Obsesity kills

Thu, 12/10/2009 - 00:00
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According to the Philippine Obesity Control Surgery Team, obese people are in a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (a result of a high blood sugar level). Also, obesity can triple the risk of heart disease. One-third of all deaths globally — about 17 million — are blamed on heart disease, stroke and related cardiovascular problems.

Lack of sleep used to be seen as a disorder brought about by stress and environmental factors, but the recent studies have shown that sleeping disorders like sleep apnea can also be caused by obesity. Sleep deprivation can lead one person to have a low energy level which deters them from doing physical activities during the day and ultimately gain more weight. This cycle traps an obese person even more.

There are many reasons why become obese. Among the most common ones are diabetes, thyroid problems, poor diet, insufficient exercise, and heredity. People with a predisposition to gain weight often aggravate their condition by smoking, drinking alcohol, and leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Health experts suggest that if you are obese, one possible solution is to recognize that you have a disease and to avoid habits that aggravate it. Watching television, for instance, is one of the strongest predictors of obesity.

Dr. Ricardo Fernando, a member of the Philippine Society of Hypertension, traced the current problem of obesity in the country to Filipinos’ passion for food, as illustrated by the popularity of ‘eat-all-you-can diners.’ “Everywhere you go, restaurants are offering such promos, probably taking advantage of the Filipinos’ excessive appetite,” he observed.

If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. The tricky part of the equation is that some people metabolize food differently from others. Why this happens is complex and not entirely clear to researchers, who continue to be surprised by each new finding. For instance, one recent study concluded that heavy people actually burn calories faster than underweight people because their metabolism speeds up as they put on pounds, and slows if they try to take them off.

“For obese people, the average-sized meal really isn’t filling,” says The Medical Advisor: The Complete Guide to Alternative and Conventional Treatments. “Not only do these people have more fat cells sending out signals for food, but their faster metabolism burns more calories as well.”

Despite such obstacles, obese person should make every effort to lose weight. If left unchecked, obesity places that person at much greater risk for developing those extremely serious, often life-threatening conditions.

“Be particularly concerned if your body tends to store fat around your waist (most common in men),” advises The Medical Advisor. “Unlike fat around the thighs, which is more common in women and is more likely to serve as an energy reservoir, abdominal deposits deliver fatty acids directly into the bloodstream for immediate short-term energy; doctors remain uncertain why this can prove to be detrimental to your health.”

Beating obesity in the Philippines should be a family affair, according to Dr. Abarquez. By “family affair,” he explains that the whole family must be involved, from parents to the youngest child. The dietary instructions have to be reinforced at home. Health instructions in school would be meaningless if the child goes home with pork chop and pata tim for dinner.

Diet is just one thing. Exercise is another. Experts claim that aerobic exercise is essential to weight loss – even more important than diet. Still, many people don’t know when to exercise to reap maximum benefits. The answer: light exercise after eating.

“A moderate workout after you eat uses just-consumed calories instead of storing them,” explains Dr. Bryant Stamford, director of the Health Promotion Center at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He points out that when you avoid storing calories, you also avoid turning them into fat. He recommends an easy walk or other mild exercise after eating.

However, exercise and strict diet regimes have little or no effect in reducing weight – particularly for morbidly obese people. What would do trick with these kind of people is laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. It is a procedure wherein a gastric band is placed on the stomach pouch to restrict food intake.

The dietary habits are changed after the laparoscopic surgery because it gives the person the feeling of being full even after a light meal. Just a word of warning though: Consult with a doctor first before undergoing any medical procedure to determine if you are a viable candidate for the operation.

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