The problem of obesity is getting worse in Singapore.
The National Health Survey that is done every six years shows the obesity rate has increased from 6.9% in 2004 to an alarming 10.8% in 2010. This means 1 out of 10 Singaporeans is overweight. But why is this worrying?
What is Obesity?
Obesity or being overweight is an excess proportion of total body fat. A person is considered obese when his or her weight is 20% or more above normal weight. It is caused by an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.
Do you know that according to the World Health Organization data, being overweight is the fifth leading risk factor for death and is responsible for 7% of deaths globally? At least 2.8 million adults die each year.
Why Do I Keep Putting On Weight?
We gain weight and often find it hard to keep if off, because of these five key factors:
1) We consume too much food rich in FATS, especially trans fats.
2) Our body’s glucose metabolism is too low, so it triggers our minds to eat sweet foods, which are high in sugar and fats.
3) We live in a stressful society and stress releases cortisol which is converted to sugars and unused sugars turn into fats stored in our body.
4) Low muscle mass in our body is resulted from unhealthy diets and when muscle is low, it can’t burn fats or calories so therefore we gain even more fats!
5) As we age, our body metabolism rate is slower. However as we continue to eat the same diet, we start to gain more fat since our body is not able to process the foods like it did when we were young.
So What If I Am Overweight?
Being overweight increases the risk for accumulation of visceral fat. Though extra fat often gathers just under the skin, it’s the deeper, underlying fat that is most likely to increase the risk of heart attack. This really worrisome fat is visceral fat – fat that is found in the abdomen and surrounding vital organs like the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas. This is different from body fats, and it can only be detected through a fats scan.
Visceral fat is the type of fat that is metabolized by the liver, which turns it into cholesterol that circulates in the blood. ‘Bad’ cholesterol will then collect in the arteries, forming plaque, a waxy-like substance that narrows the arteries. It is known to cause inflammation in the colon and the artery walls, and is a major cause of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Research even suggests that visceral fats affects mood by increasing production of the stress hormone, cortisol and decreasing levels of feel-good endorphins. So, along with slowly killing you, visceral fats will also affect your mood. That is why high visceral fat is also known as the ‘silent killer’ – you can’t see it, feel it or touch it but it is killing you from the inside out! And youCANNOT reduce it through exercise!
But I Am Underweight?
You don’t need to be overweight to have a large amount of visceral fats. It has been documented in thin individuals where 7litres of fats was found in people who were underweight. Or you may see others with a ‘beer belly’ – that’s visceral fats extending the abdomen.
So What Are The Consequences?
Besides contributing to a higher amount of visceral fats, obesity also increases the chances of developing other risk factors for heart disease, especially high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes. It also adds to the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (degenerative disease of the joints, especially osteoarthritis) and some cancers like breast and colon cancers.
And do you know high blood pressure is the leading risk factor for mortality? Based on the World Health Organization statistics, it is responsible for 18% of deaths globally. This is a risk factor for more than half of deaths due to heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the world.
Having more fats in the body will also increase your cortisol levels – which are essentially your stress hormones. This situation results in your cells and body system to age faster. In the long-term, this damages and reduces the number of cells in the hippocampus, the brain’s primary memory center which results in memory loss and impaired learning.
Another major negative effect of cortisol is that it inhibits collagen formation. Collagen is a molecule that makes connective tissue. It’s vital for structural support and is found in muscles, tendons and joints, as well as throughout the entire body. In other words, fats do make you age faster!
So What Should I Do?
Obesity is preventable. All it takes is the first step.
Click on the below banner and we will arrange a FREE fats scan analysis for you. It is a quick 5mins fats test (no blood or any injections!) and we will advise your body fats situation and the approaches that you could learn to take to enjoy a healthier and happier lifestyle. No obligations.
Don’t be victim to obesity, protect yourself…and your family.