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Obesity – epidemics of the 21st century

Body mass index – BMI

Overweight is most frequently caused by eating food with too much calories as compared to your body's needs. In order to assess the patient's weight, the body mass index (BMI) is used.

World Health Organisation determined the range of correct BMI as 18.5-25.

Calculating BMI

BMI is calculated as a quotient of the body weight (in kilograms) to the square of the height (in metres). E.g. if someone is 160 cm tall (i.e. 1.6 m) and weighs 60 kg, their BMI is: 60/(1,62) = 60/2,56 = 23,44. BMI of this person is correct.

Classification according to BMI

  • underweight - BMI below 18,5 kg/m2 in women and below 20 kg/m2 in men
  • normal weight - 18,5-24,9 kg/m2
  • obese class I, i.e. overweight - 25,0-29,9 kg/m2
  • obese class II - BMI 30,0-39,9 kg/m2
  • obese class III (severe obesity, risk to life) - over 40,0 kg/m2

People with obesity class III require medical help because such obesity can be a consequence of pathologies. Medical statistics indicate that every third person with severe obesity dies within 10 years.

Types of obesity

In case of obesity, we are able to determine its type based on simple measurements. We divide the waist size by the hip size. If the result exceeds 0.9 in men and 0.8 in women, we are dealing with an apple-shaped body or abdominal obesity. If the result is lower, we are dealing with a pear-shaped body or hip and thigh obesity.

Preventing bad tendencies

Obesity can be recognized as metabolic disorder leading to many dangerous diseases.

By finding the right “food track”, you can prevent bad tendencies lying dormant in your body.

Elemental Hair Analysis is one of diagnostic methods which enable the determination of the patient's metabolic type; then, it is possible to specify a proper diet supported with vitamin and microelement supplementation. Each human body is different and requires individual manner of eating.

Causes of obesity

Almost a half of human population has problems with excessive weight; overweight and obesity take more or less the same place. Among people with correct body weight, a half does not put on weight regardless from the way they eat. Other have to keep a permanent restrictive diet consisting in the counting of calories in order to maintain a correct body weight.

The development of civilisation has resulted in living conditions which make people indolent. No physical activity and food excess create conditions for putting on weight excessively.

Each kilogram of adipose tissue is equal to over 7000 kcal; each person needs from 1000 to 1200 kcal (depending on age, weight, and height) daily for basic metabolic processes. Therefore, we may assume that, with moderate daily physical and mental activity, a person burns app. 2000 kcal daily on average.

Even slim people have 6-9 kg of adipose tissue. Therefore, we are able to calculate that even a thin person can survive 3-4 days of complete fasting or a few weeks with minimum daily amounts of food in extreme conditions.

Risk factors

In well developed countries, the problem of obesity is more and more serious in all social classes. This is a result of many factors, including:

  • genetic factor
  • psychological factor - the influence of stress (calming nerves with simple sugars) and the fast pace of life, which makes it impossible to eat meals regularly, what in turn leads to eating ready highly-processed meals and snacks as well as sweets
  • educational factor – dietary mistakes and a complete lack of knowledge concerning nutrition and vitamin and mineral supplementation (e.g. dietary mistakes in childhood when a specific number of cells is formed in adipose tissue, which remains there until the end of life)
  • economic factor - it is not profitable to produce high-quality natural food nowadays instead of highly-processed products with high energy value, whose production is cheaper and faster. This means an unrestricted access to cheap empty calories, i.e. fast food, crisps, ice cream, fizzy drinks etc.
  • social factor - which is of cultural origin (eating large quantities of potatoes, dumplings etc. in some European countries)

Results of obesity

Excessive adipose tissue should not be assessed only in terms of aesthetics. We should be aware that this is a pathology threatening with metabolic disorders, which can lead to many diseases.

It is not only the obesity itself that is a great burden for your body as a result of carrying a great weight (10 kg of overweight is equal to carrying two buckets filled with water). Physiological disorders which are indirect results of obesity are much more dangerous.

The following diseases were discovered to be consequences of obesity:

  1. The results of research conducted in recent years indicate that cancer is much more frequent in obese people.
  2. In women, a higher risk of breast and endometrial carcinoma; in men, colorectal and prostatic carcinoma.
  3. The relationship between diabetes and obesity has been known for a long time. App. 80% of patients with diabetes are overweight or obese. People with significant obesity are 50 times more likely to suffer from diabetes than slim people.
  4. In obese people aged 20-45, the risk of arterial hypertension is 6 times higher.
  5. In obese men after menopause, the risk of arterial hypertension is 3 times higher as compared to slim people.
  6. It has been determined that in obese patients with hypertension cerebral strokes are 7 times more frequent than in slim people with correct blood pressure.
  7. Coronary thrombosis is closely related to obesity. Strong choking pains behind the breastbone are 1.5 times more frequent in men over 40 with mild obesity and 2 times more frequent in men with severe obesity. In obese women, ailments typical of coronary thrombosis may intensify during menopause.
  8. Overweight and obesity can be accompanied with lipid metabolism. They involve increased levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in blood, reduced levels of good cholesterol (HDL), and increased levels of triglycerides in blood serum.
  9. Abdominal obesity (male type, apple-shaped body) is particularly dangerous. It poses a risk of cardiovascular diseases. Elimination of abdominal obesity is easier than in the case of a pear-shaped body; however, the slimming process may lead to dangerous changes in the blood lipid profile.
  10. Obesity is related to more frequent incidence of gout.
  11. In obese people the risk of bile tract diseases is 6 times more likely to increase (cholecystolithiasis is more frequent in obese women than in men and becomes more frequent at older age).
  12. Obese people frequently suffer from respiratory disorders. Their diaphragm is located high, what reduces its efficiency. Lungs of an obese person aged 40 can be as efficient as these of a slim 70-year-old person. The impairment of respiratory mechanics and lungs activity leads to hypoxia, what can result with excessive sleepiness and low physical activity, increasing the obesity.
  13. in men with abdominal obesity, sleep apnea and persistent snoring are frequent, what can lead to heart rhythm disorders
  14. bone and joint system diseases with pains in hips, knees, and spine are also frequent

Obesity prevention

In recent years, the issue of overweight and obesity has been recognized as a disease with complex aetiology. Therefore, in order to prevent it, its causes must be well examined first.

Diagnostic methods, which can help with maintaining the correct weight or loosing excess weight, are Elemental Hair Analysis and Nutrition Diagnostics. The main assumption is the fact that each person is a biochemical individual and requires individual nutrition.