By definition, obesity is an excessive accumulation of fat in the tissues. Obesity has already become one of the most pressing health problems most especially in the U.S. today. This occurrence is brought about by a number of factors like engaging the same old couch potato lifestyle, lack of physical exercises and also on choosing the not so healthy food types. With this, many are now obese which leads to two types of obesity namely the android and gynoid obesity.
So how do these two differ?
Android Vs Gynoid Obesity
Basically, obesity is a result of too much food intake or the failure of the body to utilize the energy for daily body use. As a result, these extra energies are stores as fat. Although there is no specific food that can really pinpoint where fat will be built up in the body, the uniqueness of each person dictates where or in what areas of the body these fats will be stored.
These two terms classify obesity according to fat distribution. In the android type of obesity, the person stores fat around his or her abdominal region. As such, these individuals are usually pictured as having an apple-like body shape. Based on a study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, those who are android obese are more at risk of having illnesses related to obesity like heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and the ever-popular diabetes. In addition, the likelihood of developing gout, arterial-related diseases as evidenced by heightened blood pressure and many kinds of cancers are linked to the central type of fat distribution.
Android obesity can also be manifested in other areas of the upper trunk-like the upper chest (front or back) nape area of the neck, and even the shoulders. It is said that if this type of obesity is experienced by a woman, she will also develop a more masculine feature like the growth of more hairs throughout the body called hirsutism. Female android obese usually have more fat than men suffering the same.
For the gynoid type of obesity or fat distribution, the excess fat is being deposited somewhere at the hip and thigh areas. Their hips are rounded and their buttocks generally look larger than normal. Thus, people who are gynoid obese are called pear obese because they have a body form that looks strikingly similar to the shape of the pear fruit. But despite such, gynoid obese individuals are said to be in a much safer position than the android obese individuals for they are less at risk of developing chronic illnesses linked to obesity and overweight.
- Android obese individuals are more prone to obesity-related diseases compared to the gynoid obese.
- Android obese are called ‘apple obese’ while gynoid obese are ‘pear obese.’
Weight Problems Develop for Multiple Reasons
When it comes to treating weight problems, even some experts believe that similar methods can be applied almost universally: Put your patients on a diet, have them engage in regular exercise and, if all else fails, recommend some surgical procedure. What is rarely considered are the differences between overweight individuals that may have led to their unhealthy weight gain in the first place. But one recent study, published in the Journal of Public Health, had eye-opening results.
Researchers from Harvard, the University of Toronto and the University of Sheffield in England analyzed medical data of over 4,000 overweight or obese men and women in terms of common and distinguishing characteristics. In the end, they came up with six “categories” or “types” that helped them better understand the study participants’ eating behaviors and lifestyle choices.
The first group was identified as “heavy drinking males,” whose excessively high alcohol intake resulted in weight problems. Helping members of this category to limit their consumption of alcoholic beverages would be an important step toward successful weight control.
The second group — “younger healthy females” — consisted of women who were generally healthy except for their weight issues. Eating patterns and exercise levels were viewed as largely acceptable but were interspersed with bouts of binge eating and occasional heavy drinking, which, again, contributed to weight gain. Remedies hereto would be similar to their “heavy drinking male” counterparts.
A third type, called “affluent and healthy elderly,” consisted of seniors who enjoyed retirement life a bit too much and paid the price with an unhealthily expanding waistline. Tuning it down a little with portion control, more exercise and eating out less would be the appropriate strategy.
Another group of older individuals was diagnosed with one or more chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, in addition to being overweight. The fourth group, “physically sick but otherwise happy” people, were often unaware of how their weight aggravated their other illnesses. Counseling with the aim of diet and lifestyle changes could lead to major improvements in such cases.
Mental dysfunctions such as anxiety and depression were also found to be increasingly damaging to people as they grew older. The “unhappy, anxious middle-aged,” as the researchers named this group, often showed a close connection between their inner feelings and their outer appearance, especially in terms of weight. As psychological disorders often manifest themselves physically, equal attention must be paid to both the roots and symptoms of the issues before real progress can be made.
Lastly, the research team focused on those whom they found in the “poorest health.” The prevalence of weight problems and chronic illnesses was especially high in this group, and eating and lifestyle patterns were predictably dismal. Overweight and obese patients of this type require intensive care and should be treated with the most drastic methods. Because of the severity of the health conditions typically found in this category, the researchers saw justification for the clinical weight loss approaches such as surgical procedures and prescription medications now widely in use.
There might be numerous additional factors leading to weight gain, that have not received enough attention in this particular study. In a press release, the lead author of the study, Dr. Mark Green of the University of Sheffield, said the central takeaway is that the overweight and obese are not a homogenous part of the population with the same health needs.
“If we don’t come up with more customized, or, as he calls it “bespoke,” forms of treatment, we will continue to fail serving those who need our help most”, says Dr. Green.