November 26 is observed as Anti-Obesity Day in India and various other parts of the world to spread awareness on measures to control obesity.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines overweight and obesity as ‘the abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’. Obesity is roughly measured by the body mass index (BMI), calculated as the person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in meters). A BMI of 25 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 is obese.
Obesity is a consequence of complex interaction of genetics, diet metabolism and physical activity levels and a major health risk factor for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and even certain cancers.
What affects the weight status and who is affected? Several studies have shown that women tend to put on more weight as compared to that of men. In women, the extra energy (from excess calorie consumption and low level of physical activity) gets converted into fat.
Overweight and obesity is one disorder that is largely preventable. The key is to have an energy balance between calories consumed on one hand and calories expended on the other hand. Not only the calories, but the pattern of food consumption should also be paid attention to. So, avoid fried foods and red meats, and limit eating out.
The WHO recommends the following for energy balance
– Shift from consuming saturated fats to consuming unsaturated fats.
– Increase fruit and vegetable intake.
– Consume plenty of legumes, whole grains and nuts.
-Read food labels
– Limit sugar intake.
-Drink plenty of water
– Boost your levels of physical activity to at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days.
-Cut down on alcohol.
-Reduce fat, be fit, and be healthy!
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