Obesity and overweight: the risks

Obesity and overweight: the risks

Obesity and being overweight can pose health risks to our lives – here’s what’s important to know.

Obesity and overweight: the risks

When you are obese or overweight

Obestity, overweight and extra pounds in general are, as the website of the Ministry of Health explains , one of the main public health problems: according to official data collected in 2010 by the surveillance system Passi, in Italy 32% of adults are overweight , while 11% are obese.

In most cases, the causes are to be found in incorrect lifestyles and diets , although other contributing causes cannot be excluded, such as health problems, acquired or hereditary hormonal, neuroendocrine or metabolic dysfunctions, sedentary lifestyle, socio-economic environmental factors, cultural and even psychological. 

As well explained by the aforementioned ministerial guidelines, we summarize here the calculation of the BMI body mass index , which defines the conditions of overweight.

The BMI is the numerical value obtained by dividing the weight (expressed in kg) by the square of the height (expressed in meters).

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The definitions of the World Health Organization (WHO) are :

> Overweight = BMI from 25 to 29.99 or higher;
> obesity = BMI equal to or greater than 30.

For individuals under 19 years of age, WHO growth curves and threshold values ​​recommended by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) that take into account age and gender are used for the classification of weight status.

Obesity and health risks

First of all, and fortunately, obesity and overweight are preventable conditions , that is, they can usually and can be remedied.

Secondly, it is important not to underestimate these increasingly growing physical conditions , not only in the Western world, but also in developing countries, as they can be risk factors for various reasons: 

they can trigger chronic diseases , such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, such as ischemic heart disease, or even more serious diseases, such as tumors

they are problematic for other body systems, such as bones or joints,  and aggravate diseases such as arthritis, arthrosis and osteoporosis

> various complications can occur in other organs and systems , such as gallbladder stones, hernias, breathing difficulties

> the onset of social integration difficulties is favored , especially considering the younger age groups, and psychological problems

Obesity and overweight: how to beat them

Obesity can be “central” , that is the one for which we tend to accumulate extra pounds in the upper parts of the body, and is typical of men; or it can be “peripheral” , when the fat ends up in the lower parts, and is more typical of women. 

Obesity is defeated first and foremost at the table , by mending and eliminating bad eating habits, often consisting of foods that are too high in calories, rich in fats and full of refined sugars; but it is also defeated with movement , by doing moderate constant physical activity, including at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day , in fact even a walk is enough.

In some cases, obesity can also be treated through acupuncture. The sure thing is that to lose weight in a healthy way, do-it-yourself is absolutely forbidden: you must contact a good doctor or specialist and seriously monitor the progress of your health path. 

Remember that overweight children have a higher risk of becoming obese adults, so it is important to take action from an early age. 

Useful consultation sites :
>  Ministry of Health ;  
> Veronesi Foundation The ten rules to fight obesity

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