The Menace Called Obesity
3 Key Influences & Artillery To Fight Back!
Fat, big, humongous, huge. It goes by different terms but it basically refers to one and the same thing. Obesity. What is obesity? Ok, I know this term has been around for quite a significant period of time for everyone not to know what it is. But what I am looking for is the meaning of obesity in the framework of our present-day society. How does our society look at obesity and how it affects the lives, thinking and attitude of obese people.
Obesity, in simple terms, means having too much body fat. Period. We can take on more scientific definitions like an abnormal accumulation of body fat as defined by www.faqs.org or a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher as described in www.wisegeek.com, but it still boils down to one simple meaning. In most cases, it means simply means having too much body fat.
When we talk about obesity, we are not simply referring to someone whose weight is about 10 lbs. more than his ideal weight based on his/her height. Normally, a 10 to 20 lb difference between an ideal weight as against the current weight qualifies someone as overweight yet not obese. When we talk about being obese, we are talking about excessive baggage of 30 lbs. or more.
The most common way of determining obesity is via the BMI (Body Mass Index) calculation. This method follows a certain formula wherein the body's weight in kilograms is divided by the square of the body's height in meters. If your BMI exceeds 30, you are automatically considered obese and if it breaks the 40 point mark, then you are someone called morbidly obese.
|BODY MASS INDEX CALCULATOR|
Enough With The Numbers:
Ok, since I am not a nutrition expert nor a health professional, I won't be discussing too much about the science behind the obesity classification. What's important at this point is that I have already shown you how to know whether you are already a humongous piece of lard walking on the streets everyday.
Another important aspect that we need to focus to be able to understand obesity is the influence of society in its prevalence. And I am talking here about society in general and not just the people in it. I mean, come on, the society is not just about its people alone. You have the system and the structure in itself though people comprise more than half of its existence.
First Influence: Education:
In a study that was made by Hélène de Chastenet in 2005 as part of her Master of Science degree requirement [ref. www.ext.nodak.edu], she noted that obesity in the US seems to be greater in those samples that never had college education.
Furthermore, the said the study shows that the numbers increased for those who never reached high school (was 1.3% compared to just .5% for those who had a college degree with them). This result shows the lack of efforts in the part of our society to inform the younger population about quality nutrition and the consequences of indulging in non-healthy foods such as pizza, cakes and sodas.
Personally, I believe that the education system needs to extend its efforts in battling obesity from within the classroom up to the nutritional values that each state public school canteens are selling to our students.
More than what we are teaching these students, the things that they consume in those canteens would eventually decide how these students would aesthetically grow. I mean, it doesn't make sense if we continue telling these young people to shun away from fatty, unhealthy foods when all they see and find on our campus cafeterias are the exact same thing we ask them to avoid.
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Second Influence: Lifestyle:
Another strong case that we need to look at is the effect of one's lifestyle to their susceptibility to obesity. And when I say lifestyle, what I mean is the inherent influence of the society to one's lifestyle.
You must be telling yourself right now that lifestyle is something personal and shouldn't be blamed on the society. That's the thing. One's lifestyle should be personal, but with the current society that we have, one's personal choice is greatly influenced by what is basically available around him.
One example. Foods. We are now seeing a big surge in the production of low-cost, easily accessible but extremely unhealthy foods. You see fast food chains building one branch after another that basically offers fries, sodas and fried chickens. Then there's the ballooning fad of to-go meals that basically includes pizzas and other deep-fried foods.
Anywhere you go you can find a soda vending machine. I mean, even if most of you would argue that those are only for people who want those kinds of foods, the fact that you find this almost everywhere strengthens its influence in the decision-making of a person.
If you came from a normal 8-hour work shift, drove at least another hour to reach your place after work, rest is high on your priorities, right? Would you choose to go to the market, pick up a chunk of salmon or chicken breast, proceed to your kitchen and steam them or would you simply choose to pick up a pizza order that you have placed before leaving your office that comes with a 1.5 liter of soda?
The choices that our society gives to us would have a significant affect on how we decide. That is a fact that no one dares to admit.
Third Influence: Family:
- Childhood Obesity. - By Shannon Clark
- Risks For Overweight Children! - By Tisha Rodrigues
- Tips For Parents Of Overweight Children! - By Dave DePew
- Other Obesity Articles...
Have you ever tried observing the family of obese people? Try looking at their family and you would agree with me that one's family plays a very big influence on one's obesity.
Normally, an obese teen has either an obese dad or an obese mom or an obese grandparent. Worse, both dad and mom are obese or both grandparents are obese.
Having someone from within the family sharing the same lifestyle, the same set of consumable foods, same sets of daily activities, and same set of nutritional knowledge makes the urge to overeat and keep on resting so strong. So strong that an outsider would find it very difficult to correct or reorient. I could give you a perfect example. Myself.
I am obese. What with a 36% BMI, I am just 4% away from being morbidly obese... before I decided to pick up some irons and burn those pesky flabs. But the uphill battle against obesity was pretty much easier after I migrated to another country. You know why?
My mom is obese like me. My aunts, except for one, are all obese. All of my uncles are obese. I am not saying that I hate my family for making me obese. I do love each and every one of them specially my mom, but as much as I hate to say this, they made my battle against obesity extremely hard.
Related Obesity Articles:
My mom loves to cook. In fact, she's a great cook that people from all around our community pay her just to cook food during special occasions. And this actually became the biggest contributor to my overeating. Heck, who doesn't love tasty meals!
When I was a kid, my mom would always prepare foods for me and my sister all stuffed inside the fridge. We just need to grab those pre-cooked meals and put it in the steamer then indulge. My sister never had any issues with this since she and my dad had a pretty good metabolism. But me, my metabolism is so slow that I could still taste the food I ate 4 or 5 hours before.
Since my mom is a very loving mother, she always made sure that there's food on the table all the time. When I come home from school, after a stressful shift at work, even after playing basketball with my friends.
There's nothing wrong with being a loving and caring mom. It's just that I was such a glutton that I indulged on these foods every time I saw them on the table or on the fridge. And every time I try to slack off from the foods and try to work on a diet, my mom would cooked up my favorite food and put it on the table for me to smell and crave.
Now you see why I consider the family as a big influence in obesity?
Artillery To Fight Back
Exercise: The Main Artillery:
Clinically, a person becomes obese when the amount of work he does is not proportional to the amount of calories he takes coming from foods. Too many calories = energy not consumed = stored fats. Now, the best weapon that we have to battle this menace is actually very simple, in fact, its simplicity makes most people ignore it most of the time. The answer - Exercise!
Maintaining a regular exercise routine offsets the staggering amount of stored energy that we accumulate from too much eating. Brisk walking, slow-phased jogging, biking, even a simple breathing exercise coupled with proper stretching helps channel out those extra calories into used energy.
Modern science seems to have pushed exercise aside in favor of high-tech solutions to flabs and love handles. Gastric bypass and liposuction are the two most sought after remedy for obesity.
The problem with these processes is that most of the time, it only improves the subject aesthetically and not physically. It does help an obese person get rid of the unwanted flabs and love handles but the improvement is limited to that. Aesthetics. It doesn't improve cardiovascularity, it doesn't improve strength and resistance, it doesn't improve one's immune system.
And this is where your old workhorse, regular exercise, beat those high-tech and costly procedures. You see, exercise does more than improve one's aesthetics. A regular exercise program improves both the lungs and the heart leading to an improved and much better cardiovascular and immune system.
Exercise helps in excreting free radicals from our system. Exercise in itself is an antioxidant that helps us regenerate our body's cells. Aside from that, right exercise programs improves our overall muscle structure, posture and strength. I would take on any high-tech scientific procedure anytime, any day, with just the good ole' exercise as my only artillery and I won't be worried of being beaten.
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In this age of high exposure to obesity-inducing factors, it would be good to know that we are not alone in this fight, right? Aside from our old-reliable fitness trainers and health professionals, our closest ally is sitting right at the edge of our fingertips, the internet.
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You see, to combat obesity effectively, we need an abundant stack of knowledge on how to beat it. Just like in a real combat, we need to know exactly what causes it and how to counter them. The more you know about your opponent, in this case obesity, the higher chance that we would end up beating it. And where can we obtain more information about our subject aside from the internet?
There are numerous places on the internet that we can go to gain the right knowledge and techniques to beat obesity. You just need a search engine and a keen desire to learn. The best possible place to start with are the health forums.
Health forums entice discussions among different people. And when I say different people, we are not simply talking about people from the same state or country. We are talking about different people from different walks of life coming from different countries and from different fields.
Forums are comparable to your good old school bulletin boards where you are allowed to post queries and expect good, sound, and knowledgeable answers in return. It also allows you to share your knowledge on equally interesting subjects.
Registration is FREE! There are hundreds of extra features available to users who register, and it only takes 30 seconds or less!
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Aside from forums, you could also visit health sites or other similar websites that offers tons of articles from qualified professionals and experienced individuals who has already earned stripes in their battle against the big bulge.
Be it a question on what exercise suits you and your lifestyle to questions on what supplement is suitable for your health, expect answers from well known & trusted health sites and various other places on the internet. Not just plain and simple answers but qualified answers from credible and highly-trained professionals that have been around the business for a significant amount of time.
Quite a fancy term isn't it? BodySpace. What is this? Another social networking website a la Friendster and MySpace? Hmmm... Partly, but not exactly.
BodySpace is your key to an overall body transformation. A form of a social networking website free for anyone to sign up, the BodySpace provides you with different amazing tools to help you start, work and build on that ideal physique of yours that would eliminate any trace of obesity in your personality.
|BODYSPACE: STRENGTH IN NUMBERS|
- The Workout Goals which allows you to set specific objectives whether for your body or for your upcoming competitions.
- A Bodyblog that allows you to post exactly what you are working on everyday using your own writing style.
- A Workout Program page that allows you to list your routines and exercise modules.
- A networking feature that allows you to hook up with other members that would love to answer your queries, track your improvements, offer advice (sometimes unsolicited but equally effective) and professional feedback on any topic about building your physique.
- For a social networking gizmo like me, I call this one an upgraded Friendster. Upgraded in the sense that it doesn't only allow you to socialize within this unique community, it also gives you the flexibility and freedom to choose and decide where to take your body in the next few days.
The BodySpace has a set of unique features such as the Body Stats which aims to record the progress of each body part that you are working on, the lifting stats which records the development of your workout.
Additional features include:
Think of BodySpace as your best friend and workout partner. It works in a way that would allow you to help yourself design the best workout program for your body through good, sound advice from resident BodySpace fitness experts.
Feels like the routine is not working? Don't worry, just ask your network of friends for advice and you would find out that like brothers and sisters from faraway places, the BodySpace members reache out with the best answers in the quickest possible time anytime of the day.
Turning Society Into A Good Health Ally:
Education, lifestyle and family - Those are the top 3 factors influencing the rise of obesity in present-day society. But they don't need to be your nemesis forever in this battle.
Like a good war strategist, health websites could help you transform those nemesis into beneficial allies in battling the flab. BodySpace and others can help you find the right knowledge and skills essential for you to develop a good, active and healthy lifestyle which you could spread into your own family. This and other sites aim to help, not just you, but anyone from your own circle of trusted friends and loved ones who are waging a losing battle against this health menace.
They can help you and your loved ones to develop the right positive attitude, a firm discipline and the will to win and overcome obstacles on your way to having that healthy physique and mentality. No, you don't need to buy anything. Many health articles are free. You could read or even download those articles. Or if you want to, you could register for free to join the many forums available.
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Bodybuilding.com Can Help You Find The Right Knowledge And Skills Essential For You To Develop A Good, Active And Healthy Lifestyle.
Once you have gained everything that you need to know, you could then start by visiting well known and respected fitness on-line stores to find if there is something you might want to try. The respected and well-known stores will also have agents that are always available to answer your queries 24/7. This is how they work to help each and one of us who's trying to win this big battle for a healthy and better way of living.