Q1. What do you mean by Overweight or Obesity?
Ans. Body weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height is known as overweight or obesity. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight – for- height, commonly used to determine overweight and obesity in adults.
A BMI greater than 24.99 is considered as overweight and anything more than that
comes under the category of obese. A BMI of 25.00-29.99 is considered as pre-obese.
Obesity has three more class divisions:
Obese Class I (BMI 30.00-34.99)
Obese Class II (BMI 35.0-39.99)
Obese Class III (BMI > 40.00)
Q2. How does one get overweight and obese. Is it hereditary?
Ans. The major cause of becoming overweight is due to energy imbalance. Ideally, the amount of energy we intake daily should be equal to the amount of energy we burn. Energy intake means the energy we get from our food and drinks.The energy which our body utilizes to maintain internal body functions like breathing, digesting and being physically active is considered as energy burned.
When our energy intake is more than we actually burn in a day, our body starts storing this extra energy as fat. Over time, if this energy imbalance continues to happen, we become overweight and gradually turn into obese.
Yes, heredity plays a greater role in determining an individual’s chances of being overweight. Overweight and obesity tend to run in families. Your chances of being overweight are greater if one or both of your parents are overweight or obese.
But, obesity can be avoided by these individuals if they adopt healthy eating choices and become physically active.
Q3. What is the impact of being over weight and obese?
Ans. Being Overweight or Obese has serious imact on health. Overweight or obese people are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions especially Coronary Heart Disease(CHD). CHD is a condition in which plaque(a waxy substance) builds up inside the coronary arteries, hindering there function of supplying oxygenated blood to the heart. Plaque can narrow or even block the coronary arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart muscle.This can cause a heart attack.
Obesity can also lead to heart failure, a condition in which your heart cannot pump enough blood to fulfill your body’s need.
Other medical issues which may arise due to obesity are:
High Blood Pressure, Stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Cancer,
Osteoartheritis, Sleep Apnea, Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome, Reproductive Problems, Gallstones.
Q4. How does one reduce weight ?
Ans. Before we discuss the methods of loosing weight, we must understand that every individual is different. Each of us are unique with unique body composition. Food also impacts each of us differently. Example, our tastes are different, some are allergic to some specific foods where as some are not. Even some of us are not impacted by fatty food to the same extent as compared to some others, as the metabolism of the first group could be very high as compared to the second group of people.
There are general guidelines for weight reduction which are helpful.
Drink 8-10glasses of water every day to avoid dehydration of body. Drinking enough water helps in removing the toxins out of our body.
Walk at least 45 – 60 minutes per day covering at least 4-5 kilometers.
Do not skip meals.
Avoid fatty & fried food.
Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. Eating fast results in overeating.
Weightoss can be achieved by eating our normal day-to-day food of daal, roti, sabji, etc.
Have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Preferable home cooked food.
Occasional indulgence is allowed.
Dinner at least 2 hours before we sleep
Please remember “Weight loss is a function of what we eat and what we burn out”.
By Meenu Agarwal
MSc. Nutrition & Dietetics; Certified in Child Nutrition.