Healthy Eating - Weight Problems

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Weight Problems

In the developed world too much food and too little exercise are leading to high levels of obesity.  The following diseases are also linked to excess body weight:

  • arthritis (worn joints - excess body weight applies more pressure on the joints)
  • diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease.

Similarly some people in the developed world suffer from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa in which they have an obsessive fear of gaining weight.

Too little food is a serious problem in parts of the developing world and people suffer from starvation.  People become bery thin and their muscles waste away.  Other symptoms of starvation include:

  • reduced resistance to infection as your immune system cannot work properly
  • irregular (or no) periods in women

You will lose body mass when the energy content of the food you eat is less than the amount of energy that the body needs.  Exercise increases the amount of energy that your body uses.  If you exercise regularly, your body will gain more muscle tissue.  Muscle tissue has a higher metabolic rate than fat tissue.  Therefore athletes have to eat more food to supply the energy they need than people who have more fat tissue.  The less exercise you take, the less food you need.