The stoutest kid always gets teased in school. He gets called all sorts of names, and he is the brunt of all the fat jokes that his classmates can think of. But more than the name-calling, being overweight may actually lead to a lot of dangerous conditions.
Carrying too much body fat may cause a person to become obese, thus putting him at risk to a variety of ailments. Studies have shown that a third of all men and 35 percent of women are obese, as are 16 percent of teenagers and children. Obesity is determined by computing for the body mass index, or BMI, of an individual. The formula takes into consideration a person’s height, weight, age and bone structure.
Causes of Obesity
Being overweight or obese may be caused by different factors. One is the easy availability of food, with super sized value meals from fast food stores easily packing a ridiculous amount of calories that are much more than our body requires.
Improvements in society brought about by technology also have their negative aspects. We use the lift even if we only need to go up or down a single flight of stairs. Instead of walking, we use our cars even for short distances. Even in communicating with our officemates and colleagues, we do so by email or text messages rather than taking a few steps toward their work areas or cubicles. Telephone use has been made a lot easier, as we can now just flip our mobile phones from wherever we are seated. All our home appliances are now equipped with remote controls. In other words, technology has brought about a sedentary lifestyle. We thus strain less muscles and effort, meaning the chance of obesity setting in has become greater.
Changes in the environment may also lead to weight issues and obesity. The increase in toxins in the air may cause changes in a person’s hormones. This can then lead to changes in our eating habits. There are also toxins that may affect a body’s ability to burn off fat. Artificial nutrients also do not have the same ability as natural food in triggering off internal weight regulation mechanisms.
Of course, it may also be in the genes. Some people are just more predisposed to being overweight or obese. There are just people with naturally bigger bodies and bone structure.
Importance of a Weight Loss Program
Being overweight or obese, or simply having unhealthy eating habits, may lead to higher risk of having gallstones, type 2 diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, cholesterol problems, triglycerides, coronary artery disease, and other health conditions. It can also have psychological effects, like self esteem issues and depression. Socially, overweight and obese people may be ostracized or even discriminated upon.
Even kids with weight issues may suffer from all these physical, social and psychological problems. That is why it is important to stay within your ideal weight level.
Huge Weight Loss
Even extremely obese people should do their best to try to lose weight. Having incentives may help, as the contestants in television’s The Biggest Loser can attest to. Jeremy Britt lost 199 pounds, or more than half of his body weight before the show started, to win the contest and the $250,000 prize that went with it. The 199 pounds that he lost, however, is not even near some of the biggest documented weight losses in history.
Manuel Uribe, a 6’4” Mexican, used to come in at 1,320 pounds, with body mass index of 155 kilograms per square meter. His incredible size attracted worldwide attention. With the help of doctors and nutritionists, Uribe managed to trim down by 500 pounds over a period of two years.
Carol Yager, an American who stood at a mere 5’6” tall, used to weigh 1,600 pounds. Realizing the danger that she was in, she undertook a diet that lasted for three months. She did not take any diet pills or artificial stuff. Instead, she chose the natural way of slimming down, and that was by limiting her food intake. She sustained her body by taking in only 1,200 kcal per day. As a result, she lost almost 520 pounds. She still weighed in at more than a thousand pounds, but still, the effort was undeniably there. Try to lose a third of your weight on your own, and see how hard it could be.
Rosalie Bradford, meanwhile, has the distinction of recording the biggest weight loss ever by a woman. Standing at only 5’5”, she tipped the scales at 1,200 pounds. She undertook a disciplined diet and weight loss program, and she eventually lost 917 pounds. By the time it ended, she came in at a still heavy, but nonetheless more manageable, weight of less than 300 pounds.
The Biggest Weight Loss Ever Recorded
But Jon Brower Minnoch, an American who stood at 6’1”, the biggest weight loss ever recorded. He used to weigh about 1,400 pounds, though his lack of mobility and huge size prevented the accurate reading of weight. He was the heaviest human ever recorded.
Minnoch already weighed 290 pounds when he was 12. His weight kept increasing until he was hospitalized when he was 37. He was then placed on a diet of 1,200 calories per day. After 16 months, he had lost 924 pounds, with his weight now down to 476 pounds. By that time, however, he already had the underlying condition of edema.
He tried to have as normal a life as possible, even getting married to a girl who weighed only 110 pounds. The marriage resulted into two children. It is still considered to be the greatest difference in weight between two married couples ever recorded.
When he was admitted to the hospital, his body mass index was at 186 kilograms per square meter, with 900 pounds of his body mass retaining fluid. A few months after his discharge, however, he had to be rushed back after he gained weight once again. Treatment was discontinued because of the edema, and Minnoch passed away less than two years later. When he died, he weighed 798 pounds with a 105.3 body mass index.
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