No. Name No. Name
1. Blood Pressure 5. Peripheral Vascular Disease
2. Cholesterol 6. Stress
3. Diabetes 7. Stroke
4. Obesity 8. Vascular Diseases
Overview (Obesity):

We all have and need fat tissue in our bodies. When there is too much body fat, it results in obesity. Although obesity is not a sign of a person being out of control, it is a serious medical disease that influence over a quarter of adults all over, and approx. 14% of children and adolescents. It is considered as the second leading cause of preventable death after smoking.

Think about these questions:
  » How do genes, environment and behavior explain obesity?
  » How do our bodies regulate our weight?
  » Why do some countries or certain ethnic and racial groups have higher rates of obesity than others?
  » Who is to blame: the individual, TV, fast foods?

Many aspects contribute to cause obesity including genetics, the environment and behavior.

Some individuals have a genetic tendency to gain weight and store fat. Although not everyone with this tendency will become obese, some persons without genetic predisposition do become obese. Several genes have been recognized as contributors to obesity, and researchers are constructing a Human Obesity Gene Map in hope of finding genetic targets in humans that may lead to the development of new treatments.

  » Read the Centers for Disease Control's, Obesity, and Genetics: A Public Health Perspective.
  » Find out what is happening with the Human Genome Project.


An environment that promotes healthy weight is one of the reasons that encourage consumption of nutritious foods in reasonable portions and regular physical activity. A healthy environment is important for all individuals to prevent and treat obesity and maintain weight loss.

One can create healthy surroundings at home, school, work and beyond. Identifying and consciously avoiding high-risk conditions in the environment can assist in weight control efforts.

Read about Creating a Healthy Environment in the Community Action section of our website.

Diagnosis (Obesity):

How is Obesity Measured?

Usually the bathroom scale gives a measure of our weight and help us to follow changes in the weight, but it is not the best way to decide if one is overweight or obese, or at risk for developing obesity and its related health conditions. Other measurements can help one find out more about the body composition.

1. Body Mass Index (BMI):
BMI is a number based on both our height and weight. It can help us to find out the degree to which one may be overweight and gives a sufficient assessment of total body fat for the general population.

Knowing the BMI is important for the individual and the family, because it correlates better with health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes than does weight itself. BMI is not perfect. Some people, like athletes, may measure a high BMI but have more muscle than fat.

2. Waist Circumference
Apple-shaped? If one has never heard the term, it means carrying surplus weight in the stomach region, also called abdominal fat. Waist circumference measurement is used to determine health risks linked specifically to abdominal fat.

How to measure waist circumference?
Measure the waist size by wrapping a tape measure around the area above the hip bone and below the rib cage.

What does the waist measurement mean?
For Men: 40 inches or more
For Women: 35 inches or more If the waist measurement is more than that listed above, and the BMI is between 25 and 34.9, it is considered as an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

3. Combined Measurements
One can have a BMI that indicates a healthy weight, but still have a waist measurement above the healthy range.

Knowing both the BMI and Waist Circumference can give a better assessment of risk for developing obesity and its related health conditions.

Treatments (Obesity):

Eating lesser calories and becoming more active are the two activities that are vital to help one speed up the weight loss process. Some individuals may benefit from counseling or medications. This is particularly true if one identify the barriers to controlling portion size and caloric intake or physical exercise.

Before doctors recommend the best treatment, they need to assess how much weight is needed to lose, the risk for other diseases etc.

People with the highest risk of heart disease or diabetes, for example, will need the most severe treatment. Those who have a healthy heart but who need to lose several pounds may require simple changes in diet and exercise to become as healthy.

Most experts agree that a weight loss of 5-10% of the body weight produces considerable improvement on one's health and maintaining it for a long period of time is an achievement. Losing more than 15% of the starting weight requires severe lifestyle changes and is difficult to maintain.

Taking medications for weight loss is only a smaller part of a larger treatment of diet, exercise, and changing the eating behaviors.

How is Obesity Treated?
The exact method of treatment depends on the level of obesity, overall health condition, and the inspiration to lose weight.

  » Treatment for obesity may include a combination of diet, exercise, behavior modification, and      sometimes weight-loss drugs. A blend of diet and physical activity is probably more effective in      sustaining weight loss than the diet or exercise alone in adults. The type of physical activity does not      seem important

  » In some cases of severe obesity, gastrointestinal surgery may be also recommended

  » Obesity reduction and weight control is a life-long effort and may involve a series of major      modifications in eating habits, physical exercise routines and general lifestyle. The overwhelming      evidence is that overweight and obese people should be encouraged to integrate changes to their      lifestyle over a longer period of time to maintain the benefit of initial weight loss.

A combination of decreased food intake and increased physical activity is more likely to lead to constant weight loss.
Although we have attempted to provide you with the causes, diagnosis, remedies, and treatments for the above mentioned diseases. We suggest you to consult your personal physician by providing your medical history for getting information for any of these diseases.

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