WHAT IS OBESITY?

Obesity is a serious condition which is characterized with weight gain or with an increased amount of the fat tissue. It occurs when energy intake exceeds energy expenditure over the long-term. As a result, the fat tissue accumulates and weight goes up. However, excessive energy intake is not the only factor contributing to the development of obesity. The main cause of obesity is the combination of life style (approx. 50 %) and genetic predisposition. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are becoming lifelong diseases not only in developed countries; some scientists even speak about obesity pandemics. It is mainly Western Europe and North America where a number of obese children is on the increase. All over the world there are over 1 billion overweight people, of whom 300 million are obese.
Obesity is usually determined by reference to a Body Mass Index. BMI values greater than 25 are overweight. An individual is considered obese if his BMI exceeds 30. However, if BMI is accompanied with other risk factors, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity is diagnosed already at a BMI of 28.

CAUSES OF OBESITY

Causes: In addition to excess intake of food and drinks, there appears another factor which contributes to the obesity issue. It is a general tendency towards reduced physical exercise and activities. Unbalanced energy intake and expenditure, inappropriate diet, genetic predispositions and other factors, such as hormonal effects, including but not limited to hypothyroidism and increased level of adrenal gland hormones.

SOLUTIONS TO OBESITY

Solutions to obesity consist in motivating obese people to reduce their weight as well as in preventive measures that should keep number of obese individual from growing any further. People should have a varied diet rich in vegetables and fruit. Highly important are quality sources of proteins which are found in fish meat and poultry, legumes, and cereals. Furthermore, animal fats and oils should be replaced with vegetable ones and consumption of red meats should be reduced. Special attention should be paid to regular meals; i.e. to having 5 to 6 appropriate portions a day. Overeating should be avoided and enough liquids should be drunk. However, healthy weight cannot be achieved only with reasonable consumption of quality foodstuffs. Sufficient physical activities are absolutely necessary as well.