How can I detect and prevent overweight and obesity?

Overweight and obesity are a growing phenomenon, to the point that they are already considered the epidemic of the 21st century. The type of food, less and less healthy, with pre-cooked foods, of industrial origin, and the lower introduction of fruits and vegetables in the diet, together with the greater sedentary lifestyle and poor practice of exercise and outdoor activities, contribute to a progressive increase of weight.

To know if we are overweight or obese, we must calculate our body mass index (BMI). We have to divide our weight in Kilos by the height squared in meters. It is only considered excess weight or overweight if the limit of 25 kg/m2 in the BMI is exceeded. We can consider obesity from 30 kg/m2.

It is important to know where this accumulation of fat occurs. Obesity with accumulation of fat in the abdominal area is associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The waist circumference in men should not exceed 102 cm and 88 cm in women.

The diseases most related to obesity are diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and some types of cancer.

Weight loss when suffering from obesity should be slow and gradual. The diet has to be balanced, varied, with a lower percentage of fats and based on the Mediterranean diet.

Carbohydrates should constitute at least 50% of the diet; proteins, 15-20%, and fats, less than 30%.

A minimum of physical activity is essential to achieve a reduction in weight and to maintain it. With physical activity calories are consumed, agility is acquired, the quality of movements, mood and psychic state are improved, as well as eliminating stress and anxiety.

The current treatment of obesity requires a comprehensive approach and supervision by the doctor or specialist, who will be responsible for monitoring progress and providing the positive reinforcement that requires an effort of these characteristics. In general, it is better to run away from miraculous pills and very aggressive treatments.

Dr. Joseph Perez. Clinical Hospital of Z Rehab Center

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