Obesity and Overweight
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Yoga for Cure of Obesity

Obesity and overweight are those conditions of the body where the body accumulates excessive fat due to a number of reasons. This excessive fat, in most cases is very harmful for the system as a whole. It has the potential to impair the health to an extent of causing irreparable damage. In fact over the period of last two decades obesity has reached alarming levels in many parts of the world. And in United States of America it has been declared an epidemic. World Health Organization (WHO) has taken serious steps to overcome this lifestyle disorder.

The clinical way to measure obesity is to check the Body Mass Index (BMI) of an individual to check the level of overweight and obesity. BMI is a simple measuring index for weight for height measurement. It is deduced by dividing the weight in kilograms of the individual by square of height in meters. The unit of BMI therefore is kg/m 2. BMI is used as the most acceptable form of measurement the world over. It is a good way of getting the global statistics. But it gives only a rough overview of the whole situation. There are various local phenomena operating that affect the weight conditions of a local population. WHO has set the benchmark BMI for overweight individuals to be more than 25 and people with BMI more than 30 have been classified as obese. But medical practitioners claim that people with BMI of 21 or more should be careful about their situation as they are prone to risk. Acceptable worldwide indices published in 2000 are as follows:

  • BMI less than 18.5 individual is underweight.
  • BMI of 18.5 - 24.9 individual is normal.
  • BMI of 25.0 - 29.9 individual is overweight.
  • BMI of 30.0 - 39.9 individual is obese.
  • BMI of 40.0 or higher individual is severely obese.

BMI is a simple system of measurement and an individual can keep track of his condition in the privacy of his home.

Under clinical conditions various other factors are also considered to determine the fat content of an individual like race, gender, ethnicity, lean mass or muscularity of the individual, waist circumference, waist – hip ratio and percentage of body fat in an individual and others. But under all circumstances basic common sense cannot be denied while determining the extent of overweight and obesity. When a person is overweight or heading towards obesity he or she is the first to know and no amount of denying or negating the situation can help. Only serious steps in the direction of improvement can help the person.

These days it is seen that the modern day lifestyle is playing havoc with the health of young children. Obesity in children is a serious lifestyle disorder that has reached frightening levels in many developed countries. Many developing countries are also showing signs of obesity in their younger population. Childhood obesity or obesity in children is associated with higher chances of premature deaths and permanent disability in adulthood. Many middle and low income level countries are also facing the burden of dealing with childhood and adult obesity. Ironically they are also facing situations of under nutrition in their countries. So for them it is like dealing with a double edged sword. In many situations it is seen that the same communities would be having an assortment of population. Some that may be undernourished and some may be overweight verging on obesity.

WHO recognizes the epidemic of obesity as something that needs to be dealt with seriously. The related health hazards are plenty and severe. The cardiovascular diseases that make up for most number of deaths in all the countries of the world are the most important ill effects of obesity. This is followed by breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, musculo-skeletal disorders like osteoarthritis.

Many remedial actions are prescribed for dealing with obesity. The foremost and most sensible thing to do is to restrain faulty dietary habits. Input of more fibre rich, vegetable oriented foods with lesser processed fats and sugars in diet is something that is common knowledge. Also equally well known is the fact that sedentary lifestyles should be supplemented with adequate physical activity. It is best to make these good practices a habit so that the person does not have to deal with the situations of overweight, leave alone obesity.

Yoga for Weight Loss

Ancient yoga practices are very helpful to maintain an inner balance of the body with the external environment. At no other point in time in history the need for going back to nature and basics was perhaps felt with a greater intensity. Yoga is a powerful methodology that can be put into everyday practice to lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Yoga prescribes adequate practices that can be comfortably done within the precincts of one’s own household, and tremendous benefits can be attained.

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