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Are You at Risk for Obesity?

Sept 04, 2018

By: Christine Bermudez

Life Style

According to CNN Philippines, “the world is in the middle of a major obesity epidemic, and current trends indicate that it's only going to get worse.“

A report released by the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition found that similar to the developed world, the prevalence of obesity in ASEAN has been increasing over the last three decades due to fast-rising incomes, rapid urbanization, and even globalization. It also stated that 18 million Filipinos are obese and overweight.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is a calculation that takes a person's weight and height into consideration. However, BMI has some limitations. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the fact that, “Factors such as age, sex, ethnicity, and muscle mass can influence the relationship between BMI and body fat.“

A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Since families share their food and activities together, unhealthy food choices and a sedentary lifestyle at home may result in weight gain or even obesity. This is because people sometimes adapt to the unhealthy lifestyles that they get exposed to.

Physical Inactivity
If a person spends hours sitting down, watching TV and munching on fast food for hours without exercising, this might contribute to weight gain. The amount of energy used in sitting down is not the same as the energy taken from food and drinks. If you ride cars, and use elevators and escalators all the time, you are just putting your energy to rest, which may result in weight gain.

Unhealthy Diet
Obesity doesn't happen overnight. It's a result of poor diet and lifestyle choices. Some of these habits are: (1) eating large amounts of processed or fast food high in fat and sugar, (2) drinking too many sugary and carbonated drinks, (3) drinking too much alcohol, (4) eating larger portions of food than you need, and (4) comfort eating during emotional moments where a person eats to make themselves feel better.

Medical Conditions
Medications such as antidepressants, birth control pills or steroids can greatly affect a person's weight gain. Also, some hormone problems may cause obesity, such as underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), Cushing's syndrome, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

You can prevent weight gain by making good lifestyle choices like maintaining a well-balanced diet meal and exercising regularly (walking, swimming, biking) for 20 to 30 minutes every day. It is important to evaluate your lifestyle choices to reduce the risks of obesity, or manage your weight gain.

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