Today is World Obesity Day. The theme for 2022 is  ‘Everybody needs to act to make healthier choices easier’.

World obesity day encourages practical solutions to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight, undertake proper treatment, and reverse the obesity crisis.

With TLC this action becomes easier and it simplifies the process of losing weight.

Why is Obesity such an Issue:

Globally 2.1 billion people are overweight or obese, or just over 30% of the world’s population – however, the situation is much worse in South Africa.

Nearly 70% of South African women and 31% of South African men are overweight or obese.

And even more worrying, 13% of South African children are overweight, which is twice the global average.

What are the risks of Obesity:

Being overweight or obese not only affects your self-esteem, it also leads to heart disease and potentially an early death. Obesity increases the risk to develop chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. Recent studies indicate that obese COVID-19 patients get more complications and they take longer to shed the virus.

The death rate is significantly higher among obese patients than among those with normal weight.

Many lifestyle diseases such as gallstones are also linked to obesity. Infants and young children with obesity are more likely to have diseases of the respiratory system.

These infants and children are also more likely to become obese adults with chronic diseases.

Obesity is also associated with lower quality of life due to restrictions in movement.

What is obesity:

In general, overweight and obesity indicate a weight greater than what is healthy. Obesity is a chronic condition defined by an excess amount of body fat. A certain amount of body fat is necessary for storing energy, heat insulation, shock absorption, and other functions, but being overweight or obese brings with it many health complications.

A body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.

Causes of Obesity:

The causes of Obesity is a complex matter. It can include:

  1. A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Genetics also affect hormones involved in fat regulation. (Ie leptin deficiency)
  2. Physical inactivity. Sedentary people burn fewer calories than people who are active.
  3. Diet high in simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels, which in turn stimulate insulin release by the pancreas, and insulin promotes the growth of fat tissue and can cause weight gain.
  4. Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in fat and/or sugar.
  5. Medications associated with weight gain include certain antidepressants (medications used in treating depression), anticonvulsants (medications used in controlling seizures such as carbamazepine [Tegretol, Tegretol XR, Equetro, Carbatrol] and valproate [Depacon, Depakene]), some diabetes medications (medications used in lowering blood sugar such as insulin, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones), certain hormones such as oral contraceptives, and most corticosteroids such as prednisone. Some high blood pressure medications and antihistamines cause weight gain.
  6. Psychological factors. For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to emotions such as boredom, sadness, stress, or anger.
  7. Diseases: Diseases such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Cushing’s syndrome are also contributors to obesity. Some diseases, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, can lead to obesity.
  8. Social issues: There is a link between social issues and obesity. Lack of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to walk or exercise can increase the risk of obesity.

Other factors include:

  • Ethnicity may influence the age of onset and the rapidity of weight gain. African-American women and Hispanic women tend to experience weight gain earlier in life than Caucasians and Asians, and age-adjusted obesity rates are higher in these groups.
  • Childhood weight. A person’s weight during childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood may also influence the development of adult obesity.
  • Women tend to gain weight especially during certain events such as pregnancy, menopause and oral contraceptive use.

Steps to take

Focus on the nutritional content of your food

By making healthier choices and eating a balanced diet you can reduce the threat of obesity.

Avoid unhealthy and sugar laden drinks

Many soft and alcoholic drinks are high in sugar. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity.

Get active

Try to make physical activity part of your daily routine. Simply walking, jogging or swimming on a daily basis can help improve your health and well being.

Learn about and understand your eating habits

Obesity research has found that obese people can suffer from many emotional issues about their weight and body image. Understanding where your bad habits come from can help you manage them.

Take responsibility

Obesity is a complex problem but taking responsibility for what you eat, getting a good plan going (TLC-Program) and getting motivated to get some exercise is a positive step.

Take control and start!

Start a proven medical weightloss program, the TLC -Program.

Benefits of weightloss

The benefits are almost too many to list. But it is important to note that even a modest weight loss of 5%-10% of your initial weight, and long-term maintenance of that weight loss can bring significant health gains, including:

  • lowered blood pressure;
  • reduced blood levels of cholesterol;
  • reduced risk of type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes;
  • decreased chance of stroke;
  • decreased complications of heart disease;
  • decreased overall mortality.
  • Increased mobility and stamina;

And many other general wellbeing and lifestyle benefits!

So today, on World Obesity Day make that decision to improve your health, wellbeing and longevity, and take that step. Go to www.tlcforwellbeing.com