The effects of obesity are leaving a path of destruction on the human population – particularly in developed countries. The term “obesity” means fat accumulation represents 30% or more of your total weight.
While this number may differ slightly (by a percentage point or two at most) depending on individual body type, it’s still the most reliable method of estimating fat content in the human body.
Obesity rates in the United States are completely out of control.
- 35% of women are obese
- 31% of men are obese
- 15% of children are obese
The Surgeon General declared obesity an epidemic and the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that obesity rates have doubled since 1980!
Current research has determined that the effects of obesity are catching up to tobacco use as a leading preventable cause of disease and early mortality. Obesity is directly attributed to more than 300,000 deaths of American adults annually.
Obesity drastically heightens your risk for…
- Premature death
- Heart disease (high blood pressure, cholesterol, and hardening of the arteries)
- Brain cognition decline
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Respiratory problems
- Arthritis and chronic pain
- Metabolic syndrome
- Gallbladder disease
- Kidney disease
- Rapid aging
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Fertility and libido
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Societal hardships
- Lower quality of life
The statistics are beyond troubling. Anyone who’s struggled with weight can attest to the fact that it is far easier to gain pounds than lose them.
Obesity: What’s to Blame?
The simple answer is consuming more calories than you burn. That’s the most common reason for obesity but it isn’t the whole story, of course.
There are factors specific to the individual in some cases. Diet, habits, exercise habits, metabolism, your culture, and even genetics have a role to play.
– Eating too much or eating a diet high in sugar or simple carbs
– Leading a sedentary lifestyle (all too common today)
– Leptin deficiency (the “I’m full” hormone)
– Antidepressants, hormone replacements, allergy medication, steroids, and even blood pressure medication have side effects that include weight gain
– Hypothyroid disease, insulin resistance, and certain reproductive conditions
– Junk food is sometimes cheaper, easier, and readily available
– Mental disorders and weight gain (or loss) are very often linked
To Get Rid of Bad Fat – You Need Some Good Fat!
A joint research effort between Liverpool John Moores University (United Kingdom), the Spanish National Research Council, the University Complutense (Spain), and the Research Institute of the Hospital (Spain) found fascinating results!
One of the major effects of obesity is that it ages your immune system faster than your chronological years, which impedes your ability to fight off infection.
Obese lab mice with were observed to show rapid immune system aging and pronounced signs of oxidative stress. Divided into two groups, one received omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) supplemented in their food and the other received omega-9 fatty acid (2-hydroxyoleic acid or oleic acid).
After 8 weeks, researchers were surprised to learn that both groups saw significant improvement – and reversal – of the effects of obesity on premature aging of the immune system.
Dr. Fatima Perez de Heredia, an author on the study, explained, “This is the first study to suggest the efficacy of 2-hydroxyoleic acid [omega-9] for reversing obesity-associated immune alterations and improving oxidative stress.”
Their conclusion was for people who struggle with weight to adopt more of a Mediterranean diet that features more fatty fish and healthy fats.
9 Foods for a Boost of Omega-3 and Omega-9
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fatty fish such as wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, oysters, and tuna
- Chia seeds, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil
- Nuts such as almonds, cashews, pecans, and macadamia nuts
- Kale, spinach, and leafy greens (mustard and collard)
- Eggs (with the yolk)
- Grass-fed meats (beef, pork, chicken) and dairy products
- Nut butters (peanut and almond)
Obesity is a reality we’re dealing with in our modern world but we mustn’t be discouraged! Not only is the problem reversible, so are the effects of obesity.
Genetics and disorders that attribute to weight gain can be treated with medications and diet. Drugs that cause weight gain may be replaceable with another option.
As far as diet and lifestyle…those are completely within your control!