Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Difference between Obesity and Over weight

Many people tend to think that overweight and obesity are one and the same. They are wrong. While Overweight refers to excess body weight arising from muscle, bone, fat and water, obesity refers to an excess of body fat.Here is an example to clarify this further. An athelete may be looking heavy built and most likely overweight and this is from excess muscle development, and not necessarily be obese.


Obesity used to be a common problem in all developed countries and rarly seen in developing countries. It was the story of the past. An alarming number of people from developing countries have been identified as obese. As a matter of fact, obesity is widely observed across across all races, ages and genders. Adding fule to the fire is the news that, in many developed countries, childhood obesity is a not an uncommon phenomenon anymore.

Several factors that can lead to obesity are genetic, metabolic, behavioural, cultural and socio economic influences. In simpler words, obesity is an imbalance between excessive calorie intake and deficient calorie expenditure. Occasionally, diseases and drugs (contraceptive pill and other steroids) can also lead to weight gain.

Recording one's weight measures excess body fat is a common myth. Body Weight does not reflect body fat. Measurement of body mass index (BMI) by special tables has become the most popular method of assessing obesity. It is also important to note the distribution of fat in the body differs bewtween men and women. While men tend to accumulate fat around the waist, women tend to accumulate fat around the hips. In general, an expanding waistline certainly increases health risks in both men and women.

The following problems have some form of direct or indirect relation to obesity : Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers (E.G. colon, prostate, gall bladder, uterus), liver and gall bladder disease, joint problems, respiratory illnesses and reproductive problems. Therefore obesity is a high risk sickness and linked with death in the adult. In addition, there may be cosmetic, psychological and social problems. The economic consequences of obesity are significant to say the least both to the individual and to society at large.

Owing to the health hazards associated with obesity, weight loss is a must. The formula for successful weight loss in the majority of individuals is to eat and exercise in a healthy fashion. Unplanned and desperate dieting, just for the sake to lose weight within a few days can lead to irreparable consequences. On the positive side, it must be appreciated that losing even a few kg / pounds can have a good impact on one's health profile.

A slow and steady weight loss programme, approved by one's family doctor is the only sensible and sustainable way of shedding weight. Rarely, one's health care provider may advocate more drastic methods such as surgery. Rapid commercial weight loss programmes, fashionable fad diets and the use of "miracle" drugs, herbal or non-herbal, must all be viewed with caution.


Mythreyee said...

Very good information. Keep up the good work.

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

Hey, thanx for the info.... Its indeed useful!!

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