Overweight and obesity: how to fight it?

What is the difference between overweight and obesity?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), overweight and obesity are defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that can be harmful to health. The body mass index (BMI) is an indicator that shows the relationship between current weight in kg and height expressed in meters squared (kg/m2).

For adults, WHO defines overweight and obesity as follows:

  • Overweight: BMI equal to or greater than 25.
  • Obesity: BMI equal to or greater than 30.

BMI provides the most useful measure of overweight and obesity in the population, as it is the same for both sexes and for adults of all ages.

Another indicator that is taken into account in the Nutritional Consultation is Waist Circumference (WC), which is a marker of abdominal fat mass, since it correlates subcutaneous fat mass and intra-abdominal fat mass. Waist circumference considers that those men and women with elevated WC values (more than 102 cm and >88 cm respectively) have an increased risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases.

For children, weight-for-age (W/A) and weight-for-height (W/L) need to be taken into account when defining overweight and obesity, based on the Pediatric Tables. In this case, graphs are shown which, according to the mentioned indicators, show whether the child is within the 50th percentile (Pc 50) or if, on the contrary, he/she is outside this percentile, which will indicate overweight or underweight.

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What pathologies are associated with obesity?

The pathologies associated with Obesity could be, taking into account that not all people present them, among them: Diabetes I, Diabetes II, Hypercholesterolemia, Dyslipemia, Hypertension, Cardiopathies, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, gallstones and liver problems, some types of cancer.

That is why, depending on each case, the appropriate foods are selected in quantity, as well as the quality, frequency and interaction between nutrients.

In addition to the appropriate dietary plan according to the diagnosis, in the case of overweight and obesity it is important to evaluate the possibility of doing some kind of physical exercise to promote the degradation of fats and increase muscle development.

Is any person with excess weight suitable for a dietary treatment?

Any person with excess weight can make a dietary plan provided by your nutritionist, which takes into account the diagnosis present as well as if there is an associated pathology such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, etc ….

The dietary plan should also be complete in terms of quantity, frequency and selection of food covering the daily requirements of the person.

What are the keys to a balanced diet?

As a Nutritionist, I have discovered throughout my professional experience that there is no one or several keys to a balanced diet.

What I do consider important at the time of the Nutritional Consultation is to make an integrative approach. That is to say, to take into account not only the clinical diagnosis and Nutrition, but also Ayurvedic Medicine and the tastes and habits of the person.

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Above all, it is very important to keep in mind that in order to achieve a balanced or healthy diet and maintain it over time, it is good to adapt it to each person according to his or her requirements. As I mentioned before, habits, as healthy, are the basis of a balanced diet and to achieve a habit it is good to work from the Nutritional Consultation with Coaching tools that help the person to achieve the objective.