Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What is Obesity and What are the Factors Contributing to Obesity?

Obesity is the condition in which a person has overweight because of deposition of fat in the adipose tissue.  The common cause of obesity is consumption of food in excess of requirements.  Excess food consumed is converted into fat and stored in the adipose tissues.  Obesity is very common among people living in western countries and among the higher income groups in India and other developing countries.

What are the Factors Contributing to Obesity.
Age and Sex:
There is no age limit for occurrence of obesity.  It occurs either for male or female.  The incidence is higher in persons who lead sedentary lives.

Economic status/ Corporate People:
Obesity is more common among the higher income groups as they consume excess food and do less physical work than the low income groups.

Physical Activity:
Obesity occurs rarely among persons who do hard work physically.  It is very common in those who lead sedentary lives.  With the extensive use of transport facilities and mechanization of industry, the proportion of people who lead sedentary lives has been increasing.

Proneness to obesity:
Some individuals are more prone to develop obesity than others.  Recent investigations have shown that these individuals have usually large proportion of adipose tissue cells as compared with normal persons.  These cells are filled with fat when excess food is consumed.

Physiological regulation of food intake
Food intake is controlled by the central nervous system.  It is initiated by hunger and inhibited by the feeling of fullness of the stomach.  Food intake is markedly influenced by the feeding centre and satiety centre present in the hypothalamus region in the brain.  In experimental animals, if the feeding centre is destroyed, the animals lose appetite, refuse to eat and finally die of starvation.  If the society is destroyed the animals eat voraciously and become obese in a short time.

How is Obesity Measured and Problem caused due to Obesity?

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