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About the disease
Body weight comprises of weight of the bones, muscles, organ, body fluids and fat (adipose) tissues.

Changes in weight are normal and it depends on;
  • Growth
  • Reproductive status
  • Variation in exercise levels and the
  • Effects of aging
Maintaining body weight is orchestrated by a complex system of neural, hormonal and chemical mechanism that balances energy intake and expenditure. Abnormalities of these cause weight fluctuations that resulting in overweight or obesity or underweight.

Body Composition
  • Water (60 – 65% of body weight)
  • Fat Mass (Body fat percentage)
  • Fat free Mass/ Lean Body Mass (Approx 29% of body weight )
The body composition depends on sex of an individual & levels of physical activity (exercise). The fat storage in the body is of two types essential and storage fat.

Essential fat is necessary for normal physiological functioning. Stored in Bone marrow, heart, lung, liver, spleen kidneys, Muscles, lipid rich tissues & nervous tissues.

Males: 3% Females: 12%

Storage fat accumulates under the skin and around the internal organs to protect them from trauma. It is expendable. It varies with
  • Changing requirements of growth
  • Reproduction
  • Aging
  • Fluctuations of environment & physiology such as availability of food and exercise
Males: 8 - 24% Females: 21 - 35%

Fat (Adipose) tissue is composed primarily of fat, small amounts of protein & water. This stores fat in the quantities, equal to 80-95% of their volume.

Hypertrophy : Adipose tissue increases by increasing the size of existent cells when lipid is added.
Hyperplasia : Adipose tissue increases by increasing the number of existent cells when lipid is added.

Weight gain may be the result of either or both of these.
  • Fat cells can expand as much as 1000 times through hypertrophy itself.
  • Hyperplasia occurs primarily in infancy or adolescence but can also occur during adulthood when the fat content of the existing tissues reaches its capacity.
  • When weight come down due to exercise, trauma, illness, starvation, changes in diet the fat cell size decreases.
Factors effecting Energy Intake and Body Weight
  • Thermogenesis and Thermogenic Effect of Food (TEF)
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
  • Energy expended by Voluntary activity
  • Brain Neurotransmitters
  • Hormones

• Heredity
• Age and Sex
• Faulty Eating Habits
  • Eating too fast therefore they tend to consume more
  • Nibbling high fat food between meals especially by housewives.
  • Obese respond to external cues to eat rather than internal hunger like when they are surrounded by tasty food
  • Housewives or people working in the food industry have a tendency to cook and eat more
  • People who eat out frequently or consume junk food
  • Certain cultural practices that influence calorie intake
  • Non inclusion of fruits and vegetable and non vegetarian diet favor weight gain
  • People with preferences for high fat/ high sugar foods, processed & convenience foods
  • Eating because of emotional distress rather than hunger
  • Higher affordability and availability of high calorie food in market coupled with aggressive marketing by the food industry targeting specific age groups.
• Physical Activity
• Stress
• Endocrine factors
• Trauma
• Social causes
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