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Understanding Chronic Obesity

Nov 01, 2022
Understanding Chronic Obesity
Weight gain is a worldwide concern, and obesity affects millions of people, increasing the risks of life threatening conditions. To better understand what factors play a role in dealing with this chronic condition, read on to find out more.

Weight gain is a rising concern for people all over the world, and obesity is a chronic condition that can lead to a variety of different dangerous conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. In the U.S. alone, nearly 31 percent of adults are overweight, over 42 percent of adults are obese, and over nine percent are severely obese. 

Obesity is not down to a single choice or habit you have, several factors play a role in what leads to it. To better understand what factors play a role in weight gain and obesity, let’s examine how your body gains weight, the common causes of obesity, and how it can be treated.

Residents of the Plano, Texas area struggling with weight problems turn to Dr. Ruby Shah, and the caring, skilled medical team at the Vitality Weight Loss and Wellness Institute.

How your body gains weight

Eating provides your body with energy, and calories are a unit of energy that measures how much of the food you eat is used as energy and how much is stored in your body, becoming fat to be used later. Fat is necessary in the body, but too much leads to weight problems that cause other health complications. 

Calorie counting is a common term used in dieting that helps people keep track of their weight. In addition, weight gain can be measured by how many calories you burn through activity versus how much fat your body retains. The more fat you retain after meals over time, the more weight you keep, and the more overweight and eventually obese you become. 

Common causes of obesity

While everyone processes food the same way through digestion, your weight is based on a number of different factors. How your body uses and stores fat is based on a combination of factors, including: 

Genetics 

Inherited traits from your parents can play a major role in weight, determining how effectively your body regulates your appetite, converts food to fuel, and how well it manages fat. 

Metabolism 

This is the name for the process your body undergoes to convert the food and drink you intake into energy, and functions constantly whether you’re active or not. Changes in your metabolism due to a variety of different factors can lead to it slowing down, which leads to weight gain.

Diet

Overeating and bad diets are very common factors in weight gain, which often includes high amounts of sugar, and high calorie foods and drinks that your body isn’t able to burn off efficiently. This causes you to store more fat, burn calories less effectively, and leads to a variety of other problems associated with being overweight.

Lifestyle 

A sedentary lifestyle (one where you don’t engage in much physical activity or exercise) leads to your body taking in more calories than you can burn off. The less active you are, the more weight you’re likely to gain.

Weight gain can also be caused by some treatments and medications for other conditions, pregnancy, quitting smoking, stress, and lack of sleep.

Methods of treatment

Treating obesity means finding sustainable ways of reducing weight, and that can be accomplished in several ways

  • Lifestyle changes: increasing physical activity by maintaining an exercise regimen, and finding ways to stay active throughout the day
  • Dietary changes: reducing the amount of calories you take in and replacing high calorie foods with healthier choices
  • Behavioral changes: counseling to modify behavioral and emotional factors leading to weight gain
  • Medications: taking prescription drugs in conjunction with changes in lifestyle and eating habits

We offer a variety of ways to help you lose weight and help you overcome the issues that contribute to obesity. If you’re ready to shed those pounds, make an appointment with Dr. Shah and Vitality Weight Loss and Wellness Institute today to get started.