Obesity can sometimes be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. However, these disorders are rare and, in general, the principal causes of obesity are:
During your physical exam, your doctor will measure your weight and height to calculate your BMI. Your doctor may also measure your waist circumference to estimate the amount of unhealthy fat in your abdomen. In adults, a waist circumference over 35 inches for women who are not pregnant or 40 inches for men can help diagnose obesity and assess risk of future complications. If you are of South Asian or Central and South American descent, your doctor may use smaller waist circumference values to diagnose your obesity. People from these backgrounds often don’t show signs of a large waist circumference even though they may have unhealthy amounts of fat deep in their abdomens and may be diagnosed with obesity. Visit Assessing Your Weight for more information.
Lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite. You may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to weight gain.
Gallstones are more common in people who are significantly overweight, and especially in those who have been obese for a long period of time. In many cases the “gallstones” themselves are mainly “cholesterol stones”.
Obesity is an epidemic in the United States and in other developed countries. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, including at least one in five children. Nearly one-third are obese. Obesity is on the rise in our society because food is abundant and most of us are employed in positions that require little to no physical activity. On the bright side, recent data suggest that childhood obesity, while still high, may no longer be on the rise.
 Diabetes overview. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse website. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/diabetes-a-z. Updated April 4, 2012. Accessed May 15, 2012. Discontinued 2014.
Market researchers define the boomer generation as the “have it all” generation. The Boomer Generation Diet explains, in their terms, how they can lose weight, have fun and live more+. Here’s what Jen Boynton, editor in chief of TriplePundit, says about the book:
Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure that creates a small stomach pouch to restrict food intake and constructs bypasses of the duodenum and parts of the small intestine to decrease one’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. There are two types of gastric bypass operations: Roux-en-Y and extensive gastric bypass. Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery will need to take nutrition supplements due to limited absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.
Goodpaster BH, Carlson CL, Visser M, Kelley DE, Scherzinger A, Harris TB, Stamm E, Newman AB. Attenuation of skeletal muscle and strength in the elderly: The Health ABC Study. J Appl Physiol. 2001;90:2157–2165. [PubMed]
Talk to your doctor to learn more about the benefits and risks of each type of surgery. Possible complications include bleeding, infection, internal rupture of sutures, or even death. Read gastric bypass surgery for more information.
Jump up ^ Smith E, Hay P, Campbell L, Trollor JN (2011). “A review of the association between obesity and cognitive function across the lifespan: implications for novel approaches to prevention and treatment”. Obesity Reviews (Review). 12 (9): 740–55. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00920.x. PMID 21991597.
1. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging. Federal, state and local resources can help families with caregiving, housing and other elder issues. Even if you can’t find a home who will accept your loved one, you may be able to get assistance in other ways — such as an expert in-home caregiver.
One problem with using weight-for-height tables is that doctors disagree over which is the best table to use. Several versions are available. Many have different weight ranges, and some tables account for a person’s frame size, age and sex, while other tables do not.
The incidence of hypertension, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome intensifies with age, and aging per se is closely linked to increased prevalence of most of the abnormalities contributing to the metabolic syndrome (3). The incidence of the metabolic syndrome rises with increasing BMI, and a broader waist circumference is more common in men older than 65 years than in younger age-groups (3). The occurrence of the metabolic syndrome reaches peak levels in the 6th decade for men and the 7th decade for women, and a decline is noted only in the 8th decade for men and for some women in different ethnic groups (3). As recently outlined by the American Heart Association Professional Education Committee of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, older age and obesity are two of the most powerful risk factors for uncontrolled hypertension (4), and high blood pressure, in turn, is a major determinant of mortality and stroke incidence, particularly in senior years. BMI and abdominal obesity are significantly and independently associated with an increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension, and obesity contributes to the development of hypertension in diabetes in all ages, including old age (5). Hence, separation of abdominal adiposity from its closest sequels, i.e., the metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and diabetes, is somewhat artificial, especially later in life. Adiposity strongly influences these risk factors, which, with the passage of time, may directly dominate the occurrence of complications. The strongest support for such a sequence of events is the fact that attempted weight loss is associated with lower all-cause mortality, regardless of age (6).
Obesity can influence various aspects of reproduction, from sexual activity to conception. Among women, the association between obesity and infertility, primarily ovulatory infertility, is represented by a classic U-shaped curve. In the Nurses’ Health Study, infertility was lowest in women with BMIs between 20 and 24, and increased with lower and higher BMIs. (20) This study suggests that 25 percent of ovulatory infertility in the United States may be attributable to obesity. During pregnancy, obesity increases the risk of early and late miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and complications during labor and delivery. (21) It also slightly increases the chances of bearing a child with congenital anomalies. (22) One small randomized trial suggests that modest weight loss improves fertility in obese women. (23)
Social and economic issues. Research has linked social and economic factors to obesity. Avoiding obesity is difficult if you don’t have safe areas to exercise. Similarly, you may not have been taught healthy ways of cooking, or you may not have money to buy healthier foods. In addition, the people you spend time with may influence your weight — you’re more likely to become obese if you have obese friends or relatives.
Even so, a number of scientists are actively developing potential treatments. Dominguez-Bello, for example, is conducting a clinical trial in Puerto Rico in which babies born by cesarean section are immediately swabbed with a gauze cloth laced with the mother’s vaginal fluids and resident microbes. She will track the weight and overall health of the infants in her study, comparing them with C-section babies who did not receive the gauze treatment.
Dom Naish is a Phoenix-based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught him every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.
26. Yeh SS, Wu SY, Lee TP, et al. Improvement in quality-of-life measures and stimulation of weight gain after treatment with megestrol acetate oral suspension in geriatric cachexia: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Am Geriatr Soc 2000;48:485–92 [PubMed]
Found your 10 minute walk/rest for 10 minute plan which I use to finish my 45 min workout. As an ex college and pro football player my knees are shot and one has been replaced so far so I have to walk fast on incline. Started 3 weeks ago 5 days a week but no change yet but I know how these things take time. The holidays don’t help but New Years is tomorrow so come next Monday I plan to get real serious on a 40 lb weight loss. Any other suggestions? I’m 280 now at about 6’1 but in pretty good shape except for this guy I want to get rid of.
For some people who have obesity and related health problems, bariatric (weight-loss) surgery may be an option. Bariatric surgery has been found to be effective in promoting weight loss and reducing the risk for many health problems. For more information, see the Additional Links section to download or request a copy of the WIN fact sheet Bariatric Surgery for Severe Obesity.
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Waist circumference is a less-common method used to measure obesity in an individual. This simple measurement indicates obesity and morbid obesity in adults by measuring your waist. To find your waist circumference, wrap a tape measure around the area above your hip bone and below your rib cage.
Clinical trials are part of clinical research and at the heart of all medical advances. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat disease. Researchers also use clinical trials to look at other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with chronic illnesses. Find out if clinical trials are right for you.
An association between viruses and obesity has been found in humans and several different animal species. The amount that these associations may have contributed to the rising rate of obesity is yet to be determined.
And a study in a recent issue of the journal Demography–synthesizing the results of five national surveys—found increasing disability among those ages 55 to 64 between 2000 and 2008 (a group that included the oldest baby boomers).3 By contrast, disability levels continued to decline among the oldest Americans (ages 85 and older) and held steady among the elderly ages 65 to 84 during the same period, reported Vicki Freedman, a University of Michigan demographer and lead author.
Sleep apnea and respiratory problems – Sleep apnea, which causes people to stop breathing for brief periods, interrupts sleep throughout the night and causes sleepiness during the day. It also causes heavy snoring. Respiratory problems associated with obesity occur when added weight of the chest wall squeezes the lungs and causes restricted breathing. Sleep apnea is also associated with high blood pressure.
Eat more small meals and snacks, and don’t go much longer than 3 hours without eating. “Because your metabolism is already slow, if you’re starving yourself, it just gets slower,” Li says. You may need fewer calories than you did when you were younger. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian about that. “If you’re eating the same way you did when you were 25, you’re definitely going to be gaining,” Li says.
Simply call us at (866- 363- 0072) to learn more about in-home care, respite care, and other services on this site, or use our local office finder to locate a Comfort Keepers franchise near you. Our professional staff will be happy to explain our customizable in-home care options.
It’s important to where one stands with their weight, as it is extremely relevant not only for the treatment, but also for the prevention of many chronic diseases. As we discussed so far, just screening for overweight or obesity isn’t a simple task, and obesity can be missed or overestimated in the elderly population even more so than in younger adults.
Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes was once called adult-onset diabetes. Now with the rise in childhood obesity, there is a dramatic rise in the number of children suffering from type 2 diabetes. Untreated, this can be a life-threatening condition.
BMI is a calculated value and approximates the body’s fat percentage. Actually measuring a person’s body fat percentage is not easy and is often inaccurate if the methods are not monitored carefully. The following methods require special equipment, trained personnel, can be costly, and some are only available in certain research facilities.
Monsanto presents a series on what it means to be “Climate Smart” in the world of agriculture. The series will cover the role of climate change in impacting food security, agriculture, weather patterns and society at large.