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Obesity: Reduce fat-intake, exercise regularly to control it—experts advise

Health/ Beauty

Reduction in the intake of foods with fatty components but engaging in vigorous exercise and consuming foods rich in fibres will help control obesity.

A consultant nutritionist, Dr Kathleen Egbuna, and a nutritional biochemist, Dr Ochuko Erukainure, gave the advice on Thursday in separate interview.

They advised fans of fast-foods’ joints and restaurants to also reduce their patronage of such explaining that their contents were mainly full of calories not good for the human body.

They said that excessive patronage of the joints could lead to excessive weight and obsessed individuals.

Dr Kathleen Egbuna, a nutritionist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba in Lagos State, said that people should engage in regular exercises and reduce intake of fatty foods.

They should also consume plenty of vegetables, grains and fruits to guard against obesity, she said.

Egbuna described obesity as the presence of excess adipose fat in the human body.

According to her, “More than 20 per cent of the ideal weight indicates overweight, while more than 30 per cent indicates obesity.

“Extra body fat integrates in the body as adipose tissue. Tiny capillary blood vessels grow into the adipose tissue and extend the circulatory network.’’

Egbuna added that obesity usually placed extra load on the heart and could result in increased blood pressure.

“Obesity increases the risk of type-two diabetes, heart liver diseases, arthritis, stroke, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, pulmonary distress and backaches.

“Obesity can also be presented as a side effect of the metabolic syndrome being caused by metabolic abnormalities such as thyroid gland malfunction”.

Egbuna said that too much fat could reduce the metabolism in the body thus leading to someone who is obese to develop a sluggish body and brain.

She said that fat cells could release cytokines into the body that might induce chronic inflammation and could cause health problem.

“ As the fat cells enlarge, they begin to lose their ability to buffer the body’s daily influx of fat from the diet.

“Where the fat is stored in the body may have important consequences for health; fat in the upper part of the body seems to lead to increased metabolic disorder.’’

The nutritionist, however, said that the fat stored around the hip and legs could be protective to the human health.

Also, Dr Ochuko Erukainure, a nutritional biochemist, said that change in lifestyles, particularly, embracing the western culture as against our local culture and food was a major reason why people developed obesity.

Erukainure, a senior research officer at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO),Oshodi, Lagos, said that excessive patronage of fast-food restaurants had brought about an increase in over weight and obsessed individuals.

“Fast foods are rich in calories; and when consumed in excess, the body converts them to fat and store in the adipose tissue.

“Reduction in the consumption of refined and fast foods will aid in curtailing the prevalence of obesity.
“Lack of physical activities has also been recognized as a major contributing factor to obesity, “Erukainure said.

He said that consumption of diets particularly rich in fibres has been shown to help prevent and manage obesity.

Erukainure said that physical activities such as regular exercises were also important in the management of obesity.

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