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Obesity: What Is It & What Are the Warning Signs?

Be careful and recognise the early signs of obesity to avoid the risk of serious health diseases.

Published
Health News
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Obesity may affect a person's quality of life and also lead to psychological issues.</p></div>
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Obesity is a medical condition due to abnormal or excess accumulation of fat which has a negative impact on a person's body. A person who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 Kg or more per square metre is said to be obese.

BMI, is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his/her height in meters.

Obesity may affect a person's quality of life and also lead to psychological issues.

Obesity is more common in women than men, and is also rising among children. But it is a common preventable cause of death across the world.

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What Causes Obesity?

According to the 2015 estimates, there were 600 million adults and 100 million children suffering from obesity in 195 countries.

The common causes include:

  • inactivity

  • poor eating habits

  • lack of sleep

  • genetics

Signs & Symptoms of Obesity

  • Back Ache

The excess weight of the body puts an undue stress on the pelvis, back and spine which triggers the chronic back pain in obese people.

1 out of 3 people are obese in the world and 80 to 90 percent experience back pain in their lifetime.

  • Skin problems

Obesity causes the accumulation of adipose tissue or fats which can cause roughness, dryness, and the common skin barrier and moisturising functions of the skin are hindered.

Skin coloration, redness of face due to the inflammation are also seen in obese women.

Then there are cases of skin ulcers in the lower part of the leg which become resistant to medication due to diabetes.

According Dr. Christian Baum, a Mayo clinic dermatologist hidradenitis is also a common result of obesity in which the skin folds and the condition is aggravated by depth and the number of folds increases due to gain in weight.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Obesity causes various skin diseases</p></div>

Obesity causes various skin diseases

(Photo: iStock)
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  • Knee pain

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Obesity may worsen knee arthritis</p></div>

Obesity may worsen knee arthritis

Obesity can cause knee aches or knee arthritis. The overweight worsens knee aches.

The more the weight, the more the load on the knees, causing more pain. It is always better to keep the weight in check to avoid arthritis or worsening any pre-existing condition.

  • Snoring

According to the studies of National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH), obese people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea which might lead to snoring and difficulty in breathing during sleep.

Sleep apnea can deprive you of sound sleep, making you feel tired during the day, also cause other health problems.

A person with severe sleep apnea has higher risk of diabetes and heart attacks.

  • Fatigue

Obese people tend to have disturbed sleep which makes them feel sleepy and tired during the day.

Obstructive sleep and hyperventilation syndrome at night can cause fatigue.

  • Intolerance to Heat

People who might be obese find it difficult to stay in an hot environment for long. They tend to feel abnormally hot in the environment with rising temperature, accompanied by excessive sweating.

They might feel hot even when others are comfortable or even cold. This condition might lead to vomiting, nausea, dizziness, mood swings and fatigue.

  • Breathing disorders

A sleep study is one of key ways to diagnose if a person suffers from obesity hypoventilation syndrome.

According to Dr. Shivani Swami, a consultant in respiratory and sleep medicine, obesity hypoventilation syndrome is a breathing disorder that affects some people who have been diagnosed with obesity. The syndrome causes you to have too much carbon dioxide and too little oxygen in your blood.

Extra fat on your neck or chest or across your abdomen can make it difficult to breathe deeply and may produce hormones that affect your body’s breathing patterns.

  • Psychological Impact

According to Wendy Walsh, a clinical psychologist, obesity impacts the quality of life, with many sufferers experiencing increased stigma and discrimination because of their weight.

They might start isolating themselves and can also lead to anxiety and depression.

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