What are overweight and obesity?
As indicated by the WHO (World Health Organization), overweight and obesity are characterized as an abnormal or intemperate aggregation of fat that can be destructive to wellbeing.
Body mass index (BMI) is a simple indicator of the relationship between weight and height that is frequently used to identify overweight and obesity in adults. It is calculated by dividing the weight of a person in kilos by the square of his size in meters (kg / m2).
The definition of WHO is as follows:
- A BMI equal to or greater than 25 determines overweight.
- A BMI equal to or greater than 30 determines obesity.
BMI provides the most useful measure of overweight and obesity in the population, since it is the same for both sexes and for adults of all ages. However, it should be considered only as an indicator because it may not correspond to the same level of thickness in different people.
How affects overweight and obesity in our organism?
Overweight and obesity are risk factors for:
- Cardiovascular diseases (mainly heart disease and stroke).
- Disorders of the locomotor system (especially osteoarthritis, a very disabling degenerative joint disease).
- Some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon).
- The risk of contracting these noncommunicable diseases increases with increasing BMI.
Childhood obesity is associated with an increased likelihood of obesity, premature death and disability in adulthood. But in addition to these greater future risks, obese children suffer from respiratory distress, increased risk of fractures and hypertension, and present early markers of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and psychological effects.
Causes of overweight and obesity
Lack of energy balance: In most people, overweight and obesity are caused by a lack of energy balance. In order to have an energy balance, the energy consumed in food must be equal to the energy expended. The energy you eat is the amount of energy or calories you get from food and drink. The energy expended is the amount of energy the body uses in functions such as breathing, digesting food and staying active.
An Inactive Lifestyle: Inactive people are more likely to gain weight because they do not burn the calories they consume in food and beverages. An underactive lifestyle also raises the risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, colon cancer and other health problems.
Environment: Our environment does not always contribute to healthy habits; In fact, it stimulates obesity. This is due to reasons such as the following: Working hours, spend a lot of time going between home and work, extra large food rations, lack of access to health food, advertising food industry advertising snacks High in calories and fat, and drinks full of sugar.
Genes and family history: In studies of identical twins raised in different homes, it has been shown that genes have a great influence on a person’s weight. Overweight and obesity tend to be hereditary. Your chances of being overweight are greater if one or both parents are overweight or obese.
Medicine: Certain medicines can cause weight gain. These include some corticosteroids, antidepressants and anticonvulsants. These medicines can slow down the rate at which the body burns calories, increases appetite or causes the body to retain more water, all of which can lead to weight gain.
Emotional Factors: Some people eat more than usual when they are bored, angry, or stressed. Over time, overeating will lead to weight gain and can cause overweight or obesity.
Other factors: Hormones, smoking, age, pregnancy and imbalances in sleep.
Types of obesity
Genetic Obesity: Obesity due to genetic inheritance is one of the most common.
Dietary obesity: Food abuse with many calories, coupled with a sedentary lifestyle.
Obesity due to mismatch of body weight control system: It is due to a failure in satiety adjustment, which means that the person is never satisfied and needs to ingest more food. On the other hand the body struggles to maintain a very high weight, erroneously, because it considers it to be a normal weight.
Obesity by thermogenic defect: Obesity is not usually very frequent and is caused because the body does not burn excess food easily.
Obesity of nervous type: It is produced by diseases of nervous type like: psychological alterations, depression, etc. What produces this obesity is a disorder of the central nervous system that alters satiety mechanisms or thermoregulatory mechanisms. (1)
Obesity for endocrine diseases: This type of obesity is very rare and is generated by endocrine diseases, such as hyperinsulinism, hypercorticism or hypothyroidism.
Obesity by medication: This type of obesity is produced by the fat accumulation that exists when the patient is given a treatment with drugs such as corticosteroids, antidepressants and antituberculosis.
Chromosomal Obesity: This type of obesity is associated with chromosomal defects as in Down Syndrome and Turner Syndrome.
Natural treatments to combat overweight and obesity
Different studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of phytotherapy in the treatment of overweight as an element of support for a balanced diet, physical exercise and follow-up by a health professional:
Stevia: Natural sweetener, ideal for diets reducing weight, suitable for diabetics.
Hercampuri: Original plant of the Peruvian Sierra, known and recommended for its properties as hepatoprotector and reducer of accumulated fat and cholesterol. Hercampuri is recommended because it acts as a detoxifier and diuretic. (2)
Artichoke: For its purifying action. Its cinarina stimulates biliary secretion by acting on constipation. It is especially useful in the case of congestion or lazy liver, jaundice and poor digestion of fats.
Green tea: has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system due to its caffeine content. It also has a slight diuretic effect. It is recommended as an adjunct in slimming regimes because it maintains a reduction action of fat absorption and, at the same time, favoring thermogenesis (the process by which cells generate heat to maintain body temperature that in overweight people is usually Deficient), which has made it one of the most popular medicinal plants in recent years.
Guarana: Stimulating and strengthening. Its caffeine accelerates the combustion of fatty substances and increases the basal metabolism of the cells in a way that favors the elimination of fats. It gives energy in diets that generate asthenia.