If a person continues to eat more food than required by his body, he soon becomes overweight and bulky. Excess of carbohydrates and fats instead of providing energy get accumulated in the body.

The overweight and bulkiness of a person’s body due to accumulation of carbohydrate and fat is called obesity.

Causes of Obesity

  • Overeating
  • Insufficient exercise
  • Hormonal imbalance (deficiency of thyroxine) or other metabolic disturbances.

Harmful Effects

An obese person tends to have high cholesterol (fatty substance) deposited in blood arteries. This leads to hypertension (high blood pressure), atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), coronary attack (heart attack), diabetes and respiratory problems.

Methods to prevent obesity

The obese person should be very careful about diet.

  1. avoid fried food.
  2. not to take carbohydrate rich foods.
  3. not to take saturated fats like ghee and vansaspati hydrogenated vegetable oils. Instead, take unsaturated fats like oils, and that too in as little quantity as possible.
  4. take regular physical exercise.
  5. eat green leafy vegetables (to add roughage).
  6. if suffering from hormonal imbalance, take the advise of a physician

Excessive Intake of Iron

It leads to a condition called hemosiderosis (large deposits of iron in the liver). This may cause

  1. Constipation and diarrhoea
  2. Nausea and vomitting
  3. Heart burn
  4. Epigastric pain

Excessive Intake of Vitamins (Hyper Vitaminosis)

Some persons tend to take vitamins in excess amounts. An excessive intake of water solouble vitamins (vitamins B complex and C) may not cause any harm to the body because they are excreted out through urine. Intake of fat soluble vitamins (vitamin A and D) can be toxic (poisonous) to the body which may lead to certain diseases.

The disease caused by presence of vitamins in excessive quantities in the body is called hyper vitaminosis.

Hyper vitaminosis A

Excess vitamin A accumulation in liver is toxic. This results in

  1. loss of hair
  2. drowsiness
  3. painful swelling of long bones
  4. loss of appetite
  5. nausea and vomiting

Hyper vitaminosis D

Excess of vitamin D leads to high calcium absorption in the intestine. This results in

  1. deposition of calcium in soft tissues of body like kidney
  2. drowsiness
  3. nausea
  4. loss of weight