Obesity is from the Latin ‘‘Obesitas’’, which means ‘stout’, ‘fat’, or ‘plump’. Therefore, obesity is defined as a medical condition in which excess body fat accumulated to the extent that it may adverse effect on health, leading to reduce in life expectancy and increase in health problems (Anon, 1999). In another word, obesity is described as a result of too much of fat accumulates in the body (Janette 2005).
A person is normally considered obese when his or her weight is 20% over the normal body-weight for height and age and the Body Mass Index (BMI) measures 30 and more or people normally considered obese, when their Body Mass Index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of the person’s height in meters, exceeds 30kg/m2.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is measure of overweight and obesity is calculated as:
BMI (kg/m2) = weight (kg)
For example, an adult of height 1.74cms, weight = 70kg has a BMI OF;
BMI (kg/m2) = 70
Our survival are killing us, the human body has evolved into a fat-hoarding machine. Foods that our body doesn’t immediately use for energy get quickly stored as fat, and we convert this fat back into fuel for our brains and muscles when food is scarce. This was great for our ancestors who don’t know when their next meal would be. But for us, with our drive-through restaurants and jam-packed junk food aisles, their survival mechanism is wreaking havoc on our health (anon,1999).
Genes plays a strong role in determining obesity, some if us store fat more easily and shed it less readily than other even if we follow the procedure of eating and exercise program. Obesity is further defined as the Body Mass Index (BMI) and further evaluated in terms of fat distribution via the waist-to-hip ratio and total cardiovascular risk factors. BMI is closely related to both percentage body fat and total body fat (Dundee, 2001)
In children, a health weight with age and sex, obesity in children and adolescent is defined not as an absolute number, but as in relation to a historical group, such that obesity is a BMI ratio greater than the 95th percentile.
The internationally accepted ranges of BMI are:
Underweight = < 18.5
Normal = 18.5 – 24.9
Overweight = 25 – 29.9
Obesity = 30 – 39.9
Extreme obesity = > 40
Too much unnecessary fat build up makes a person obese. This could be due to a several cause; some of these instances could be the result of an organic cause, such as thyroid hormone deficiency, excessive adrenal cortisone or female sex hormone. Sometimes it can be the result of damage to a part of the lower brain that is in charge of organ satisfaction, however, not nearly all cases full under this class. The biggest reason for obesity is clearly known to be due to the result of modern lifestyle (NHS).
Overweight has been defined as an excess of total or expected ”normal” body weight, including all tissue components (muscle, bone, water and fat) of body composition. Therefore, extreme obesity is often associated with shortened in life expectancy.
In practice, the terms obesity and overweight are often used interchangeably to refer to excess body fat, but ideally, an index of obesity should reflect on only adipose tissue and independent of height, body fluids and muscle and skeleton (US 1999).
Many factors that may cause obesity are beyond a person’s control. Some of the factors include;
Obesity tends to rain in families, which could signify a genetic cause, or simply a lifestyles cause. Children adopt the habit of their parents. In this factor, a child who said to has an overweight parent and eats high calorie food and inactive will likely become overweight too. However, if the family adopts health food and physical activities habits, the child chance of being overweight or obese is reduced.
Study of identical twins that have been raised apart shows that genes have a strong influence on a person’s weight. Over weight and obesity tends to rain in families. Your chance of being overweight are greater if one or both of your parents are overweight or obese (NIH, 2005).
Regardless of whether a person has a pronspensity towards obesity, he or she may influence obesity by lifestyle changes. Also drastic changes in our society over the past 30 years have thrown us into an environment that our bodies were not building for. We spend more time sitting, driving and eating big portion of high calories, and high fat-blood than ever before and in other word, we spend less time being physically active. Also alcohol contributes to the cause of obesity because it is a fermentation product which contains a lot of calories, and heavy drinkers are often overweight.
Depression, sadness, anxiety, stress and other psychological conditions may affect the amount of foods one eats and or amount of exercise one engage in. Some people eat more than usual when they are bored, angry. Overtime or eating will lead to weight gain and may cause overweight or obesity (Clevel 2000).