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Is Obesity an Eating Disorder?


The consistent shift towards an unhealthy lifestyle has always come out to be pretty standard in most parts of the population. Undoubtedly, people find it way too easy to maintain a detrimental lifestyle as it takes zero effort and less maintenance. However, the actual realization hits once the health reaches rock bottom, and the individual is left with no option. But that’s too late, and the realization will barely make an impact. 

Your habits decide your health. In other words, significant reasons behind lifestyle-oriented diseases such as obesity (excessive fat accumulation in the body) are eating disorders, lack of physical activity, and many others. Hence, tiny consistent steps can build or even break your body. It all depends on the choices that you make. 


A person standing on a weight machine


Defining Obesity and Eating Disorders

Obesity is defined as one of the most complex and chronic diseases. It can be caused for numerous reasons and ultimately lead to an increase in your body fat. It can also be induced due to poor health. Although excessive body fat is not a disease, it can change how your body functions. These changes in the body can worsen over time, and if they progress vigorously, they can even be life-threatening and lead to adverse health issues. Even if you try to make a few changes in your weight, it can positively impact your overall health. Healthcare professionals use BMI, i.e., body mass index, to categorize if a person has a healthy body weight, is overweight, or is obese. BMI is defined as the ratio between average body weight to average body height. A BMI of 30 or more is termed as obesity. Doctors classify obesity into 3 major classes depending on how severe it is. They include:

  1. Obesity Class 1 – BMI 30<35

  2. Obesity Class 2 – BMI 35<40

  3. Obesity Class 3 – BMI 40+

Exploring Eating Disorders

Eating Disorder is termed as a serious health disorder that can affect a person’s health physically and mentally. Eating disorder comprises issues like how you think about your food choices, body shape, weight, and eating habits. These types of symptoms can have an effect on your overall physical and mental health, like your emotions and your ability to think and function in essential parts of life. If not treated properly, these eating disorders can have a long-term effect on your body and lead to death. The most common types of eating disorders include anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia disorder. Eating disorders are known to affect and harm your digestive system, mouth, teeth, and heart. They have also been linked to anxiety, depression, suicidal behavior, and thoughts. However, with proper therapies and treatments, you can go back to living a healthier life. If you focus on healthy eating habits you may be able to reduce or reverse serious health issues caused due to eating disorders.

Talking about obesity, the most common lifestyle-oriented condition is purely a severe eating disorder. You can’t fix the condition without fixing your dietary habit. In dictionary terms, obesity is a complex chronic health condition involving the accumulation of excess fat in the body, leading to multiple health complications, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc. 

Causes of obesity

There is no particular age group for getting the condition. A child as young as ten years old to an adult aged around 60 can get affected by the disorder. Apart from the dietary pattern, multiple other factors can lead to obesity. Following are a few of them: -

1. Inappropriate eating pattern

​As mentioned earlier, obesity is an eating disorder. It revolves around what and how much you eat. Over eating is never a great idea, even if it means the consumption of healthy food, as the system itself is unhealthy. 

2. Overconsumption of sugar

The one reading this blog is mature enough to segregate what’s good and bad for health. Doesn’t matter how strong the marketers get in quoting the packaged sugary drinks as so-called healthy drinks; we are all aware that these are nothing but marketing gimmicks. Hence, choose your drink wisely..! 

3. Psychological factors

Psychological factors such as anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and depression can lead to stress eating. In such a scenario, it might include items that are satisfying to the brain, such as chocolates, sweeteners, or items high in calories and less in nutritional value. 

4. Hormonal changes

Hormonal disbalance is also a major cause of obesity. Lack of sleep, stress, menstrual cycle in women, and other factors might disrupt the hormones in the body. And hence, this leads to hormonal change and other body functionalities, leading to weight gain. 

5. Lack of physical activity

Fat burning is important to avoid accumulation. This can be done by inculcating some sort of workout in the daily routine. Working out can only be beneficial if it’s being followed consistently. 

6. Childcare trend

Modern-day parenting and childcare involve fewer outdoor activities and more activities confined within a closed space. Also, gadgets have made kids gain interest in video games, tv shows, and activities that lack physical movements. A year down the line, such kind of a lifestyle makes one prone to lifestyle diseases over time. 

The list mentioned above may not consist of all the factors considering the condition. It might vary from person to person. 

Challenges and Misconceptions

The following are the most common challenges and misconceptions associated with Obesity and Weight loss:

  1. Obesity is caused due to lack of exercise or unhealthy diet habits

  2. People who are obese do less physical activity or no activity at all as compared to people with normal weight.

  3. Diets are able to help you lose weight in the long term. Relapse of the lost weight is a consequence of dealing with a chronic disorder and should not be categorized as a failure for an obese person.

  4. Losing weight rigorously will not have any side effects or adverse effects.

  5. Only exercising can help you lose weight, and it’s better than dieting. Rather than just exercising, obese patients should combine exercising with weight loss diets to have the most effects.

  6. Anyone can lose weight with just enough willpower. It’s not true; with willpower, you need to actually work on yourself, and every obese person will have a different weight loss journey.

  7. The number of kgs lost is considered a successful obesity management program. No, this should not be the case, as a successful obesity management program should only include healthy eating habits rather than reducing the numbers on the weighing scale.

Also Read: How Does Xenical Help in Weight Loss?

How to prevent obesity?

There are a lot of preventive measures available online that might help you prevent the situation. However, the below-mentioned are some of the well-researched points as suggested by medical professionals.

1. Portion control

Mindful eating is somewhat the best possible thing to do to prevent the condition. You need to be aware of your eating habits and maintain portion control. Overeating will anyway do nothing except straight away harming your body. 

2. Routine exercise

Regular exercise helps to burn excess fat and improves metabolism. You can even practice yoga, aerobics, swimming, or any kind of sport to improve your health. 

3. Avoid added sugar

Avoid added sugar as much as you can. It leads to high blood sugar, including insulin and leptin resistance. This might lead to diabetes, excess weight gain, and accumulation of body weight. 

4. Consult a professional

If you are unable to cultivate a healthy lifestyle all by yourself, make sure to seek professional guidance. Professionals like dieticians or doctors will help you build a lifestyle making the utmost use of the resources available around you. 

5. Take care of your mental state

A happy state of mind is all we live for. The more restless you are, the more you become inclined towards developing unhealthy habits. This can slowly trigger health conditions. Learn to take breaks and maintain a healthy sleeping pattern to calm down yourself and your body. This also helps resolve prevailing hormonal issues. 

6. Medications

Many weight loss medications, such as Orlistat capsules are available, including tablets and capsules online. You can try them out to make your journey a bit easier. Nevertheless, consult a doctor before trying any oral medications for weight loss

Take away

Coping with obesity may not be an easy one. But remember to love your body in every possible way while you are undergoing the steps/treatment. Nothing is impossible, and so is dealing with the condition. To combat obesity and get back to your previous self will definitely cost you a lot of patience, time, and consistency. All you have to do is make sure that you are up for it. In the end, never give anyone the power to make you feel bad about your body. Every size is beautiful, and our main goal is to attain our healthier selves. Trust the process, and don’t forget to love yourself enough..! 

Medically Reviewed By:

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B. Pharma

(Dr. A. Sharma, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist and a medical writer with 10 years of clinical experience. He strives to empower patients to understand their medications so that they become better healthcare advocates.)


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