Obesity: A Global Epidemic

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Last updated on August 11th, 2023 at 07:00 pm

Did you know that obesity is a global epidemic? According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and over 650 million are clinically obese. That's more than one-third of the world's population! This problem isn't just limited to developed countries either – it's a growing issue in developing countries. In this article, we will dive more into Obesity, its causes, and its effects.

Obesity is one of the most severe public health problems across the globe. A healthy weight is essential for overall health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

Obesity affects people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. The good news is that you can do something about it. Following a healthy eating plan and being physically active can help you lose weight and improve your health. 

So what can we do about it?

Let's take a look at some ways to fight obesity, its causes, and its effects.

Obesity Causes And Effects 1

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a complex condition that increases the risk of many diseases and health problems. Heart disease, diabetes (and its complications), high blood pressure, cholesterol level imbalances, and stroke are the most common. These are all due to having an excessive amount of fat cells in your body.

Why is it so hard to lose weight? This could be partly due to inherited, physiological, and environmental factors combined with dietary choices.

You can lose weight and improve your health by following a healthier diet and increasing physical activity. Behavior changes also contribute to success.

Some medications may be required if you're struggling with obesity-related illnesses like diabetes or heart disease.

Obesity Causes And Effects

How to Check Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body size. It compares your weight to height to indicate whether your proportions are appropriate for your frame. This measurement can also suggest possible health risks if these standards are not met.

Body mass index (BMI) is a good indicator of body fat for most people, but it doesn't measure exactly how much you weigh. That's why some athletes can be classified as overweight or obese with high muscle mass even though they don't have excess weight in their stomachs.

Obesity Causes And Effects: Body Mass Index BMI Chart

If you're overweight or obese, your doctor may recommend measuring the circumference of particular body parts, specifically your waistline. Knowing these measurements is essential because weight-related health problems like diabetes are more common in those with large proportions around their midsection.

If you're concerned about your weight or health problems related to obesity, it's essential to talk with a doctor or a dietitian so they may tell you about the causes and their effects. They can assess possible risks and discuss treatment options specific to a patient's situation.

Effects Of Obesity:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Back and joint pain
  • Excessive sweating
  • Intolerance to heat
  • Infections
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Shortness of breath

overweight woman breathing problems

Causes Of Obesity

The body is a living machine; just like any other machine, it needs energy to function and perform. But, when you take in more calories than what's burned through daily activities and exercise, the excess will be stored fat.

People who have high-calorie diets can quickly become overweight or obese. When this happens, it's difficult for the body to regulate how many calories move in and out of your stomach with every meal. This means you might feel hungry sooner after eating than necessary.

It is easy to forget that our daily activities use fewer calories than before. For example, many basic chores and daily activities have been reduced due to modern conveniences like remote controls and escalators.

Women leg standing escalator

Risk Factors Of Obesity

The causes of overweight and obesity include: 

1. Family History And Genetics

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) research has found that overweight and obesity can run in families, so it is possible that our genes or DNA cause these conditions. 

2. Lifestyle

Lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle have been correlated with an increased waistline. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to be physically active and reduce your intake of fatty and processed foods.

3. Certain Diseases and Medications

Obese people are more likely to be diagnosed with an underlying medical condition. This might be due to inactivity or their bodies producing too many hormones. This, in turn, can cause weight gain.

Some medications can lead to weight gain if you don't compensate through diet or activity. These include some antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and diabetes medications such as insulin, steroids, and beta-blockers. Patients need to take these drugs not only to feel better but also to be aware of any possible adverse side effects.

Obesity crisis

4. Age

As you age, hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle increase your risk of obesity. In addition to this, there is usually a decrease in muscle mass that leads to decreased metabolism. This makes losing weight all the more difficult, if not impossible altogether.

5. Social and Economic Issues

The link between social and economic factors and obesity is a difficult one. It may be challenging to exercise if you don't live in an area with safe walking trails. This can also impact your ability to learn healthy cooking methods that can help control weight gain.

6. Unhealthy Eating Behaviors

Bad lifestyle habits often start during childhood. These behaviors include not exercising, regularly overeating sugar, or consuming fast food often.

Woman Refuse Eating Junk Food

Complications From Obesity

Obesity can lead to a variety of different health conditions. These include:

  • Heart Disease

The higher your body mass index (BMI), the greater chance that you will develop fatty deposits on vital organs such as the heart.

The more you weigh, the higher your chances of getting diabetes.

  • Cancer

Visceral fat can be a real problem due to the hormones it releases. This is because visceral adipose tissue affects how insulin and estrogen work in your body.

  • Digestive Problems

It turns out that obesity can cause a whole host of digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, and even stomach or duodenal ulcers.

  • Osteoarthritis

Oversized waistlines can lead to more extended periods without use, which increases the risk that joints will get stiffer than they would otherwise.

  • Severe Covid-19 Symptoms

Obesity is linked to impaired immune function.

Complications of Obesity


It is a well-known fact that obesity from a  lot of causes can harm one's health with its effects. People who are obese may be unable to participate in physical activities they once enjoyed and might even avoid public places. This can lead to isolation from society. Perceived discrimination from others and self-imposed isolation can lead to:

  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Shame and Guilt
  • Social Isolation
  • Lower work achievement

Obesitys Impact on Health

Treatments & Interventions

You may be able to lose weight through healthy eating and being more physically active. Weight-management programs are also helpful in some cases, especially if you're unable or unwilling to lose weight. 

In more extreme cases, you might want to consult with an expert who can provide advice on medical interventions like bariatric surgery as well as treatments such as medical prescriptions (antiobesity), which work by increasing energy expenditure.

Diet modification and exercise are two of the most popular intervention strategies for obesity. Recommendations include cutting down on high sugar or fatty foods and substituting whole grains like brown rice for carbs from processed sources, such as white bread & pasta, which can lead to spikes in glucose.

Diet Woman Measuring Body

Obesity is a global epidemic caused by many factors, including genetics and the environment. A lack of exercise, overeating, consuming foods with high sugar or fat content, and not getting enough sleep at night are also causes of obesity. There is no one way to cure obesity, but steps can be taken to prevent this condition. The first step should be diet modification and increasing your activity level.

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