Obesity And Hypertension – With WHO’s Statistics

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a medical condition that occurs when there is an excess accumulation of fat in a person’s body such that it presents a risk to the health of the individual. When you have a high body mass index, you’re said to be obese.

Body mass index (BMI) is an apparatus used by the doctor to check if the weight of a person is normal for their sex, height, and age.

The measurement of body mass index (BMI) is the weight of the person (in kilograms) divided by the square of the person’s height (in meters).

When your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, it shows the person has excess weight, but if it is 30 or more, you’re considered to be obese.


Obesity can cause more increased risk to have cardiovascular disease, but before this can happen, obesity has to combine with hypertension. If hypertension is not present, the risk of cardiovascular disease is not increased significantly.

Obesity is a risk factor that can cause hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. When obesity and other metabolic syndrome clusters together, its implication for prevention might be essential, especially as to whether the interventions that are targeted at visceral obesity will have any beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease and renal morbidity.

Other Health Risks Associated With Obesity

  • High blood pressure: When excess tissue is adipose in the body, it may secrete substances in the body that will affect the kidney, and this can cause high or hypertension. When the body also produces excess insulin, it can cause blood pressure to rise.
  • Gallbladder disease: When you consume food that is high in fat or sugar, it may not cause obesity, but it can make the liver produce excess cholesterol, which will result in gallstones.
  • Respiratory problems: This can happen when the extra weight mounts pressure on the lungs, cause difficulty in breathing.
  • Coronary heart disease: When you have extra weight, it makes it easier for you to develop heart disease. This is because the excess cholesterol and extra weight put enough stress on the heart and blood vessels.
  • Stroke: A buildup of excess cholesterol often causes obesity. This creates more risk to the blockage in the blood vessels. The blockage can cause heart disease and stroke.

The 8 Causes Of Obesity

  1. Overeating calories: When the amount of calories you eat is more than the energy you consume, the body will store those extra calories that weren’t consumed as fat, and this can lead to obesity.Some food can lead to weight gain, especially those that have high fats and sugar, and they include:
    • Fried foods
    • Processed and fatty meats
    • Fast foods
    • Foods with added sugar
    • Sweetened juices, sodas, and alcoholic drinks
    • Many dairy products.
  2. Not sleeping enough: When you don’t get enough sleep, your body will produce ghrelin, this is a hormone that will increase your appetite for food, making you eat always and can lead to excess weight gain.
  3. Obesity gene: In some cases, the gene responsible for obesity is called the fat-mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO). This gene causes higher food intake, a preference for high-calorie foods, etc. This FTO gene activity will increase the chances for the person to be obese because the FTO gene affects the amount of ghrelin in the person’s body.
  4. Leaving a sedentary lifestyle: This is a lifestyle where the person involves in activities that make them burn fewer calories than they produce. Examples of such sedentary lifestyles include; going to places by car instead of walking or cycling, playing games on a computer instead of doing some physical activities outside, working in an office rather than doing manual labor, etc.
  5. Psychological factors: Many people, when they are having some emotional challenges, such as stress, anger, boredom, sadness, it influences their eating habit, thereby increasing their tendency to becoming obese.
  6. Genetics: If one of the parents is obese, it tends to transfer it to any of the children. Leptin deficiency is one genetic cause of obesity. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in the placenta and the fat cells. It controls the weight by making sure the brain eats less when the already stored fat in the body is too high. If the body cannot produce enough leptin, obesity can occur.
  7. Insulin: Insulin is an important hormone. One of its functions is to regulate how energy is stored. It also tells the fat cell when to store fat, and when to hold on the already stored fat. Though the role of insulin in obesity is controversial, when the insulin level is high, its role in the development of obesity is casual.
  8. Sugar: Scientist believes that excess sugar intake might be one of the significant causes of obesity. This is because excess sugar consumption causes the hormones and biochemistry of your body to change. So sugar contributes to excess energy storage and leads to obesity.

Treatment Of Obesity

The main goal of treating obesity is for us to stay at a healthy weight that will match our age, size, and height. This will cause improvement in your health and prevents you from having further complications that are related to obesity. Also, consult health professionals like a dietitian or an obesity specialist to help you better. Below is the few listed treatment that can help an obese person;

    1. Dietary changes: Practice a healthy eating habit and reduce the number of calories you consume. You may lose weight quickly, but steady weight loss gradually over a long period is seen as the best way to lose weight and helps you keep it off totally.
      Set your schedule to participate in a weight-loss program for like six months and use another one year to participate in a maintenance program to be able to maintain the weight-loss success.
    2. Exercise and activity: Constant physical exercise and movement is one significant way of treating obesity. To maintain your weight loss, you need regular exercise, even if it’s just walking.
      Obese patients need at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly. This will prevent them from gaining more weight and help maintain the amount of weight loss weekly. The number of minutes should be increased gradually to achieve a more significant result.
    3. Counseling: Getting counsel from a health professional can help in your emotional and behavioral approach to eating. With the health of a counselor, you can learn how to monitor your diet, understand things that trigger your eating habits, and cope with food cravings. Counseling can be done either in a group or one-on-one.
    4. Weight-loss surgery: Weight loss surgery can pose a severe risk to health. The surgery involves making either your stomach smaller or for it to bypass some part of the digestive system. It can only be considered when your BMI is 40 and above or when you want to make some lifestyle changes, and it needs surgery for those changes to work.
      With weight-loss surgery, you can lose up to 35% or more of the excess weight in the body and also reduce the risk of having high blood pressure.
    5. Support groups: you may find support groups of people with similar challenges of obesity in your area to join; this can help you lose weight. You get a better understanding among people of like minds.
    6. Cut down on your alcoholic intake: Most people don’t know that alcoholic drinks contain so much sugar and calories. Reduce the amount of alcohol you take and increase the amount of water you take weekly. Taking enough water will keep your body healthy and hydrated.
    7. Avoid crash diet: Avoid any diet or programs that will cause you to have sudden weight loss. This is because such diets or programs can often lead to health issues, and once you stop the diet, all the weight lost will be regained back. The only method to help your weight loss is by adopting a healthy eating habit and practice it over a long period until you get used to it.
    8. Intermittent fasting: This type of fasting will help you manage the intake of calories. It will help you lose weight and still maintain your muscles. There are several methods of intermittent fasting.
      • Alternate-day fasting (5:2 diet): this is where you restrict your calorie intake to 500-600 calories for two days each week, then eat normally for five days a week.
      • 16/8 method: This is a method where you fast for 16 hours and only eat twice a day with an interval of eight hours.
      • Eat-Stop-Eat: This type of method is where you fast for 24hours and eat only once in a day. For example, you eat dinner today and eat dinner tomorrow.

In conclusion, below are the statistics of obesity as captured by World Health Organisation (WHO)

  1. 1n 2016, the number of adults suffering from overweight where more than 1.9 billion, while 650 million suffer obesity. Yearly, on average, 2.6 million people die each year as a result of overweight and obese. Obesity was only associated with high-income countries, but it’s now available in low-income countries.
  2. In 2016, the number of preschool children under the age of 5 suffering overweight globally was 41 million. Children who are overweight are more likely to become obese at the adult stage.
  3. In 2016, children and adolescent between the ages of 5-19 that were overweight were 340 million.
  4. Some of these populations live in countries where obesity and overweight kill people more than those who are underweight.
  5. In 1975, obesity nearly tripled worldwide.
  6. In 2016, among adults aged 18 years and above, 39% were overweight, while 13% were obese.
  7. Obesity can be prevented.

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