Obesity: A Global Health Challenge

Obesity is a medical condition that puts your health at risk because of abnormal or excessive fat accumulation. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that obesity has reached epidemic levels around the world, and that more than 4 million people die each year because they are overweight or obese. All ages and socioeconomic groups are affected by obesity, but it is more common in low- and middle-income nations, particularly in urban areas (2).

Obesity is not just a cosmetic concern. It is a complex disease that involves genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors³. obesityy increases the risk of developing various chronic diseases and health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain cancers, gallbladder disease, fatty liver disease, sleep apnea and osteoarthritis¹³. Obesity also affects the quality of life and mental health of individuals and imposes a huge economic burden on health systems and society.

The main reason people get fat is that they take in more calories than they burn off. In other words, obesity occurs when people eat more than they burn through physical activity and metabolism. The modern way of life often encourages bad eating habits and being lazy, both of which lead to weight gain. Some examples are:

  • Consuming high-calorie foods and beverages that are rich in sugar, fat and salt but low in nutrients
  • Eating large portions or snacking frequently
  • Skipping breakfast or other meals
  • Eating out or ordering takeaways regularly
  • Drinking alcohol excessively
  • Spending long hours sitting at work or home
  • Using cars or public transport instead of walking or cycling
  • Watching TV or using electronic devices for leisure

Some people may have a higher risk of obesity due to genetic factors that affect their appetite regulation, metabolism or fat distribution. However, genes alone cannot explain the rapid rise of obesity in recent decades. Environmental factors such as availability, affordability and marketing of unhealthy foods also play a role in influencing people’s food choices. Additionally, some medical conditions (such as hypothyroidism or polycystic ovary syndrome), medications (such as steroids or antidepressants) or psychological factors (such as stress or depression) may cause weight gain or make it harder to lose weight.

The diagnosis of obesity is usually based on body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. A BMI over 25 is considered overweight and over 30 is obese². However,BMI does not directly measure body fat percentage and may not be accurate for some groups of people (such as athletes). Therefore, other methods such as waist circumference measurement or skinfold thickness measurement may be used to assess body fatness.

Obesity needs to be stopped on many levels, including the individual, the community, and the government. family, community, and policy.
Some evidence-based strategies for preventing obesity include⁴:

  • Promoting healthy eating patterns that include more fruits,
    vegetables,whole grains,lean protein sources,and healthy fats;
    and limit intake of added sugars,saturated fats,
    trans fats,and sodium.
  • Increasing physical activity levels by creating supportive environments that encourage walking,cycling,recreation, and sports; and reducing sedentary behaviors such as screen time.
  • Supporting breastfeeding initiation,
    duration,and exclusivity; as breastfeeding may protect against childhood obesity.
  • Implementing school-based interventions that provide nutrition education,
    healthy food options, physical education classes, and opportunities for active play.
  • Providing early care and education programs that follow national standards for nutrition and physical activity for young children.
  • Engaging health care providers in screening for overweight and obesity;
    providing counseling on diet and exercise;
    and referring patients to weight management programs if needed.
  • Adopting policies that regulate food marketing to children;
    tax sugary drinks;
    subsidize healthy foods;
    restrict portion sizes;
    improve food labeling; 
    and create incentives for healthy food production.

The best way to treat obesity depends on how bad it is and if there are any other problems. The main goals are to achieve a healthy weight; improve diet quality; increase physical activity; reduce health risks; and enhance well-being. The most effective interventions combine lifestyle changes with behavioral counseling; medication; 
or surgery³.

Obesity is a global health problem that needs help from all parts of society right away. By implementing effective prevention strategies; supporting individuals who struggle with their weight; and creating environments that promote healthy living; we can reverse this epidemic  and improve the health

Source: Conversation with Bing, 3/22/2023(1) Prevention Strategies & Guidelines | Overweight & Obesity | CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/resources/strategies-guidelines.html Accessed 3/22/2023.

(2) Obesity Prevention Strategies | Obesity Prevention Source | Harvard T.H …. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-prevention/ Accessed 3/22/2023.

(3) Preventing Childhood Obesity: 4 Things Families Can Do. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/features/childhood-obesity/index.html Accessed 3/22/2023.

(4) 1 Guidance | Obesity prevention | Guidance | NICE. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg43/chapter/1-guidance Accessed 3/22/2023.

The tendency to gain weight is often a cover for bad habits

Most people gain weight as they get older, have certain diseases, or take certain medicines. But most young people don’t tend to gain weight. Instead, they gain weight because they eat too many calories and don’t move enough. The so-called slow metabolism is not an excuse for putting on weight.

Even if you have a genetic tendency to gain weight, it’s usually just because you “inherited” bad eating and exercise habits from your parents. Some people will probably be angry, but everyone who is healthy can keep a normal body weight (which is not the same as an ideal body weight) or lose weight to get there. But it’s not always easy, and it always takes work. Some people find it easy, while others find it hard. If you can’t do this through diet and exercise, you should see a doctor.

The tendency to gain weight—does it exist?

There is a tendency to gain weight, but diseases are to blame. Most overweight people don’t gain weight for no reason. Instead, they gain weight because of bad eating habits and a bad way of life. Simply put, most people gain weight because they don’t eat well and don’t exercise enough.


The tendency to gain weight is often seen in the family, with the grandmother being “fluffy” and the mother being “fluffy”. It is estimated that the difference in basal metabolic rate (PPM) between a person who “can eat as much as they want and not gain weight” and one who “gets fat just looking at sweets” is only 5–9%. This difference is equal to 3.5–6 cubes of milk chocolate.

If this much chocolate gives these two people all the energy they need, neither of them will gain weight. But if these few chocolate cubes “jump up” and provide them with more energy than they require, they will gain weight, regardless of their BPM.

Lifestyle is a major factor in determining the total metabolic rate (CPM), which is also called the daily energy requirement. Active people have a greater need for calories than those who are physically inactive, and a one-time consumption of sweets or a larger portion of food will not cause weight gain. Long-term excess energy demand is the most common cause of weight gain.

What can cause rapid weight gain?

The real tendency to gain weight can be found in people who are struggling with various diseases that can affect the metabolism , lower it, or cause water retention in the body, which increases body weight.

Diseases conducive to gaining weight are:

  • Hypothyroidism,
  • hypopituitarism,
  • PCOS ,
  • growth hormone deficiency,
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • genetic diseases, e.g., Turner syndrome, Cohen syndrome, Down syndrome, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, and Prader-Wili syndrome.

Antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedatives, antiepileptics, estrogen and progestogen derivatives, glucocorticosteroids, and not getting enough chromium can all make you gain weight. To prevent this, people should modify their diet and lifestyle. Menopause does not cause weight gain, and women go through menopause without gaining weight.

tendency to gain weight around the belly

When men get fat, their bellies grow, while women gain weight more easily in the abdomen due to hormonal changes. However, with the right diet and an active lifestyle, there is no talk of gaining weight on the stomach or anywhere else. Alcohol and trans fats are both conducive to expanding the waistline, as they occupy the liver and promote the accumulation of adipose tissue. People under the influence of alcohol experience disinhibition and reach for more food than they would without alcohol.

How do you deal with the tendency to gain weight on the stomach?

The recipe is simple and consists of a few obvious rules and a few principles. Here they are:

  • Control what you eat so as not to take in too many calories,
  • Do not reach for alcohol too often.
  • Avoid trans fats  (some hardened vegetable fats, some confectionery products and cookies from the market, some ready meals or dishes to be reheated),
  • try to move more.
  • Try HIIT—some people help a lot in the fight against belly fat, but not everyone,
  • Drink green tea  and eat blueberries—the catechins in green tea combined with physical activity can help burn belly fat, as can blueberries.

How to lose weight with a tendency to gain weight

The most important details are that it is important to distinguish the tendency to gain weight (caused by illness or medication) from eating mistakes and a bad lifestyle. In the case of weight gain caused by a disease, making a diagnosis, starting treatment, or modifying the diet together with positive lifestyle changes can eliminate the slowed metabolism, prevent further weight gain, or cause a gradual return to normal body weight. With the “tendency to put on weight”, it is enough to follow a diet that is slightly reduced in calories in relation to CPM and start moving more. Observations show that people with a wasteful phenotype burn calories during activities such as fidgeting in a chair, walking while talking on the phone, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking to the store instead of driving, while those with a “thrifty phenotype” do not move much and save energy for later in the form of adipose tissue. Training is a great complement to this movement.