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Anti Obesity Day: 5 obesity myths busted by an expert


Anti Obesity Day 2021: There are certain things about obese individuals that people assume without verification. It is believed that they must be having wrong eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle or lazy attitude towards life. On the other extreme, childhood obesity is completely ignored as people think the kid would lose all the ‘puppy fat’ once he/she grows up. The truth is that apart from sedentary lifestyle and faulty food choices, there are several other factors that could contribute to obesity like genetic reasons, diseases like hypothyroidism, insulin resistance or polycystic ovary syndrome, or even certain medications.

On the occasion of Anti Obesity Day (November 26), Dr. Ramya Nair, Consultant Physiotherapist, Masina Hospital Reliva Physiotherapy Center busts 5 myths about obesity.

ALSO READ: Diabesity: The worse by-product of an unhealthy lifestyle

What is Obesity?

A disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems. Obesity occurs when a person’s body mass index is 25 or greater. The excessive body fat increases the risk of serious health problems from heart trouble, diabetes, arthritis to even reproductive problems. It can also increase risk of certain types of cancer.

Myths about obesity

Myth 1: Obesity is caused by poor lifestyle choices

Fact: “Most obesity programmes blame obesity on poor diet choices and lack of physical activity. It’s common to hear that people with obesity are “lazy” or lack motivation. While diet and lack of exercise may play a role, there are several other factors that contribute to the increase in obesity,” says Dr Nair.

Myth 2: Obese people have slower metabolisms

Fact: “The claim that slim people have faster metabolism is a stubborn myth. Larger bodies actually have higher resting metabolic rates because they need more energy to carry out basic functions. Body composition is what plays a big role in how fast metabolism is, not weight. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat,” says the expert.

Myth 3: Obesity is a problem only for adults

Fact: Early childhood is a period of rapid growth and therefore many people assume that young children who have extra fat would eventually lose it. But children don’t necessarily outgrow obesity or being overweight, says the expert.

Myth 4: Obesity runs in my family, so I will be obese

Fact: “There are genetic factors when it comes to obesity. However, just because traits are inherited doesn’t mean you will become obese. Moderate changes to your surroundings and lifestyle can help you lower your weight and reduce your risk of obesity,” says Dr Nair.

Myth 5: Obesity is caused by a lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating

Fact: “While the weight gain that leads to obesity is attributed to consuming more calories than a person is expending through physical activity, research shows that the root cause of obesity is more complicated,” says Dr Nair.

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