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Weight Loss and Obesity

Weight loss and obesity

How many people globally are living with obesity?

Globally, 1.9 billion of people worldwide are overweight or obese according the World Health Organization of which, figures have tripled since 1975. Yet, the rising cases of obesity have made them vulnerable to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure to mention a few forcing them to seek various interventions to reverse the conditions. 

The countries with the highest cases of obesity in the world reported include Nauru Island in which 61 per cent of the population is reported to be obese. On the other hand, Vietnam has the lowest rates of obesity in which 2.1 per cent is considered obese.  This signifies that in various parts of the world, obesity and weight gain is the norm. However, in other countries, it is a rare occurrence.

In Kenya, 7.1 per cent of the population is considered to be overweight or obese of which numbers would be expected to rise if health measures are neglected. Nonetheless, certain diets like the low carb/ketogenic diet have been found to be effective in reducing weight and obesity. 

What is obesity?

Obesity can be described as having abnormal or excessive fat accumulation. From time to time, children who are overweight or obese are often stereotyped as well fed while adults are seen as wealthy. But today, it has become an issue of concern. The state of being overweight is a predecessor of obesity in which the weight of individuals rises to above the recommended BMI (Body Mass Index) values. This is often caused by following poor diets, calorie rich regimens.

BMI is one of the ways in which obesity is assessed. However, according to the World Health Organisation, BMI is a rough analysis that may not correspond to the same degree of excess weight in various individuals. In some cases, for instance, water retention can lead to weight gain or rather, high BMI values.

Body Mass index measures the ratio of weight and height to classify obesity in adults. It is calculated as a person’s weight in kilograms which is divided by the square of his/her height in meters (kg/m²). After the Body Mass Index is calculated, a further analysis of obesity or weight gain is analysed such as skin-fold thickness, diet evaluation, physical activity and genetics.

What are the symptoms?

In order to identify symptoms of obesity and weight gain, physical appearance is analyzed such as the weight and height ratios which are then interpreted by a BMI calculator. According to the WHO, adults who are overweight have a BMI above or equal to 25 while those with obesity have a BMI greater than or equal to 30. For instance, an individual who is 5 foot 5 inches (1.68 meters) tall weighing between 68 and 79 kilos would be considered as overweight as his/her BMI would range from 25 to 29 respectively.

Moreover, an individual of the same height weighing 82 kilos and above would be considered obese as the calculated BMI would be greater or equal to 30. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the recommended BMI for a person of that height ranges between 18.5 and 24.9. However, figures below 18.5 would be considered underweight.

How does the low- carb/ keto diet manage obesity?

All is not lost when it comes to reversing obesity or unwanted weight gain. The low carb/keto diet is showing promising results. According to dietitian and advocate of the low carb diet, Dr. Daniel Katambo, individuals report shedding 0.5 to more than 10 kilos or weight within the first week.

In terms of how the keto diet works, when the body is deprived of the glucose obtained from carbohydrate foods such as grains, a different form of energy known as ketones is produced from stored fat in the liver. The body breaks down muscle to release glucose. The body then goes into a state of ketosis.

After three to four days of this process, the glucose is drastically reduced and the amount of insulin in the blood lessens. The body then begins to use fat as its primary fuel and weight loss occurs. 

However, close monitoring is mandatory as the keto diet could cause ailments such as low blood pressure and low sugars levels in diabetic patients. Thus, it is essential to seek medical advice before venturing into the keto diet while receive guidance from one of the Afyacode physicians.