Medical Questions » Obesity Questions » Question No. 749
Question:I am fat! Not just a bit overweight but superfat, obese and gross! I have tried every diet in existence, and with great difficulty, I can lose a few kilos. The moment I relax my vigil, I put on five kilos again. My parents and grandparents were also fatties, but all are still alive and well. Do I really have to lose weight to live longer as my doctor tells me?
Answer:Doctors have now differentiated two types of obesityŚ ' android' and ' gynoid' . Android obesity occurs more often in men, and the fat is distributed mainly around the abdomen, chest and neck. Gynoid obesity is more common in women, and the fat is found on the hips, buttocks and thighs. The android form of obesity is believed to cause an increased risk of strokes, heart attacks and diabetes, but only if the person' s weight is 20% above the average for their height and age. There appear to be no fatal complications associated with gynoid obesity, but there is still an increased incidence of arthritis from the additional wear and tear to the joints, and skin problems from sweat and friction. Interestingly enough, very thin people actually live shorter lives than the very fat, as they have a greater tendency to develop lung diseases and some forms of cancer. Obesity is certainly an inherited characteristic, and you seem to have little chance of avoiding it. If one parent is obese, 40% of the children have the problem. If both parents are obese, the risk rises to 80%. It has also been found that the way in which the individual cells in fat people use energy is different to those from thin people, explaining the reason why so many fat people find it almost impossible to lose weight. Fat is very much a fashion, and at the beginning of the twenty-first century, thin is ' in' and beautiful. If you moved to Turkey or Egypt you would find yourself to be a fashion hit, as voluptuous women are in demand in these countries. The Europe of Rembrandt was also a time when rolls of fat were appreciated, as his huge canvases covered with well endowed nudes will attest. My advice is to assess your own position in the light of the information above, eat sensibly, exercise regularly, and unless there is good medical evidence to the contrary (for example a raised cholesterol level or diabetes), do not ruin your life by trying to match those who parade in their size 8 creations on the shopping centre catwalk.
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