Obesity is a disorder where your body holds an excessive amount of fat. It can lead to long term health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. On top of these health concerns, obesity can influence one’s mental and emotional health.

People with obesity may feel depression, social isolation, guilt or embarrassment, and physical disability. The obesity rate in the UAE is double the world average. A study by the World Health Organization concluded that over 2.1 billion people – close to 30% of the global population are either overweight or obese.

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The UAE’s statistic shown more than 66% of men and 60% of women in the UAE are already overweight or obese according to a global study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

What Causes Obesity?

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Though obesity and being overweight have become common and almost normal in today’s society, do not underestimate it. Obesity is a serious medical concern that can lead to other health problems if you do not address it soon enough.

It is important to understand what causes obesity, how it can be managed, and the necessary actions to take if you feel you may be affected by it.

1.Unhealthy eating habits and inactivity

When you are consuming more calories than your body can burn, you will gain weight. This is also known as a caloric surplus. Unhealthy foods play a large factor in obesity as they are generally calorically dense and don’t provide the best nutrients for a healthy functioning body.

2. Social factors

With the world populations of overweight and obesity statistics on a steady rise, being overweight or ‘fat’ has become more socially acceptable today than it was in the past.

With many fast food restaurants and commercial chains selling junk food, it’s never been easier to eat foods that will make you overweight. By being exposed to junk food, friends and families with poor eating habits, it’s very easy to fall into bad eating and dieting habits that will eventually make you obese.

3. Inactivity

Without physical activity, your body will use the calories consumed and store it as fat as opposed to burning them. Even with a sedentary lifestyle, it’s important to know how much calories you can consume without reaching caloric surplus. The less physical activity in your day will result in less amount of calories you can consume.

4. Genetics

Some people may suffer from hormonal and behavioral complications, therefore influencing their body weight. This, however, is not a direct influence on obesity. Genetics accompanied by poor eating habits and lifestyle habits lead to obesity and/or other health complications.

5. Bad advice

In a day and age where the online resource is everything, most people will search online for dieting tips and the prevention of obesity. The problem here is not everything you read is true and not every advice given to you is good. By following the wrong tips, incorrect or incompatible dieting tips, you may be worsening your condition rather than improving it.

Self-management for Obesity

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Actually, there are things you can do to manage your obesity so it won’t cause more harm to your overall health condition.

1. Caloric Deficit

A caloric deficit is a state where your body burns more calories than it has consumed, resulting in weight loss. For example, If you consume 2000 calories in a day and burn 2500 calories the same day, you would end the day with a 500 calorie deficit. This will result in a drop in body weight.

2. Healthier Food Options

Consuming healthier and nutrient-rich foods will help your body with nutrients that are not commonly found in junk food. Fresh and non-processed foods such as fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are beneficial for your body.

These foods are less calorically dense than processed and unhealthy food options. It means you can eat in larger portions without taking too many calories.

3. Regular Exercise

Physical activity on a consistent basis not only accelerates weight loss but also reduces chances or cardiovascular disease, strengthens bone and muscle while also improving mood and mental health.

Exercise can be as little as 10 minutes a day. The simple act of moving can help burn calories. For those with health concerns, it is recommended to consult a doctor to work out an exercise program that is suitable for you.

Should I Consult a Doctor?

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If you feel symptoms of obesity, it would be wise to consult with your healthcare provider. Symptoms of obesity can be identified by shortness of breath, fatigue, snoring, excessive sweating, abdominal pain and inability to participate in physical activity. Damaged self-esteem and even depression are also common feelings associated with obesity.

If you feel these symptoms are prominent in your life, it’s best to speak about it. The reason why you need to consult with a professional medical practitioner about your obesity is that every person’s body is different and there is no single approach that can improve your condition.

What may work for one person, may not necessarily be the same for you. As obesity is a serious matter, it’s better not to take that risk. Your safest approach is to speak with a professional to tailor a solution that works best for you.

What is Weight Loss Surgery?

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Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery may be an option, but only if you have tried other methods of losing weight to no success. Weight-loss surgery decreases the absorption of food and calories or limits the amount of food you’re able to consume.

Though weight-loss surgery offers the best chance of losing the most weight, there are side effects and risks to consider. You would need to speak with your doctor if this is suitable for you.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.