Weight gain

Weight gain changes

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of weight gain

Obesity has become a major health burden in the recent years. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that post-1980, the global obesity rate has doubled. According to recent epidemiological studies by WHO, more than 1.9 billion adults all over the world were found overweight in 2014. Among them, about 600 million were obese. All these cases are attributed to unhealthy weight gain under multiple clinical, psychological or environmental conditions. The total cost of treatment and hospitalization due to obesity and associated diseases in the United States was $99.2 million in 1995. The doctors worldwide are warning their patients regarding unhealthy weight gain in order to reduce the current global burden.

 

What is weight gain?

Weight gain changesAn increase in the current weight of an individual by any margin is known as weight gain. Weight gain is healthy if it contributes to the well-being of an individual. It is unhealthy if it leads to clinical complications. An excess weight gain is termed as obesity, which may give rise to systemic complications in due course of time. Weight gain typically occurs due to the presence of excess fat in the body.  

An overweight condition may also arise due to an increase in the overall weight of the body muscles, bones, fat and water. Body Mass Index (BMI) plays an important role in determining whether a person is overweight or obese. A BMI of 25-29 kg/m2 is attributed to overweight. A BMI of 30 kg/m2 or above refers to obesity.

 

What causes weight gain?

Healthy weight gain may occur due to a proper consumption of nutritious food items. An unhealthy weight gain may occur due to an excess consumption of fatty food materials or some diseases. The general causes of weight gain are given below-

  • Excess calorie intake: Frequent and excess intake of food containing high calorie, saturated fats and animal protein result in excess fat within the body. Also, few people suffer from Binge Eating Disorder which is characterized by excess intake of food (of any kind) within very short intervals of time.
  • Limited physical activities: Complete lack of physical exercise (along with heavy eating) and extreme lethargy can be a primary cause of obesity. In this case, the fat acquired from the food does not get a chance to burn completely and gets deposited within the body.
  • Heredity: Studies by Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that BMI is influenced to a great extent by genetic factors and contribute to fat deposition within a person’s body. Two obese parents are 75% likely to have an obese child and only one obese parent has a possibility of 25-50%.
  • Hormones: Variation in hormone level within the body occurs during puberty, pregnancy or after menopause which can lead to disturbed fat metabolism and resultant fat deposition within the body. Impaired functioning of the thyroid gland (due to disturbed endocrine activities) causes Hypothyroidism which can lead to obesity.
  • Medications: Few medications such as glucocorticoids can cause abnormal fat gain (truncal adiposity in most cases). Few other drugs like Insulin and oral hypoglycemics cause obesity due to excess gain of adipose tissues within the body.
  • Emotional Stress: Emotional stress and depression can trigger weight gain in 10-20% cases (research reports by Atkinson et al). Inhabitants of northern latitudes suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) particularly during Winter, which leads to severe depression and ultimate fat deposition.
  • Chronic diseases: Existing diseases within the body such as Cushing’s Syndrome, Hypothalamic diseases, and Hypogonadism can cause abnormal endocrine activities or erroneous fat metabolism which might lead to obesity.
  • Ethnicity: Different ethnic groups follow different diet patterns which determine the amount of fat metabolism and fat deposition within the body.

 

How can you tell if a person has gained weight?

Weight gain scalesA major weight gain can be identified from the appearance of the person itself. Following are some of the additional symptoms of weight gain-

  • Abnormal deposition of fat in different parts of the body, especially in the waist and abdominal portions
  • High BMI
  • Increased waist circumference (above 40 inches in males and above 35 inches in females)
  • Inability to fit into clothes and tight feeling (around the chest) when they are worn
  • Heavy sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue and decrease in work-level productivity
  • Inability to perform physical activities for long
  • Snoring tendencies
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Joint pains
  • Feeling of social awkwardness due to distorted bodyline
  • Irritability and mental depression

 

What are the different types of weight gain?

Weight gain can be classified according to the different conditions in which increase of weight occurs. These are given below-

  • Young healthy females: This category is obese but does not have obesity associated clinical complications.
  • Heavy drinking males: They can grow alcoholic obesity and clinical complications (cardiovascular disorders)
  • Anxious middle-aged: It refers to women with disturbed mental conditions.
  • Affluent and healthy elderly: Usually they have high alcohol intake and high blood pressure.
  • Physically sick elderly: Aged people with chronic diseases like osteoarthritis.
  • Poor health: It includes people having several chronic diseases.

 

What clinical complications may occur?

Numerous clinical complications may arise from weight gain. These are given below-

  • Cardiovascular disorders ( atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, cardiomyopathy)
  • Hypertension and stroke
  • Chronic diseases like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Diabetes (Type 2)

 

What diagnostic tests and treatments are available?

Weight gain & heartA typical weight loss plan includes several tools. Some of them are- physical activity and exercise, dietary modifications, behavior modification, weight-loss medications, weight-loss surgeries.

Dietary changes include reduction in calorie intake (recommended calorie intake is usually 1200 to 1500 calories for females and 1500 to 1800 calories for males),  making healthy choices (preferring plant-based food, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and limiting sugar and salt intake), restriction of certain foods and meal replacement (in some cases). Weight loss medications are usually prescribed when other methods have failed. Indications for the medications are BMI greater than 30 or BMI greater than 27 (with medical complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure etc.).

Some of the prescribed medications are lorcaserin, orlistat, phentermine, topiramate etc. Bariatric surgeries or weight-loss surgeries are performed in extreme cases. Some of the surgeries are- gastric bypass surgery, Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB), Biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, and gastric sleeve surgery. Vagal nerve blockade is a new technique approved by the FDA in the year 2014. It is indicated in patients with a BMI 35 to 45 and at least one obesity-related conditions (such as type 2 diabetes).

 

Facts

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 2.8 million people die worldwide each year due to obesity.
  • Overall health risks increase if the waist circumference measurement is greater than 35 inches in females and greater than 40 inches in males.
  • Safe and reasonable weight loss is losing 1 to 2 pounds in a week.

Facts

  • Daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 1000 calories in order to reduce around 1 to 2 pounds in a week.
  • In order to lose weight, approximately 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity is required daily.

Facts

  • Use of smaller plates can help you eat lesser as you tend to finish everything on your plate irrespective of its size.
  • According to a neuroendocrinologist at Monash University in Australia, free radicals damage the cells which signal to stop eating when we are full. Thus, antioxidants not only deter aging but also prevent you from becoming fat.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Indulge yourself in regular physical activity. A regular physical activity of 60 to 90 minutes per day can trigger the weight loss process. Being a couch potato can only help you in gaining more pounds.
  • Follow a balanced diet. A balanced diet with optimum nutrients, minerals and antioxidants can help in maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Reduce the size but increase the number of your meals. Multiple small-sized meals are usually preferred over fewer big meals in order to lose weight.
Don'ts
  • Consume trans fats and saturated fats. Avoid junk and processed food. Opt for roasted foods over deep fried ones.
  • Indulge in smoking, excessive drinking, and drug abuse. These disturb the metabolic processes of the body and you tend to gain weight.
  • Consume artificially sweetened drinks and food stuff.

 

 

 

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How can berberine supplements help you live longer and healthier? Berberine is a turmeric look-alike herbal extract that is credited with numerous health benefits ranging from diabetes cure…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
antihepatitis core antigent
Anti-Hepatitis B Core Antigen (AHBc) Total Anti-hepatitis B core antigen (AHBC ) is a blood examination and the only serological marker of infectious blood…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding on the plant…
Rick Simpson’s Oil: The truths and controversies of this cannabis product Rick Simpson's Oil is an extract from the much-controversial plant, Cannabis. What is the actual truth behind the…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute available today,even vegans…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how healthy can a…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
sodium blood test
Blood Sodium Test A blood sodium test measures the amount of sodium (an important electrolyte) in your body. It is also…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
aspartame or sugar
Aspartame – Hidden truths about this storm in a teacup Aspartame, the artificial sweetener, has gone under the scanner on several occasions for allegedly doing more harm than…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…