Obesity is considered a chronic health condition that affects both children and adults and predisposes people to other health complications. It is associated with several of the leading causes of death in Puerto Rico.
WHAT IS OBESITY?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive fat that can damage health. One way to classify obesity is by comparing weight and height through the Body Mass Index (BMI). A person whose BMI is greater than 30 kg/m2 is considered obese.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
Obesity can be caused by several factors, although the main root cause is an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Some of the causes include:
- High consumption of high-calorie foods.
- Poor physical activity
- Poor eating habits
- Hormonal or endocrine diseases
- Hereditary factors
- Certain medications
WHAT COMPLICATIONS CAN OBESITY HAVE ON HEALTH?
Obesity can increase your risk of suffering different health complications, among which we find:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
- Arterial hypertension
- Heart diseases
- Different types of cancer (breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, colon and others).
- Asthma and other respiratory conditions
- Musculoskeletal problems (e.g. Osteoarthritis)
- Sleep apnea
DO YOU WANT TO HAVE OR MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT?
- Reduce your intake of foods high in fat, salt, and sugar.
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, grains, whole grains, whole-grain products and nuts.
- Increase your water consumption to at least 4 bottles of 16oz a day.
- Bake, grill or boil your food instead of frying it.
- Do not skip meals.
- Reduce or avoid soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.
- Achieve 150 minutes of physical activity during the week.
- Identify an activity that you enjoy (walking, dancing, playing sports, running, biking, among others) and add it to your routine.
- Enjoy the benefits of exercise (improves your stress and anxiety management, improves your sleep habits, prevents health complications, helps improve your quality of life).
- Consult with your physician before beginning an exercise routine.
- Be patient and wait for the results with joy.