amenable to a single easily modified factor. Biological, cultural and environmental factors such as readily available high-density food choices impact youth-eating behaviours. Media devices and associated screen time makes physical activity a less optimal choice for children and adolescents. Obesity is preventable. Thus, identifying early determinants or ‘warning signs’ of future development of obesity is important.
Markers of obesity
Obesity is a chronic progressive disease that affects the body from head to toe. It can affect joints, limit your mobility, lungs, liver and reproductive health. Intake of excess calories or excess fat consumption and excess carbohydrate in the diet and inadequate physical activity are the main causes of obesity. It is considered a worldwide epidemic and the incidence of obesity among people has increased over the last few years.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the cases have become more evident. When the lockdown was in place, people were restricted from moving out of their homes, the sudden change in lifestyle, lack of physical activities and work from home culture has resulted in many people feeling anxious and depressed which has led to an increase in unhealthy binge eating and indulging in bad habits in many. All these contribute to the development of obesity.
Understanding the ideal body weight
In India, being fat is considered a sign of prosperity and good health in many cultures. But one must understand that in order to be fit, your height and weight should be in proper proportion. Body Mass Index is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. It is used to check if your height matches your body weight. It determines the excess fat in the body and the status of weight in connection with the fat. The number differs for men and women. The calculator is helpful in focusing on the health issues and getting an idea about the body mass. One can calculate the BMI on its own or can do it online. Normal BMI starts from 18.5 kg/metre square to 25 kg/m2. If the number is less than 15 it means you are underweight. 25 to 30 BMI is regarded as overweight and, beyond 30 means you are obese.
(The writer is senior consultant — general, Laparoscopic & Bariatric Surgery, Aster CMI Hospital)