Last Updated on October 30, 2023
In today’s convenience and fast food-laden world, obesity is a serious issue, and the hunt for an effective solution is now critical.
Our daytime TV shows and social feeds are full of adverts promoting the latest nutrition pills and diet fads, claiming to help you lose weight. Still, very few of these plans are scientifically proven to offer an effective, long-term, sustainable way of treating obesity and morbid obesity.
So, what’s the answer? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel if you’re among the millions of people struggling with a high body mass index (BMI) and obesity in the US?
Let’s find out.
Here’s a look at the definition of obesity, the condition and its risks, the various obesity types, and the ways obesity can be treated, including intermittent fasting, a plan that has been clinically proven to help those with a high obesity BMI.
- 1 What is Obesity?
- 2 What BMI is Obese?
- 3 Types of Obesity
- 4 Risk Factors of Obesity
- 5 Intermittent Fasting and Obesity
- 6 Treatment of Obesity
- 7 Is Obesity a Disease?
- 8 Is Obesity an Epidemic?
- 9 Obesity in the USA
- 10 Lose weight with fasting
What is Obesity?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines obesity as an “abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to your health.”
Being obese refers to far more than simply being overweight or carrying a few extra pounds.
This obesity meaning refers to a chronic condition where the volume of fat in your body way exceeds healthy levels for your height, thereby putting you at serious risk of developing potentially life-threatening health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and others.
In most cases, the condition develops over time, caused by overeating and consuming more calories than is used up.
Whatever the cause, if you are obese or have a high BMI, you are statistically far more likely to develop obesity-related illnesses and conditions. With that in mind, it is vital you address the issue and put plans in place to lose weight and adopt a healthier to avoid future health complications.
One way to kick start the fat loss process is by following an intermittent fasting plan and using Fasting Kompanion to help keep your fasting and weight loss goals on track – sign up today to start seeing the results.
What BMI is Obese?
Obesity is a complex condition generally diagnosed according to your body mass index (BMI). You are generally considered overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of over 25, obese when you hit a BMI of over 30, and severely or morbidly obese with a BMI of over 40.
Types of Obesity
Clinically, obesity falls into three main categories, depending on how extreme the condition is. These obesity types include:
Class I Obesity (Low-Risk)
Low-risk obesity refers to those with a BMI index of between 30 to < 35 kg/m². Although the risk to your health increases due to the extra body fat, this type can usually be treated easily by following a structured diet and upping the exercise.
Class II Obesity (Moderate)
Class ii obesity refers to a BMI of between 35 to < 40 kg/m², and this volume of fat presents a more serious health concern. The extra weight puts a strain on your heart, joints, and internal organs, so your chance of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis increases.
Class III Obesity (Severe)
Class III obesity, formally known as morbid obesity, is a chronic condition that occurs when your BMI exceeds 40+ kg/m². This is the most serious type and can lead to many potentially life-threatening health conditions. If you are classed as severely or morbidly obese, an entire change in lifestyle, diet, and behavior is required to avoid future complications. Failing this, doctors may suggest medication, bariatric, or other surgical procedures to treat the condition.
Risk Factors of Obesity
Obesity and morbid obesity affect your body in many ways. Some of the main physical and psychological risk factors to consider include:
- Type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, and metabolic syndrome: When your body functions correctly, it converts calories into energy to make your body function correctly. This process is known as metabolism. However, if too many calories are consumed, the extra calories are turned into lipids and stored as body fat (adipose tissue). Over a prolonged period, these fat cells can lead to chronic inflammation that prompts changes in your blood glucose levels. Many chronic conditions can result from these metabolic changes, including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These combined conditions are commonly known as metabolic syndrome, which often leads to further weight gain and contributes to obesity.
- Strokes and heart disease: Being severely overweight is one of the leading causes of strokes and heart disease. The extra body fat carried can lead to high cholesterol levels and increased blood pressure that prompts cardiovascular issues and strokes.
- Cancer: The extra pressure caused by increased body fat puts pressure on your internal organs, thereby increasing your risk of cervical, ovarian, liver, prostate, breast, and colon cancer.
- Digestive issues: Most people who are obese suffer from digestive issues such as heartburn, constipation, IBS, heartburn, excess gas, and reflux. Renal function, gallbladder, kidney, and liver problems are also common.
- Osteoarthritis and mobility problems: Carrying extra weight puts more stress on your joints, which often causes them to swell and inflame. Over time, this can lead to osteoarthritis and other mobility issues.
Intermittent Fasting and Obesity
You can adopt many strategies to help you lose weight, but intermittent fasting offers one of the few scientifically-backed ways to help treat obesity.
The reason intermittent fasting works is mainly down to how the plan is structured, as the cycles of fasting and then eating a balanced diet help kick start and speed up your metabolism and tap into and utilize the body’s excess fat.
Over the past 15 years, many doctors and dieticians have sung the praises of intermittent fasting.
One of the most prominent medical advocates is Dr. Jason Fung, whose evidence-based books, The Obesity Code, The Complete Guide to Fasting, and Life in the Fasting Lane, have become international bestsellers over recent years.
Dr. Fung suggests IF is an effective way to treat obesity as during the fasting period, a state of autophagy occurs, which causes the body to start to break down fat cells and regenerate.
This autophagy renewal process happens when calories are restricted for over 16 hours, and it can result in significant fat and weight loss over time, thereby offering a viable solution to obesity and other weight-related issues.
Treatment of Obesity
Obesity is a serious issue, and unfortunately, there is no quick fix, magic pill, or overnight cure for the condition.
If you are severely overweight or believe you may be obese, your healthcare provider should be your first point of call, who will assess your condition and help you devise a course of action to help best remedy the condition.
Carefully structured and monitored diets and often an intermittent fasting plan is now a suggested treatment for many who are classed as obese. However, fasting and changing the way you eat and live can be challenging for some, so it’s a good idea to visit a dietician regularly or download a helpful smartphone app like Fasting Kompanion to help motivate and monitor your fasting times and weight loss progress.
Is Obesity a Disease?
Yes, obesity was officially classed as a chronic disease rather than a disorder by the American Medical Association in 2013 and subsequently by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The classification of obesity as a disease catapulted the topic and its related health condition into the spotlight. It prompted many studies into how the condition could be best treated to limit the rising numbers of obese people in the United States.
Is Obesity an Epidemic?
According to Science Direct, The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared obesity a global epidemic and major health concern. They stated that more than 1.9 billion adults are overweight, with over 650 thousand of these classed as obese.
Over the past few decades, there has been a shift in the way most of us lead our lives, and we now have a fast and convenient food culture.
Advances in technology have also led to more people working from home, and far more individuals have sedentary lifestyles; therefore, they exercise less and use up fewer calories – which boosts the numbers of those classed as obese.
Worldwide, obesity is a disease that affects all ages and is a major cause of many other chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In addition, obesity also costs governments billions of dollars to treat obesity-related conditions each year, which is why finding a viable solution is now essential.
Obesity in the USA
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention stated that around 41.9% of American adults were classed as obese in 2020, an increase of more than 10% over ten years.
This increase in obesity levels is worrying for those affected by the condition and the government, as the medical cost of treating those with obesity in the US was reported to be almost $173 US billion in 2019.
Although research into obesity in the US and finding a sustainable solution is ongoing, as we have seen, many scientists and nutrition experts believe intermittent fasting shows great promise as a safe and effective way to treat obesity and morbid obesity, provided the intermittent fasting plan is monitored closely by a medical practitioner and followed correctly.
Incorporating intermittent fasting with a balanced diet and regular exercise can significantly reduce your obesity BMI.
The flexible intermittent fasting plans available and innovative apps like Fasting Kompanion that have been specifically developed to help motivate and keep those fasting on track now make intermittent fasting a viable way to help reduce obesity levels in the United States and elsewhere.