The Negative Effects of Obesity Essay

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background The prevalence of obesity in the United States and worldwide is an increasing major health concern. In the United States, more than two thirds of the adult population is overweight or obese, while worldwide obesity rates have more than doubled in the past three decades (Dewan et al., 2013; del Porto et al., 2012). The definition of being overweight, as defined by the World Health Organization, is having a body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m2, while obesity is defined as having a body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2 (WHO 2008). Body mass index is defined as body weight divided by body height squared. The increase in obesity is especially troubling due to the fact that obesity has been associated with various health…show more content…
Obesity has been shown to increase the risk of falling while performing a standing task or during ambulation, with middle-aged and older obese adults falling almost twice as often as aged matched non-obese adults (Corbeil et al., 2001; Fjeldstad et al., 2008; Himes et al., 2012; Wallace et al., 2002). Similarly, the likelihood of an injury requiring medical treatment as the result of a fall is also increased for those in the overweight and obese categories (Finkelstein et al., 2007), although some researchers have found obesity to have a somewhat protective effect from injury due to a fall, mostly in the elderly with a BMI above 40 (Flegal et al., 2004; Himes et al., 2012). Studies on weight loss of both young and elderly obese subjects found that, before intervention, obese participants had impaired postural balance that was positively correlated with increasing body mass (Maffiuletti et al., 2005; Teasdale et al., 2007). After weight loss, the obese subjects were found to have greater balance control with a larger increase in stability occurring with greater weight loss. In obese individuals that have a greater distribution of body fat in the their abdominal area, the body center of mass would be shifted more anteriorly compared to lean individuals, potentially decreasing body balance which leads to a greater risk of falling, especially when combined with a relatively lower
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