Life Style

World Health Day: Keep Lifestyle Diseases Like Hypertension, Diabetes & Obesity At Bay – Here’s To A Happy Life

Obesity is a complex disease associated with an excessive amount of body fat. It is a multifactorial disease with genetic, behavioural, metabolic and hormonal influences on body weight. It occurs when calories consumed are more than calories burnt through exercise and normal daily activities. Body stores these excess calories as fat.

In a small number of cases, medical conditions or certain medications may increase the risk of obesity, while some people may have a genetic risk of becoming obese.

Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic issue. It is a medical condition which increases risk of other illness such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol levels), gallbladder stones, gout, sleep apnoea, osteoarthritis, some types of cancer, among others.

Obesity is measured by calculating body mass index (BMI). To determine BMI, divide weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. The cut offs for obesity are different for Asian Indians.

BMI below 18.5 > Underweight
BMI 18.5-23.0 > Normal
BMI 23.0-24.9 > Overweight
BMI 25.0 and higher > Obesity

Waist size is also important as it measures abdominal fat. A waist circumference greater than 90 cm for men and 80cm for women (Asian Indian) indicates a significant increase in health risk.

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