Obesity has been increasing in the recent decades. It is mainly a problem in developed countries. Causes of obesity are very serious and costly health hazards. It reduces life expectancy and is also considered a stigma. Obesity is now a disease considered at least equal to smoking as a preventable cause of premature death.
Waist circumference is another widely used measurement to determine abdominal fat content. An excess of abdominal fat, when out of proportion to total body fat, is considered a predictor of risk factors related to obesity. Men with a waist measurement exceeding 40 inches are considered at risk. Women are at risk with a waist measurement of 35 inches or greater.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is the standard measurement of choice for many health professionals. BMI is based on a weight-to-height ratio. Overweight is defined as a BMI>=25 and <30 kg/m². Obesity is defined as a BMI >=30 kg/m². Obesity correlates strongly with obesity related co-morbid conditions and mortality.
There are many federal agencies, public organizations and private firms that are working towards conducting obesity research and reducing obesity. These organizations conduct various researches related to Obesity and based on these researches provide the information on ways to deal with this fast spreading epidemic. The increase in obesity over the past 30 years has been fueled by a complex interplay of environmental, social, economic, and behavioral factors, acting on a background of genetic susceptibility. There are various studies related to obesity. Here are findings of some of the obesity research-
Duration of sleep is important factor that influence the regulation of body weight and metabolic activities. As per the study conducted to explore association between lack of sleep and body fat indices and leptin levels, it has been observed that adults reporting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day, the adjusted odds ratio for overweight/obesity was 1.38 (95% confidence interval, 0.89 to 2.10) for those with 9 to 10 hours of sleep and 1.69 (95% confidence interval, 1.15 to 2.39) for those with 5 to 6 hours of sleep, after adjustment for age, sex, and physical activity level.
If you carry extra body weight and fat, you are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Overweight people are more likely to develop diabetes as compared to normal people. If you are overweight, it puts more pressure on body’s ability to control blood sugar using insulin. More and more people are becoming diabetic. This increase is due to growing obesity and more weight.
As per the obesity research conducted, there is enough evidence that suggests that obesity plays an important role in cancer. Mainly, obesity is responsible for kidney cancer in both men and women. Obesity may also be a leading cause of gall bladder cancer, colorectal cancer and thyroid cancer.
For other types of cancer, in general, not many studies have been conducted to draw conclusions about the relationship between obesity and risk of disease development. However, strong experimental research in animal models of cancer development and disease progression have shown that maintenance of adequate and not overweight body size can delay development of cancer. Whether this can be achieved in humans has not been evaluated in prospective randomized trials.
There is also stigma associated with obesity. Obesity research shows that overweight people are more likely to be ignored if they attach their photos along with the resume. They are rated more negatively and are less likely to be hired. They are usually perceived as sloppy, lazy and comparatively less competent.
In schools as well, obese students face more harassment and ridicule from the peer group. Research also shows that they face negative attitude from educators. Research also indicated that female obese students are less likely to get admission in college as compared to normal weight peers.
As per the obesity research, these stigmas can have a negative effect on the individual. They have higher rates of depression, social isolation, anxiety and are not able to adjust well psychologically. They have low self esteem and have a negative effect on eating behaviors.
There are various limitations to any study conducted. Few of these limitations can be-
- Sample size
- Sample demographics
- Dependence on the feedback given by the participants