Weight Management:
Bi-Polar Problems

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated there are more than 1 billion overweight adults around the world; with at least 300 million of them are obese. Being overweight means we are 10 percent more than our ideal weight. On the other hand, we are obese if we are 20 percent heavier than what is recommended. This is an alarming figure and an issue than can be attributed to a lot of factors which we have control of.

When WHO came up with their Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity, it associated this phenomenon to modern day society's large shift towards less physically demanding work and decrease in physical activity. We are more and more relying on automated devices and precision technology that there is really no need for us to break a sweat anymore. Experts are not saying that we should give up using our cars and walk miles instead nor are they saying that we throw our convenient automatic gadgets away. However, we are encouraged to be cautious that as we automate our lives, we have to think of other ways to burn the calories that we take in.

Why should we worry that more and more of us are becoming overweight or obese? Well, the non-fatal but nonetheless debilitating problems associated with storing too much fat are respiratory difficulties, infertility and osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints particularly in the back, knees and hips to name a few. Meanwhile, the more life-threatening problems include gallbladder disease, type 2 diabetes, hormonally related and large bowel cancers, and cardio-vascular diseases such as hypertension and ischaemic heart disease. These diseases are fatal but can be avoided if we take all the correct measures to keep our lean to fat ratio ideal.

Half the time though, we worry about becoming overweight or obese too obsessively. We become so conscious of preventing ourselves from storing too much fat that we take unhealthy drastic measures. Problems associated with weight are actually bi-polar. We have all sorts of diseases and disorders when we become overweight but we also experience various disorders when we are too paranoid of keeping the fat away.

The most common, Anorexia Nervosa was first identified in 1874 as a disease of modern times. This is not surprising as day by day we become more and more obsessed with the slim figure. Magazine covers, product commercials and fashion trends all pay tribute to the ideal lean form. We are encouraged to consume slimming foods, get into a diet plan and work out in the gym. This is actually all good, except sad to say, for a lot of us this is only just the beginning. Soon, we start skipping meals and become very obsessive in counting calories or keeping track of what we have eaten. Anxiety and the feeling of shame come in until a point comes when we just refuse to eat anything at all. Anorexia then becomes fatal.

Related to Anorexia is Bulimia. First identified in 1979, it is about being afraid of being fat tied with having the constant urge to overeat. According to the University of Virginia Health System, this disorder encourages us to binge and then induce vomiting to clear our stomach and intestines of its contents.

Both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia are more of psychological and social in origin and context. Hence, their treatment is more on behavior therapy. Unlike the diseases and problems acquired from being obese or overweight, taking pills or undergoing surgery cannot cure these behavioral disorders. Recovering from Anorexia or Bulimia is highly dependent on changing how we see ourselves. Unfortunately, looking introspectively is harder than looking out.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.