Obesity has become a modern life style problem and an epidemic of the era. Obesity is excessive body fat. To find out whether one’s body weight is excess or not, the most popular measurement today is the Body Mass Index (BMI). With the help of a calculator the precise BMI can be determined. First, find out the weight in kilos, then find the height in meters and square it (m2) and divide the weight by the height in m2. In the case of waistline, the risk begins for women with waist of 80 cm (31 in) and for men with waist of 95 cm (37 in). It can be checked with the help of a tape measure.
Availability in abundance of chips, popcorn, pastures and soft drinks with lots of sugar content and other calorie-rich food is the main cause for this dangerous phenomenon. Watching television while munching some favorite snacks has become a global past time. This is another reason for over weight and obesity.
In the good old days, one had to put in more efforts to cook the food. So the quantity of food prepared would be less and naturally the quantity of consumption was also less. Pre-cooked snacks, etc. make it easier to stack far more than the required quantity. Thus, most people eat too much and exercise too little. As a result, excess body fat gets packed around hip, thigh, bottom and internal organs, making them either over weight or obese. Among these, tummy fat is the worse to have. It increases the chance for high blood pressure, breathlessness, diabetes, etc.
Besides, eating calories-rich and fatty foods far beyond the body’s requirement was wrongly considered as healthy. This also leads to excess body fat. Unhealthy food floods our bodies with unwanted types of fats. Fat is a highly concentrated form of energy. Foods high in fat contain a lot of calorie. Too much saturated fat in the diet means too much cholesterol. Too much cholesterol means clogged arteries and this leads to heart problems and attack.
Cholesterol, the soft and waxy stuff, is manufactured every day by the liver to build cell membranes, etc. There are 2 types of cholesterol, Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is the one to fear. LDL is designed to navigate the blood stream. Problem arises when a lot of LDL crowds the blood. Over time, they get sucked into the arterial walls forming the foundation for heart threatening plaques. Again, over time, these plaques can narrow coronary arteries and so less blood flows into the heart muscles. It is clear that these deadly plaques don’t grow on artery walls; they develop in the walls themselves.
The heart muscles itself need a non-stop supply of oxygen rich blood through coronary arteries. Oxygen deprived heart muscles die quickly leading to heart risks, heart failure and even heart attack.
Another risk of being overweight or obese is high blood pressure. High blood pressure can rupture blood vessels in the brain causing stroke. High blood pressure is also recognized as the greatest of cardio vascular risk factors. It is known as a killer.
Thus, it is evident that to maintain a healthy heart, this wonderful pump, we must maintain the body weight within the required limit by eating only the required quantity of healthy and nutritional food.