What is‘overweight’?

Obesity has become a common problem in the present day scenario. Irrespective of age, social status or gender it can happen to anybody.

The World Health Organization definition is:- “Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A crude population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in metres). A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight”.


Facts about overweight and obesity

Some recent WHO global estimates follow :-
• In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these over 650 million adults were obese.
• In 2016, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over (39% of men and 40% of women) were overweight.
• Overall, about 13% of the world’s adult population (11% of men and 15% of women) were obese in 2016.
• The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016.
• Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
• The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from just 4% in 1975 to just over 18% in 2016. The rise has occurred similarly among both boys and girls: in 2016 18% of girls and 19% of boys were overweight.
• While just under 1% of children and adolescents aged 5-19 were obese in 1975, more 124 million children and adolescents (6% of girls and 8% of boys) were obese in 2016.
• Children who have obesity are more likely to become adults with obesity. Adult obesity is associated with increased risk of several serious health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. If children have obesity, their obesity and disease risk factors in adulthood are likely to be more severe.
• Overweight and obesity are linked to more deaths worldwide than underweight. Globally there are more people who are obese than underweight – this occurs in every region except parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

For adults, WHO defines overweight and obesity as follows :-
• overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25; and
• obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
• Underweight is a BMI less than 18.5.

BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight and obesity as it is the same for both sexes and for all ages of adults. However, it should be considered a rough guide because it may not correspond to the same degree of fatness in different individuals.


What causes obesity and overweight?

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended, however other factors also need to be taken into consideration. Globally, there has been:

an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars; and an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
However, individual causes may also include:

• Eating disorders especially due to the pattern of binge eating or compulsive eating disorder
• Reduced basal metabolic rate
• Problems related to endocrine glands like adrenals, thyroid, etc
• Conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome
• Intake of excessive alcohol
• Emotional or physical injury
• Genetic predisposition to overweight

Changes in dietary and physical activity patterns are often the result of environmental and societal changes associated with development and lack of supportive policies in sectors such as health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, environment, food processing, distribution, marketing, and education.


What are common health consequences of overweight and obesity?

Raised BMI is a major risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as:

• cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke), which were the leading cause of death in 2012
• diabetes
• musculoskeletal disorders (especially osteoarthritis – a highly disabling degenerative disease of the joints)
• some cancers (including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon)
• Sleeping disorders including insomnia and sleep apnea
• Psychological disorders like chronic depression
• Hypertension
• High cholesterol
• Bloating and acid reflux
• Difficulty breathing and asthma
• Skin problems and infection

The risk for these noncommunicable diseases increases, with increases in BMI.

Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. But in addition to increased future risks, obese children experience breathing difficulties, increased risk of fractures, hypertension, early markers of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects


The Standard American Diet is Even Sadder Than We Thought

(By Forks Over Knives, May 23, 2016) Although we are one of the most prosperous countries on earth, we die sooner and experience higher rates of disease than other developed nations. We use the phrase “standard American diet” to describe the stereotypical diet of Americans. But what does the standard American diet actually look like? In the video below, Rip Esselstyn breaks it down for us.


What is the Standard American Diet?

63% of America’s calories come from refined and processed foods (e.g. soft drinks, packaged snacks like potato chips, packaged desserts, etc.)
25% of America’s calories come from animal-based foods
12% of America’s calories come from plant-based foods
Unfortunately, half of the plant-based calories (6%) come from french fries. That means only 6% of America’s calories are coming from health-promoting fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
There’s a good reason we abbreviate to S.A.D! The standard American diet leads to standard American diseases that lead to standard American deaths.


How can overweight and obesity be reduced?

Overweight and obesity, as well as their related noncommunicable diseases, are largely preventable. Supportive environments and communities are fundamental in shaping people’s choices, by making the choice of healthier foods and regular physical activity the easiest choice (the choice that is the most accessible, available and affordable), and therefore preventing overweight and obesity.


At the individual level, people can:

• limit energy intake from total fats and sugars;
• increase consumption of unprocessed fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts; and
• engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults).
• Address emotional motivators that lead to poor food choices and difficulty regulating quantity and type of food consumed

Hypnosis and Health and Wellness Coaching to support you as your change your lifestyle

Big Horn Wellness can work with you to address your health and weight issues through supporting you to develop the healthy program that best suits your personal, individual objectives and lifestyle. With the added benefit of our ability to use hypnosis to help to identify and address any past experiencesthat may have contributed to your weight gain, hypnosis can also assist you to stick to your chosen diet.
In our lives we can encounter so many difficulties that may confuse, disrupt and undermine our sense of who we are and what we are worth. The difficulties of our past belong in the past, unable to affect our present day and future health and happiness. Big Horn Wellness is here to help you live your best life. Call us to arrange a no cost, no obligation, confidential initial consultation.