Weight management has to do with using a long term approach to maintain a healthy weight by feeding the body with the right food according to the right proportion, engaging in essential physical activities and escalating bad eating habits. We often hear I’m undertaking weight gain, I’m undertaking weight loss, I’m on dieting course. So the question is what do we mean by healty weight?
A healthy weight is having the right weight according to your age, height and sex. One of the main purpose of weight management is for prevention and treatment of diseases and disorders associated with obesity. Also, to help a person maintain a healthy weight. Some key words associated with weight management are underweight, overweight and obesity. When we say someone is underweight, it means his or her weight is too low to be healthy. That is, the person is not getting enough calories to fuel his or her body. Causes of underweight include the following;
•Genetics •Improper metabolism of nutrients(very high) •Lack of food(frequently due to poverty) •Eating disorder anorexia nervosa •Illness (physical and mental) •Frequently physical activities. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person restrict his or her food intake severely, refuse to maintain a normal body weight, and express intense fear of becoming obese. Now let’s delve into the risk associated with being underweight. Risks of being underweight include
•Anemia. A person who is underweight is more likely to have low blood counts, known as anemia, which causes fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.
•Osteoporosis. It is where bones are more prone to breaking (brittle). According to a study in 2016, being underweight increases a woman’s risk of osteoporosis.
• Premature Births
• Irregular periods •Feeling tired all the time
•Slow or impaired growth. •Skin, hair or teeth problems
People usually confuse overweight and obesity. Are they really the same or Is there a difference?
Overweight and obesity are not the same thing. People who are overweight weigh more than they should compared with set standards for their height. The excess weight may come from body water, or bone, muscle tissue, from fat but a person who is obese has too much fat compared to other types of body tissue; hence, it is possible to be overweight without being obese. Now let’s explore the causes of overweight and obesity. The main causes of overweight and obesity include the following;
•Over eating and lack of exercise: People gain weight when they eat more calories and they do not burn the calories through exercise. This imbalance contribute greatly to weight gain.
•Research shows that genetics plays a role in overweight and obesity. Genes can directly cause obesity such disorders are Prader-Willi syndrome.
Other cause of overweight and obesity include Health Conditions and Medications: Some hormone problems such as underactive thyroid, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and cushing syndrome may cause overweight and obesity. Certain medicines also may cause weight gain, including some coricosteroids, seizure medicines and antidepressants. Cortisol is an essential hormone for life. The two adrenal glands in the body produce the hormone cortisol for our daily activities and a higher amount of cortisol in response to stress or when the cortisol levels in the blood are lower than they should be. Cortisol helps the body with several essential tasks:
•Maintaining blood pressure and heart function
•Turning food into energy
•Raising blood sugar levels as required
•Controlling the immune system
•Controlling bone formation. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a set of symptoms related to a hormonal imbalance that can affect women of reproductive age. When we say you have an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), it means your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Common signs of an underactive thyroid are weight gain, tiredness and depression. Women with PCOS usually have at least two of the following three conditions:
•Absence of ovulation, leading to irregular menstrual periods or no periods at all.
•Signs of high androgens, such as having excess body or facial hair
•Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) on one or both ovaries—“polycystic” literally means “having many cysts”. Stress, poor sleep and emotional factors can also cause overweight and obesity.
Some people eat more than usual when they are upset, bored, angry or stressed. Studies have shown that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese. This is partly because hormones that are released during sleep control appetite and the use of energy by the body.