When a person is obese, it can lead to significant health concerns including diabetes and heart disease. In addition, obesity can negatively impact numerous bodily processes, including joint mobility, breathing, sleep, mood, and energy levels.
When someone's caloric intake is greater than the amount of calories they burn, the excess calories are stored as fat. For the majority of people, a couple pounds of additional body fat are completely normal and safe. However, when individuals get in the habit of consuming far more calories than they burn, the fat continues to build up and can cause health complications. The term obese is used among medical professionals to describe a patient who is likely to develop a health problem as a result of his or her weight.
The number of people who are considered obese in our country has reached epidemic proportions. Adults and children are both at risk for obesity if they fail to follow healthy eating and excercise habits. A third of all children between 2 and 19 years old are heavier than the average person their age. As a result, doctors are discovering cases of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes in children. In the past, these conditions only used to affect adults.
Obesity can be genetic, and some families are more prone to gaining weight than others due to a tendency to burn calories slower. During some periods in history when food was scarce (such as the Great Depression), this was considered an advantage. However, since food now can be obtained around the clock in most places, a slower metabolism works against people in today's society.
In addition to genetic factors, obesity can also be caused by environmental factors, such as eating at fast food restaurants because they are convenient or eating in front of the TV as opposed to a dining room table. Other factors that can contribute to obesity include:
Some people also display an emotional attachment to food in which they feel the urge to eat whenever they are disturbed, nervous, stressed, or bored. In situations like these, overeating is often the result.
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