Overweight or obesity is reaching epidemic proportions and is becoming a growing health hazard in India. Unhealthy processed foods, increase in calorie intake and decrease in physical activity among the middle and high income groups is leading to overweight or obesity.
Prevalence of obesity in men has doubled in the last decade and found to be more in ages of 30 and more, though seen in all age groups.
Men in urban areas tend to put on more weight than of rural areas. Abdominal obesity is associated many health problems such as diabetes, hypertension heart diseases and cancers.
What Is Overweight or Obesity in Men?
Overweight or obesity is defined depending on their weight to height ratio, i.e according to their BMI (body mass index) and the waist circumference.
- Overweight is a term when your body weight is more than your normal healthy weight for your height or your BMI is more than your normal index that is more than 25.
- Obesity is a term used when your body is more than the overweight category and BMI of more than 30.
- Men with large waists / abdomen of 40 inches / 100 cm or more can develop obesity associated health problems.
9 Causes for Overweight or Obesity in Men
- Diet – Eating more or eating unhealthy foods such as fast foods, foods high in fats, sugar or salt, carbonated sweet drinks, and sugary fruit juices contribute significantly to weight gain.
- Intake of excess alcohol and indulging in smoking, also contribute to weight gain.
- Lack of physical activity – Doing sedentary jobs like sitting at a desk for long hours, watching TV or browsing the internet etc, with lack of regular exercise like walking, cycling, swimming etc, contributes to weight gain.
- Environment – No access to healthy foods or no area for exercising can discourage a healthy lifestyle.
- Hormonal – Low testosterone levels increase the fat and decrease the muscle mass.
- Genetics – Genes can also contribute for a person obesity. There are some inherited disorders (Uncommon) like Prader – Willi – Syndrome which are associated with obesity.
- Medical Conditions – Increase in weight can be caused by medical conditions like hypothyroidism , Cushing’s syndrome, some kidney and heart problems too.
- On Medications – Certain medications like steroids, anti – epileptics and hormones can cause weight gain.
- Stress, anxious mood, sadness, depression and lack of sleep also make a person eat more than usual and this also associated with increased production of stress hormone may lead to obesity.
10 Common Health Problems With Obesity
- Type 2 Diabetes – High blood sugars caused by an increase in insulin resistance caused by excessive fat /overweight/ obesity.
- Hypertension – High blood pressures in the body that is usually over 120 mm of Hg systolic pressure and 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure, which may develop as the heart has to pump against high pressures in overweight persons.
- Dyslipidemia and Heart Disease – High levels of cholesterol in the body is known as dyslipidemia. Excess cholesterol leads to deposition of bad cholesterol in the blood vessels and leads to increased risk of heart diseases such as heart attacks, arrhythmias and heart failure, strokes etc.
- Stroke – Ischemic brain strokes (paralysis) are common in overweight and obese men.
- Cancers – Many cancers are associated with overweight or obesity. Cancers which can occur in obese men are prostate cancers, esophageal cancer, colon and rectal cancers, gall bladder and pancreatic cancers, kidney cancer, and thyroid cancer.
- Respiratory Problems and Sleep Apnoea – Obesity can increase breathing difficulties such as increase in asthma and obese people may develop sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a disorder when there are spells of loss of breathing during sleep which may awaken a person frequently and leads to daytime sleepiness, poor concentration at work, increase in blood pressure, heart failure etc.
- Fatty liver disease due to deposition of extra fat in the liver which may lead to severe problems like cirrhosis of liver (Liver failure).
- Kidney disease due to deposition of fat in the kidney and in its blood vessels causing decrease in the functions of kidney.
- Osteoarthritis – Bone loss and joint damage is accelerated in overweight or obese persons leading to early development of osteoarthritis.
- Psychological Disorders – Stress, sleep disturbances, depression, lethargy and sexual problems can develop in obese men. Impotence is also quite commonly associated with obesity.
How To Reduce Obesity Naturally at Home
Aim and work to maintain healthy weight for your height, with normal or near normal BMI and optimal waist circumference. Promise to yourself and train yourself to have a healthy lifestyle, which reduces the risk of obesity related health problems.
- Eat a healthy diet which contains less fat, sugar and salt, more fibre and essential nutrients.
- Restriction of alcohol and smoking.
- Regular exercise and keeping active.
- Reducing stress by yoga and meditation.
- Good quality sleep for 7-8 hours.
Your life and your health is in your hands. You get to decide whether you want to live fit and healthy or sick and unhappy. Make a wise and informed choice.