Am I Overweight?
In modern day society, unfortunately, a list of serious problems persists, and others emerge. Although we are already developed beyond our imagination, we keep on struggling with simple things, such as our looks, our weight, what others think of us, and all sorts of things around this. It is possible to identify these issues as being “symptoms” of being overweight. Symptoms is in quotation marks because these are only conditions that can be associated to excess weight, the real symptoms of it are something far more dangerous. But before we go into that, we’ll just start from the beginning.
-What is overweight?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the definition of overweight is: “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health”. This definition, by itself, doesn’t really say much about what overweight means, but at the same time, it does. Overweight means that, when the accumulation of fat in our body is excessive, it starts posing a threat to our general health, ultimately making it something dangerous. Overweight is a common condition in areas where the food supplies are abundant, and where the lifestyles are sedentary. The child’s best interests should always be taken into consideration before anything else.
A healthy body requires fat, this is obvious, for the proper functioning of hormonal, immune and reproductive systems, for shock absorption, and for energy. There is such a thing as underweight, which is also unhealthy and dangerous (with diseases such as bulimia and anorexia associated to it). The accumulation of large amounts of fat, however, will lead to loss of flexibility, movement, overall physical condition, and will take a toll on the appearance of the body. Ultimately, these changes can and probably will lead to several other overweight problems.
According to the latest study conducted by the World Health Organization, the Global Burden of Disease Study in 2013, excess weight has reached the proportions of an epidemic worldwide, with more than 2 billion adults being overweight in
the year the study was conducted (2013), this is almost 30 percent of the entire population of Earth. The study also showed that the numbers have been increasing across all age groups.
-The risks of being overweight
Being overweight, unfortunately, carries a lot of risks with the title, and it’s not something that merely damages people on an emotional and psychological level, but it carries serious health hazards that need to be considered. The type of health hazards that can come from excess weight are many: diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, liver disease, kidney disease and it can even convey problems with pregnancy. While some of these are scarier than others, they are all dangerous, and should all be avoided at all costs.
It is generally accepted that the risks of being overweight and the risks of obesity are the same, except that when it comes to obesity, things are taken into a whole new level, however, from a healthy weight to overweight, the risks of death increase from 20 to 40 percent, and at the age of 40, it is generally accepted that overweight removes at least three years out of life expectancy.
Regarding type 2 diabetes, 80 percent of people that suffer from the disease are overweight or obese. It is unclear why overweight and obese people are so much more likelier to contract the condition, opposed to “normal, healthy” people who are not very likely to do so. It is, however, believed that overweight makes cells change, giving them greater resistance to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that carries sugar from blood to the cells, meaning that, if an individual is resistant to insulin, his blood will end up with high sugar, causing insulin producing cells to work extra hard, ultimately leading to cell failure. Losing weight and exercising regularly will help control blood sugar levels and help prevent other serious medical conditions that could “tag along” with type 2 diabetes.
While there is a worst scenario than overweight, it is still not an ideal one to be at, and proper measures should be taken against these health hazards. These hazards should be attacked, damaged and eliminated, before they do the same with people with excess body fat.
-How to know if you’r overweight
With serious health issues associated to excess weight, the question should always be asked “Am I overweight?”. Although people assume that overweight only has an effect on “fat people” this is clearly not true, and individuals that physically look perfectly normal and attractive may just be overweight, depending on their height, and their actual weight. So the question is how do I know I’m overweight?
There is, however, a way to determine whether or not an individual is overweight. This method consists of calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI) in order to determine whether or not the individual is overweight based on his results. The only information required for this calculation is the weight and height of the individual. From the scores achieved, underweight is from 18,5 and below; normal weight is between 18,5 and 24,9; overweight is between 25 and 29,9; and from 30 up, the individual is considered obese.
There are also BMI charts available out there that can easily be consulted for information regarding weight and well-being in an individual. These charts usually cover more than two units of measurement.
The waist size should also be considered as a way to detect whether or not an individual is overweight. Having too much fat around the waist increases health risks greater than any other area. Men should not have a waist bigger than 40 (1 meter) inches, and women should not have a waist bigger than 35 (90 centimeters) inches, or they will have increased chances of developing heart diseases related to obesity and overweight.
-Social impact of being overweight
A noticeably overweight individual will clearly have a huge disadvantage regarding other “normal” individuals. Because they have excess weight, they are usually considered lazy, mentally inadequate and end up being judged based on false knowledge. There are a lot of reasons why an individual can end up being overweight, but there are, however, no real reasons for him to be picked on based on that.
When it comes to teenagers and children, overweight is one of the main reasons why bullying occurs. Usually, teenagers and children deemed “fat” (even if they are not) will suffer so much criticisms and end up being the target to so much verbal abuse, that they might end up developing serious health issues within the near future, either as overweight or underweight individuals.
With adults, the bullying continues, but surprisingly, not in the same way. Usually, the adult cases are mostly related to women, and it is usually overweight women who bully on thinner women for following social dogma.
-Being overweight and pregnant
Being overweight and pregnant can carry serious risks, both for the mother and the baby, and any women with a sexually active life and a stable situation that considers getting pregnant should always ask herself first: “Am I overweight?”. If the answer is anything but a no (a real no, not a lie) than the women should make a workout plan along with a nutritional plan in order to live a healthier lifestyle and provide a safer opportunity for her baby to be born.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, overweight women deal with bigger chances of miscarriages, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and hypertension. Due to all of these issues, women with excess body fat usually end up requiring a cesarean delivery in order to avoid further complications – such as the mother’s blood pressure rising during delivery, causing her to suffer a stroke which would take away the blood supply from the baby.
Gestational diabetes will give women a small example of what it feels like to live with diabetes, to deal with the disease, having to constantly monitor the sugar in the blood, and to have a series of other medical conditions possibly incoming as a side effect. After dealing with the condition, a lot of women understand the serious consequences of being overweight, and end up eating in a healthy manner, working out, and making changes in their lifestyle in order to improve their condition.
-Fighting overweight and obesity
Overweight has become such a widespread problem that it effects almost 30 percent of the world’s population (as said above), and this problem has reach epidemic proportions, so it needs to be dealt with, and any possible help in dealing with the problem is absolutely required and, in fact, almost mandatory. It is a moral duty for everyone to help fight obesity, as it is a moral duty to help fight hunger and thirst. Whether or not you begin with yourself, or if you try to help others, every bit of help counts, and should never be overlooked.
As far as parents go, in order to help their children achieve a healthy weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, the first step any parent should take is to keep children active, give them chances to exercise, sign them up for a football team, challenge them for a race, teach them fun exercises, teach them to skip rope, and so on. As far as children are active on their own initiative, they will surely play, on their own, a crucial role in their own road to success. However, the work of a parent is not yet completed, and besides encouraging their children to exercise regularly, they should also encourage healthy eating habits such as: not eating too much per meal, not eating too much junk food as well as not eating it on a regular basis, eating a good, healthy amount of vegetables and fruit, encourage heavy consumption of water, and limiting the amount of sugar intake that children can have. Although individually these are simple, small steps, when applied together, they will play a crucial role in fighting overweight and obesity.
The biggest and strongest weapon that can be used against excess weight is information. If people are informed and educated about the condition that excess body fat will get them to, they will surely want to avoid it at all costs, even if it means that they have to go out jogging, eat some fruit, and avoid eating a lot of cake. It is pretty obvious that people who can identify themselves with the health conditions and the social discrimination, will surely attempt to avoid further embarrassment and pain, and will end up trying to inform others about what they went through, how hard it was, and how things need to change.
Every individual, whether considered thin or fat, should ask himself the key question: “Am I overweight?”, and after asking the question, said individual should attempt to get an informed answer, and act accordingly, either by fighting the problem within himself, or by fighting the problem alongside others. It is true that our requirement for abundance has left us in need, and with the development of junk food and overall sugary products, new problems have arised within our society. Now, and as a whole, we should help each other fighting excess weight.
Being overweight carries a series of negative conditions that will have a negative impact on the health of an individual, as well as a negative impact on the physical and psychological well-being of said individual. Usually, people consider that someone who is overweight has to overcome the issue on his own, with his own strength and determination, and that nothing they can do will help them deal with their issue. This is completely false, since someone who is fighting for improvement (either improvement in their lifestyle or in the way they perceive themselves) always needs the support of others around him, and the support of people they love.
With proper support, with informed masses and defined goals, it is possible to, at least, reduce the crazy numbers that overweight and obesity have reached, and it is possible to completely eradicate the problem from our society. It’s all about mind over matter.