What is obesity?
Obesity is a condition in which excess fat has accumulated in the body; usually 20 percent above the recommended weight for height and age. The excess fat develops when the amount of calories consumed exceeds the amount of calories burnt off through exercise. The extra calories will convert into energy and will be stored as the natural energy reserve in the fatty tissues of your body. When the natural energy reserve is increased to a certain point higher than normal, it poses a risk factor for certain health conditions and increased mortality.
Why is obesity a problem?
Obesity decreases the quality of life, shortens the lifespan, and becomes the cause of various diseases. It can lead to health conditions such as diabetes mellitus type 2, high blood-pressure, hyperlipidemia (elevation of fat in the bloodstream), coronary sclerosis (stiffening of the arteries), heart disease, joint disease, and sterility. For every 100kg of glucose, approximately 70cm of arterial vessel space is required to smoothly transport blood throughout the body. However, when fats deposit in the arterial space, the diameter of the vessel becomes smaller. The heart will need to work harder to pump blood throughout the body since available vessel diameter is decreased. Eventually, it will lead to diseases related to the heart.
Although there is a genetic link to obesity, it is usually due to the unhealthy lifestyle of that person. In East Asian medicine, there are two major conditions that lead to obesity. The first condition is the inability to control food intake with almost no exercise and the second condition is malnourishment which leads to edema. Both of these conditions eventually lead to obesity.
1. Excessive Eating Type: Eating more than three meals per day in large portions.
2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption Type: Eating three meals per day and drinking alcoholic beverages with the meals
3. Excessive Fat Consumption Type: Consuming a lot of fast food and fried greasy food with excessive fat.
4. Eating between Meals Type: Consuming a lot of sweets and junk food between regular meals as well as during middle of the night.
5. Postpartum Type: Not taking care of the body postpartum leads to an unbalanced body shape and weight gain.
Why is treating obesity so difficult?
Many people want to lose their weight quickly. However, our bodies are designed to constantly maintain a standard body weight through homeostasis, which makes it very difficult to easily lose weight. If one tries to lose weight just by eating less, his/her basal metabolism decreases in order to account for that action and makes the person become lethargic. Even if one tries to lose weight just by exercising excessively, he/she will not be satisfied with the result because water and sodium is automatically replenished by your body after the exercise, which helps the body to maintain the standard weight. In addition, incorrect diet plan can lead to side effects such as anemia, infertility, and osteoporosis. Therefore, in order to treat obesity, one must utilize a combination of various treatment methods, but more importantly, obesity treatment takes time and requires one’s will and effort to become healthier.