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Research on Obesity

Obesity Statistics and Facts in Canada

In Canada, the prevalence of obesity continues to be a major health concern for adults, adolescents and children. In recent years, the number of Canadians who are obese or overweight has risen dramatically. In the period of 1970-1972 and 1998, the number of Canadian adults measured overweight or obese increased from 40.0% to 50.7%. In 2004, about 6.8 million Canadian adults, age group between 20 and 64, were overweight and an added 4.5 million were obese.

During the past 25 years, obesity rates among Canadian children and adults have increased substantially. According to the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, 23 percent of adults are obese which represent around 5.5 million people. Among adults, those aged 25 to 34 and 75 or older registered the largest raise, almost doubling-up their obesity rates to 21 percent and 24 percent correspondingly. Twenty five years ago, three percent of children aged two to 17 were obese. In 2004, that rate shoot-up to eight percent. The biggest increases in obesity rates in young people took place among those aged 12 to 17, where the rate increased threefold from three percent to nine percent

Obesity Risk Factors

Obesity is one of the most important factors that bring coronary heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. It may be at risk for a number of other serious diseases and conditions including high blood pressure or hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and other breathing problems. Excess body weight also affects normal functioning of the liver and may cause seminal diseases, constipation and different types of intestinal diseases. Some cancers such as colon, breast and endometrial cancer, gynecological problems like abnormal menses and infertility, disabilities and functional limitations are also associated with excess weight. Obesity may also lead to mental or psychosocial health problems such as depression and low self-esteem.

Obesity Prevention

The finest way to prevent obesity is to identify the aspects responsible for gaining weight. There are several factors contribute to obesity – the main reasons are poor eating habits and lack of exercise. For obesity prevention, eat a sensible, well balanced diet with sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables. Consume a variety of nutrient dense foods and drinks especially rice, pasta, whole meal bread, and other whole-grain foods. Opt for foods that restrict your consumption of saturated and trans fats, added sugars, cholesterol, alcohol and salt.

Including physical activity as part of the every day life is a significant way to help control body weight. It helps to reduce body fat by preserving or building muscle mass and improving the body's capability to utilize calories. When physical activity is united with ideal, proper nutrition, it can help to maintain weight and thus prevent obesity.

Obesity Treatment

The objective of obesity treatment is to accomplish and maintain a healthier body weight. Usually, it is done through dietary changes and increased physical activity. The mode of treatment depends on the level of obesity, overall health condition and the motivation to lose weight. Depending on the condition, your doctor may recommend a combination of diet, regular exercise, behavior modification and prescription medication. In some cases of severe obesity, weight loss surgery or gastrointestinal operation may be suggested.

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