Obesity may be described as a physical condition characterized by excessive deposition or storage of fats in adipose tissues. It usually results from consumption of food in excess of physiological needs. Obesity is a serious health hazard as the extra fat puts a strain on the heart, kidneys and liver as well as the large weight bearing joints such as the hips, knees and ankles, which ultimately shortens the life span.
There is now growing realization that much adult obesity has its origin in infancy, childhood and adolescence. The prevention of obesity should therefore begin in infancy. The prevalence of obesity in children is estimated to be 25 per cent in the first year, less than five per cent at five years and nine per cent at 15 years. It is however, not necessary that fat babies become fat children, but obese five-years-old are more likely to become fat adolescents.
Crawford and co-workers conducted studies in obese infants. They concluded from these studies that the best obesity index for infants six months of age is a weight gain greater than 5.34 kg. during the period from birth to six months .of age. It can, however, be generally said that obese children are those whose weight exceeds the expected weight for height by more than 20 per cent.
During infancy and childhood, the disadvantages of obesity are relatively small. A fat child has an increased tendency to acute respiratory infections. Severe obesity can delay motor development A really fat child of two years may hardly be able to walk and his exploration of the environment will be delayed. Knock- knee is common. Emotional disturbances are likely to develop, particularly at adolescence and puberty may occur early.
Several factors can lead to obesity in children. These include genetic tendency, racial and familial diet habits, a personal habit of overeating, restricted exercise and emotional factors. Another important cause of obesity can be some abnormality in the metabolism of adipose cells or in energy expenditure. Some of common reasons of obesity are.
- Obesity can be caused by endocrine disorders, hypothalamus dysfunction, hypothesis tumors, and pineal gland tumors.
- Excessive eating as a result of stress increases the amount of fat and causes obesity.
- Among people who consume excess alcohol, there are many obese people.
- Lack of exercises – As life becomes more convenient and mechanical, most people don’t like to walk or use stairs and opt for cars and elevators, further compounding a chronic lack of exercise that many people experience.
Home remedies for Obesity
- Make a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon powdered black pepper, 3 teaspoon lime juice, and 1 teaspoon honey in 1 cup water. Drinking this mixture for 3-4 months may be helpful in weight loss for obese and overweight people.
- Take half lemon in hot water daily empty stomach in the morning.
- Eating a tomato in the morning before breakfast for 3 to 4 months may be helpful in weight loss for obese and overweight people.
- Finger millet is an ideal food for obese people, because its digestion is slow and due to this carbohydrates takes longer time to get absorbed. By eating finger millet preparations, the constant desire to eat will be curbed, reducing the daily caloric intake. At the same time, it supplies abundance of calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B1 and prevents malnutrition in spite of restricted food.
- Exercise also plays an important role in weight reduction plain. It helps to use up calories stored in body fat.
- The leaves of jujube or Indian plum is another valuable remedy for obesity. A handful of leaves be soaked over night in water and this water should be taken in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach. This treatment should be continued for at least one month to achieve beneficial results.