Am I Fat

An Overview Of Obesity
False Perceptions:-
You may very well not be overweight! Society across the Western World is obsessed with being overweight. There is a marked prevalence for women to perceive themselves as being "fat". (15% less men than women generally consider themselves as being overweight.) Fat tissue is a vital component of the human body. It stores energy, provides thermal insulation and forms a protective layer against damage or impact. The media is constantly driving the "You are fat!!" message across our television screens, computer screens, newspapers and radio programs. Hardly a day goes by without a "lose weight/you are overweight/diet now" message being rammed down our throats. Dieting is a multi million dollar industry. Lady heart
Obesity is defined as excessive body fat usually measured as 30 pounds or more over ideal body weight or a Body Mass Index of 30 or more. Another obesity definition is being 20% over your ideal body weight. These are inherently nebulous statements as each one of us is genetically different and our body structures vary. In excess of 20% of Americans exceed their ideal body weight and by this definition are obese! Prejudice, bias and peer pressure contribute to the misunderstanding of obesity.

Obesity is a listed disease in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9-CM). The ICD-9-CM is published by the World Health Organization and is the definitive compilation of diseases. The United States Public Health Service uses the ICD-9-CM as a reference standard.

Obesity is recognized as a disease by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Social Security Administration.
Obesity Causes:-
In its simplest form, Obesity equates to an excess of caloric intake in relation to the calories used up during any given period. This is a totally simplistic definition. There can be underlying genetic, hormonal, psychological and neurological factors which contribute to the overall obesity problem.
The following are prime obesity candidates:-
  • Inactive individuals.
  • People with a family history of obesity.
  • Chronic dieters. (Studies show that up to 20% of US women are permanently on diet)
  • Bad dieters. (Includes unknowing poor food choice)
  • Junk food addicts.

So what causes obesity?
Metabolic Rate.
Man heart Your metabolism is controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain. Your body is continuously trying to compensate for being overweight or underweight depending on the circumstances it finds itself in. Under "starvation" conditions the metabolism is constantly moving the "goal posts" in an attempt to compensate for fad diets. Metabolism varies from person to person and can be extremely efficient or inefficient. Obese men and women often have lower metabolic needs. When the body's fat percentage increases, the calories burned off often decreases. As body mass increases inactivity tends to increase exacerbating the obesity problem. The closest example is a thermostat in your office which is continuously trying to regulate the room temperature to maintain a comfortable environment! Remember each and every one of you are different. Please consult your family physician or a registered dietitian.
Heredity and Genes:-
Unfortunately your parents may have an effect on obesity. Studies show that if both of your parents are obese, your statistical chance of becoming obese is 80%! If one parent is obese this is reduced to 40% and if both your parents were lean, you have a 10% chance of being obese. Family environment and individual cultures and locations also play a part in contributing to obesity.
Psychological Factors
Stress from peers and in the work place is the biggest culprit. Generally stresses generated trigger a self control imbalance which result in either overeating or overdieting. Psychological factors generally are a small percentage of the basal obesity causes.

"Probably nothing in the world arouses more false hopes than the first four hours of a diet!" - DAN BENNETT

"The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends" - ANONYMOUS

Additional links and reading:-
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