Obesity & it's relationship to Anoraxia, Bulimia and other eating disorders.Written by Mahesh Bhat
Obesity is a disease that affects approximately 60 million people in United States, and women are especially affected. Over one-third of women between ages of 20 and 74 are obese, majority of them being African American or Mexican American. With more and more pre-packaged food and less and less activity, number of obese people in America has steadily increased since 1960’s.
But what is obesity? Many people think obesity means that a person is overweight, but that’s not exactly true. An overweight person has a surplus amount of weight that includes muscle, bone, fat, and water. An obese person has a surplus of body fat. Most health professionals concur that a man is obese if he has over 25 percent body fat, and a woman is obese if she has over 30 percent. Women physiologically have more body fat than men, so that why there’s a difference in percentage.
It is difficult to determine exact percentage of body fat a person has, but estimates can be made in a number of ways. First, using a tweezer-like tool called a caliper, you can measure thickness of skin folds on different points of your body and compare results with standardized numbers. You can also use a small device that sends a harmless electrical current through your body and measures your body fat percentage. The most commonly used method to determine if a person is obese is to look at his/her Body Mass Index (BMI). A person with a BMI over 30 is considered to be obese, and a BMI over 40 is considered to be severely obese. It’s important to remember though that BMI could be misleading in pregnant or lactating women and in muscular individuals.
With obesity, comes increased risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and breast, colon, and prostate cancer. In addition, obesity has been linked to mental health conditions such as depression or feelings of shame and low self-esteem. Health experts say that even losing 10 to 15 percent of your body weight can dramatically decrease risk of developing these serious conditions. In addition, many obese people are discriminated against and targets of insults and other verbal abuse.
A number of factors, such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, genetics, and certain medical disorders, cause obesity, but it can be conquered. The following information seeks to educate about obesity and methods used to treat it. It does not take place of a physician.
Obesity and its Relationship to: Anorexia, Bulimia, and Other Special Eating Disorders
Obesity itself is not an eating disorder, but people who are obese or who fear becoming obese may develop one. Let’s take a look at obesity and its relationship to special eating disorders.
Binge Eating Disorder - The most common eating disorder is binge eating disorder. Approximately 4 million Americans have this disorder. Binge eating disorder is more than just occasionally overeating. It is characterized by eating uncontrollably, quickly eating an unusually large amount of food at one sitting, even when person is not hungry, and eating in secret because person is embarrassed about amount of food he/she eats.
Body TalkWritten by Arlene Unger
Our body "talks" to us through negative signals such as aches and pains, as well as through positive signals such as higher energy levels, feelings of exhilaration and well being. These signals are a lifeline to healthy eating and exercise choices.
For instance, when you have flu, your body says, "let's shut down and chill". Letting your body fight flu virus can help you get back to your active life more quickly. When you "rest" you allow your body to devote its attention to fighting flu.
When you’re very tired, your body is saying, “Stay put.” If we push ourselves drowsiness can set in and accidents can happen while we work out. You don't have "energy" to focus; you become dangerous to yourself and others.
When your body says, “I am soooo sore!” your body is saying it needs a break. Personal trainers will tell you that recovery from exercise is just as important as exercise regime itself. Overtraining can be as bad as under training. Your body needs time to metabolize byproducts of exercise, and to rebuild damaged tissue.
There are other signals that don’t come from our bodies but, rather our fickle moods, feelings and impulses. They get us confused and off-track. For instance when you notice it is cold and damp outside, you tell yourself it is “okay” to miss a workout. Even on these days you can still beef up your cardio by vacuuming, mopping, running up and down stairs or just jumping rope in your patio.
“Oops, ran out of time,” is another classic excuse. If we learn to combine things we want or need to do with exercise it becomes much more fun. Going on date to play tennis, taking a family hike or conducting a business meeting during a long walk with your client are just of few of ways to get exercise while accomplishing another task.
“My program is on TV now,” is another poor excuse for not exercising. It would not be worse thing in world to tape your show and watch later, especially without those commercials. When you make a deal with yourself to do a part of your workout, you typically end up completing your whole routine. The reward is that you have exceeded your expectations and now you can watch your show without feeling guilty.
Another common non-excuse is “a spa or gym membership just costs too much.” You can actually spend much less on a monthly membership than you do on blended coffee drinks in a month. The gym is better for you and you will feel a true sense of accomplishment each day.