Body composition is made up of different types of tissue such as lean tissue, muscle, bone, and organs, which are metabolically active and fat tissue that is inactive. Wiley points out that, “Where you store your fat affects the health risks associated with having too much. Fat is located under the skin, called subcutaneous fat, carries less risk than fat that is deposited around the organs in the abdomen, called visceral fat” (Wiley, 2006).
Genes play a role in where you store your fat, such as apple shape body types store fat in the stomach area, which can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, breast cancer and diabetes. Alternately, pear shaped body types store fat in the hips and thighs, which is under the skin. In addition, age and environment contribute to where fat is stored on the body. Factors such as menopause, stress, smoking, and alcohol are contributors to visceral fat deposition.
There are several risks associated with excess body fat. For example over weight, individuals generally have low self-esteem, depression, social isolation, and thoughts of suicide. Physically, over weight people are at risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, respiratory problems, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, menstrual irregularities, and cancer. Obese women are at risk of endometrium, breast, cervix, and ovary cancer. Obese men are at risk of colorectal and prostate cancer.
There are a variety of factors that play a role in the obesity epidemic such as biological, environmental, and behavioral factors. A changing environment has changed eating habits, with grocery stores filled with processed foods that are high in fat, sugar, and calories. People are eating more fast food with increased portion size, because it is low cost and saves time. This coupled with not burning off these added calories with proper exercise and sitting in front of the T.V or computer has contributed to the obesity epidemic.
NW medical guide points out that, despite of the benefits of exercise most Americans are sedentary. The advancement in technology has created many time and labor saving products, such as cars, elevators, dishwashers, and computers, which has reduced overall amount of energy spent (NW Medical Guide). Genetics and behavior plays a role is obesity. Although genes do not predict if one will be obese, coupled with other factors of obesity, such as environmental and behavioral can put one at a higher risk of obesity.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorders are serious conditions that can put individuals at risk of a variety of health problems. American Psychological Association suggest that “Research has found that individuals with anorexia nervosa have a mortality rate 18 times higher than peers who don’t have eating disorders” (American Psychological Association, 2011).
Some physical problems associated with anorexia include anemia, constipation, osteoporosis, and damage of the heart and brain because the lack of nutrients in the body. Furthermore, bulimia can result in sore throat, tooth decay, acid reflux, and heart attacks. In addition, people with binge eating disorders are at risk of high blood pressure, mental disorders, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease the body is not made for the mistreatment of eating disorders. Overtime, eating disorders, if left untreated may lead to severe health problems and may be life threatening.
American psychological association. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/eating.aspx
NW medical guide. (2012). Retrieved from http://ww2.krem.com/Global/story.asp?S=2009937
Wiley & sons. (2006). Wileyplus. Retrieved from http://edugen.wiley.com/edugen/student/main.uni
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