ObesityAccording to the World Health Organisation, obesity has become so widespread all over the world that it is beginning to replace infectious diseases and malnutrition as the major contributor to ill health. In fact, there has been a spurt in the number of overweight people by over 400% in the UK over the past 25 years, thanks to the advent of technology, which has reduced need for manual work. Moreover, our diet has also changed considerably to include energy-dense foods, including snacks. In the UK, the market consumption of fast food is over a hundred billion pounds per annum and that of chocolate about half a million tonnes. Consuming more calories than you burn results in excess reserves of fat.

Impact of Obesity

Obesity may also be responsible for causing serious diseases, such as cancer, heart ailments, diabetes, respiratory problems or strains on joints, which can further cause osteoarthritis. Several psychological disorders may also be linked to obesity.

The first step is to find out if you are overweight is by measuring your body mass index. If you divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in metres, you can calculate your BMI. Over 40 BMI is morbidly obese, 30-40 BMI is obese, 25-30 BMI is moderately overweight, 18.5-25 BMI is normal and a less than 18.5 BMI is underweight. Ideally experts believe that health risks increase when the waist circumference increases more than 94cm for men and 80cm for women.

Fighting Obesity

It is therefore important to reduce calorie intake or burn up more calories. An ideal way to turn up the metabolic rate is to exercise daily for at least 20 minutes, which will help in burning up extra calories and also keeping your metabolism up for a greater period of time as the muscles begin burning calories to repair themselves. Walking is by far the most common physical activity, which can be done absolutely freely, and you don't need to go to a gym or a sports facility to be physically active. Physical activity offers not only physical benefits, but also psychological benefits by helping in the improvement of self control over anger, stress, anxiety and depression.

Studies suggest that the regular consumption of green tea can help in burning up at least 100 calories a day by stimulating thermogenesis – the process that involves burning fat to raise the core temperature of the body.

Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are of the opinion that vitamin E can also help in alleviating symptoms of liver disease caused by obesity.

Since proper hydration is essential for a healthy lifestyle, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. If you are dehydrated, the body temperature may drop, causing the metabolic rate to reduce. Green tea may help you in keeping your metabolic rate at its optimal best.

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