In 2014, Statistics Canada reported that over half of Canadian adults were overweight or obese. Also worrying is the fact that obesity affects an increasing number of young children.
As obesity significantly increases the risk of developing chronic diseases and reduces quality of life and life expectancy, we need to take preventive action.
Obesity is characterized by an abnormal excess of body fat caused by a calorie intake that is higher than our energy expenditure.
The main chronic diseases associated with this condition are diabetes, cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders.
In addition, psychological health could suffer greatly from lowered self-esteem, burnout, increased anxiety or depression.
Several factors are involved in the rise of obesity and the high percentage of overweight young children.
Sedentary habits, stress, lack of sleep, alcohol abuse, psychosocial problems and education are factors that can affect obesity.
However, the two fundamental causes remain excessive calorie consumption and a lack of physical activity.
Obesity is a preventable health problem, which is to say that its risk factors can be mitigated by adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as:
For preventive purposes, it is important that children be educated about those habits from an early age.
Also, many electronic or virtual tools are now available to provide support and motivation for making healthy choices.
The main recommendation for treating obesity is to reduce one’s weight by 5 to 10%. Research shows that a weight decrease of only 5% significantly reduces the risk of chronic diseases and improves overall fitness.
To achieve this goal, it is recommended to consult a professional such as a doctor, a nutritionist or a kinesiologist. In cases of morbid obesity, bariatric surgery may be a valid option.
To find out more about this topic, we suggest you read the reference document.
In case of any questions, doubts or a specific need for support, don’t hesitate to contact the specialized support service offered to the eligible individuals.