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Malaysia has the highest prevalence of obesity among adults in South-East Asia. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health. Showing a body mass index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.

Obesity is correlated with various diseases and conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and even osteoarthritis. This condition can be caused by improper diet, lack of physical activity, and certain environmental factors.

 

  1. Factors affecting obesity

A number of factors can play a role in weight gain. These include diet, lack of exercise, or genetics.

 

Food and Activity

People gain weight when they eat more calories than they burn. This imbalance is the greatest contributor to weight gain. Hence, when this condition occurs frequently, will lead to obesity.

 

Stress, and Poor Quality of Sleep

Some people eat more than usual when they are bored, angry, upset, or stressed. Studies also have found 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 body’s use of energy.

 

Genetics

Genetics plays a role in obesity. Genes may contribute to a person’s susceptibility to weight gain. Research has shown that if both parents are obese, will lead to their child to have at least 50% of being obese or having a childhood obesity crisis. Other than that, this also comes together with the outside factors, such as an abundant food supply or little physical activity, will contribute for a person to put on excess weight.

 

Health Conditions and Medications

Some hormone problems may cause overweight and obesity, such as underactive thyroid, Cushing syndrome and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Not to mention certain medicines also may cause weight gain, including some corticosteroids, antidepressants, and seizure medicines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Recommendations

Improve Diet

Avoid processed foods. Highly processed foods, like white bread and many boxed snack foods, are a common source of empty calories, which tend to add up quickly. Try a plant-based diet instead. Eating a plant-based diet has been associated with greater overall health and much lower rates of obesity. To achieve this, fill your plate with whole vegetables and fruits at every meal. For snacks, you may try oat based since it will help to lower cholesterol level and give satiety.

Keep Active

It is most recommended to get at least 1 hour a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, which can be combined together from short bursts of 10 minutes or more. Avoid too sedentary lifestyle and just keep moving. Light physical activities are always advisable especially within a hectic day. Simple steps can be such as walking to your parking spot or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

 

Reduce portion size

Try to use smaller dinnerware or plate size. Evidence suggests that sizes of plates, spoons and glasses can unconsciously influence how much food someone eats. For example, using large plates can make food appear smaller, hence this often leads to overeating.

 

Avoid sugary drinks

Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is suggestive as poor dietary quality, they contain sugars such as sucrose or fructose, often in large amounts, which contribute to the overall energy density of diets. The calories provided by these sugary drinks have little nutritional value and may not provide the same feeling of fullness that solid food provides. As a result, total energy intake may increase which can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

 

 

Pick a suitable plan that fits your lifestyle

It is advisable to follow a weight loss plan that you can stick to, and avoid plans that would be nearly impossible to follow in the long term. While there are hundreds of different diets, most are based on cutting calories. Reducing your calorie intake will lead to weight loss, but dieting, especially frequent yo-yo dieting, has been found to be a predictor of future weight gain. Therefore, avoid strict diets that completely eliminate certain foods completely for a beginner.

 

With a little effort and a change of lifestyle, obesity can be managed.   If you have underlying health conditions that lead to obesity, speak to your doctor about ways or precautionary measures to take in order to lose weight safely.

 

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