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Causes of obesity

Obesity is defined as a body weight exceeding the normal range by 15% or more, or a BMI above 30. The causes of obesity are the following:

  1. Energy imbalance: calorie is a measuring unit of energy; should the intake of calories exceeds the amount expended, the excess of energy would accumulate over time and one’s weight would gradually increase.
  2. Genetics: should one’s parents be overweight, the chance of his being obese increases.
  3. Stationary lifestyle: although modern technology brings much convenience, it reduces our important need to engage in physical activities.
  4. Other medical conditions may also lead to weight gain; some of which are: hormonal imbalances, thyroid diseases, constipation, edema and Vitamin B6 deficiency.
  5. Medication: the use of steroids, antidepressants, and tranquilizers can lead to weight gain.
  6. Emotional problems: some people may use eating as a method to relieve boredom, stress or emotional distress, which can increase weight gain.
  7. Age: one’s metabolism slows as he or she ages, increasing chances of weight gain.

In America, one in four people is obese, and one in two is overweight. Statistics show the U.S. has the greatest number of obese and overweight people in the world.

Obesity can impair one’s health:

  1. Hypertension
    For every 10kg of weight gained, there is a 3mmHg increase of systolic blood pressure and a 2mmHg increase of diastolic blood pressure.

  2. Heart disease
    Heart attack, angina, myocardial infarction and sudden death are common among obese patients.

  3. Lipids imbalance
    Obesity can increase the total levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in blood flow.

  4. Type II Diabetes
    80% of patients with Type II Diabetes are obese.

  5. Arthritis
    Heavy weight adds burden to joints, leading to the development of arthritis.

  6. Gallbladder disease
    Heavy weight slows gallbladder activity, leading to the formation of gallstones.

  7. Respiratory problems
    Heavy weight adds burden to the respiratory system, leading to breathing difficulties.

Steps to losing weight
Step one: modify your diet

  1. Have portioned meals at the same time every day.
  2. Do not combine eating with other activities, such as watching television and working on the computer.
  3. Eat at a slow pace.
  4. Only allow yourself to eat at one designated area at home.
  5. Avoid opening the refrigerator repeatedly and leaving food out in the open; instead, place them in the fridge or the pantry.
  6. Reduce the size of your dinner, and aim to finish it three hours before bedtime; avoid having late night snacks.
  7. Drink a glass of water, a cup of tea or a bowl of soup before each meal; the slight sense of fullness from which will control your appetite.
  8. Serve dinner on a plate in order to precisely portion it; on one half of the plate should be vegetables, a quarter of it be rice, and the other be meat.

Step two: plan your menu

  1. Plan the menu for next day’s breakfast, lunch and dinner; never wait until last minute to decide what to eat.
  2. Avoid buying food when feeling hungry; before buying food, list what you require and limit yourself to purchase only the necessary items on the list. Avoid purchasing snacks.
  3. Keep a food journal and record in it what and how much you have eaten at the end of each day.

Step three: trim excessive calories

  1. Avoid eating high calorie foods, such as chocolate, cake, eggrolls, ice cream, potato chips and dessert.
  2. Avoid fried and sugary foods.
  3. Prepare your food using methods that minimize the amount of oil used, such as steaming, boiling, baking, stewing, braising, etc. 

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