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Since time immemorial, people seem to be so conscious with the way they look and with the manner other people perceive them. Oftentimes, this consciousness mainly starts from the most salient form of a human being—the physical form. People pay too much time, effort, and money just to maintain their desired appearance, fashion style, and most of all, weight. But how about those people who do not care at all about their weight? More specifically, how about those people who, even they do not intend, belong to the group of overweight people?
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Overweight is one of the leading chronic diseases in America (Stewart and Brook, 1983). Indeed, overweight is a type of a disease. Unlike what most people believe, overweight is not simply a condition wherein a person weighs higher than the supposed-to-be- or the recommended body weight for his certain age. Medically speaking, overweight signifies that a person has a deposit of body fat or adipose tissue larger than the required amount in order to be considered as a healthy person. Why then a person becomes overweight? In addition, since overweight is a kind of disease, it also has its symptoms and impact to a person being diagnosed with it. What then could we say about the effects of being an overweight? How could we categorize these effects?
Basically, overweight is due to too much intake of calories and lack of spending it. The imbalance between the two could also be affected by several factors. Some of these factors may include physical ones such as overeating, eating disorders (i.e. binge eating), poor nutrition, and limited exercise, hormonal imbalances, and metabolic disorders; psychological ones such as stress, psychotropic medication, alcoholism, or poor quality or lack of sleep; and other related factors such as smoking cessation and alcoholism. However, too much intake of food while being physically inactive is the most common cause of being overweight.
On the other hand, being an overweight has its own negative effects. In a study conducted by Anita Stewart and Robert Brook (1983), they found out that overweight is being associated to other chronic ailments such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and cholesterol. All of these diseases are complications concerning the central circulatory system, particularly the heart and the veins. An overweight person is more prone in developing such kind of diseases. In addition to this, being overweight could get exposed more to diabetes, sleep apnea, cancer, and osteoarthritis.
But aside from these, the researchers also focused on the negative effects of overweight to one's psychological and social aspect. According to them, a person diagnosed being overweight is more prone to frustration, tension anxiety, withdrawal, and depression. Moreover, being overweight could also be associated to rigidity, immaturity, and suspiciousness.
Clearly, being overweight is not a good scenario to see. It should important that we are aware of the possible causes of being an overweight. This includes overeating, being physically inactive, imbalanced diet, and metabolic disorders. To know the causes of being overweight would prevent us from committing those things. However, it is not enough that we know the causes. Being aware of its effects is as important as knowing the root cause of the problem. Some of the most common health risks of being overweight include heart diseases and stroke, diabetes, sleep disorders, cancer, and osteoarthritis. In addition to this, being overweight exposes a person to several psychological disorders.
Stewart, Anita and Robert Brook. Effects of Being Overweight. CA: The Rand Corporation, 1983
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