Obesity and Alcohol Abuse

The Dangers of Alcohol Abuse

Those individuals who consume an excessive amount of alcohol can cause a great deal of damage to their mental and physical health. This chemical can act as a toxin in the body and can start to destroy ever organ. The other problem with alcohol abuse is that it often leads to obesity and this creates further health problems for the individual. It is therefore vital that people learn to moderate their alcoholic intake or quit altogether.

Obesity Defined

Obesity refers to a situation where an individual has accumulated so much body fat that it has become detrimental to their health. Those people who have a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30 would be classified as obese. It is usual for people to use the terms overweight and obesity interchangeably but they refer to slightly different things. To say that somebody is overweight means that they are heavier than would be expected, but this could be due to extra muscle. When somebody is obese it means that they have too much body fat. According to the BMI overweight means less than 30 but more than 25.

The Dangers of Obesity

Obesity is viewed as one of the most preventable causes of death in the modern world. The dangers of carrying too much body fat include:

* It increases the likelihood of suffering from type II diabetes.
* Those individuals who are obese are far more likely to suffer from heart problems.
* It is a key symptom of metabolic syndrome and therefore increases the risk of developing cardiovascular problems, insulin resistance, and stroke.
* Obesity puts added pressure on the skeleton and this can lead to chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.
* When people are carrying around a great deal of excess body weight it reduces their tolerance for physical activity. This is likely to mean that their life is less enjoyable than what it could be.
* People who are obese tend to suffer from low self-esteem.
* If people feel bad about themselves as a result of being obese it can lead to symptoms of depression. It could also encourage the individual to turn to alcohol for comfort.
* Many people who are obese suffer from sleep apnea. This means that they are not getting a good night sleep as a result.
* Those individuals who are obese are more likely to develop certain cancers – in particular breast and colon cancer.

Causes of Obesity

The most basic reason why most people become overweight is because they are consuming more calories than they actually need. Obesity can be due to a number of causes including:

* Comfort eating is where people try to escape their emotions by eating too much.
* Excessive alcohol intake.
* Lack of exercise means that people are not burning enough calories to balance out their diet.
* Poor diet choices means that many individuals indulge in high calorie junk food.
* As people grow old their metabolism slows down and so they need fewer calories.
* There are certain medical conditions such as hypothyroidism that make people more susceptible to putting on the pounds.

Obesity and Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic drinks are usually said to contain an excessive amount of empty calories with no real nutritional value. One 12 ounce standard beer contains about 160 calories while a glass of white wine can have as much as 300 calories. One gin and tonic can also have as much as 300 calories. If people consume a few alcoholic drinks per week on top of their regular diet it can quickly put them on the path to obesity. One problem is that the calories in these alcoholic drinks do not satisfy hunger. In fact they can stimulate hunger so that the individual ends up eating more than normal on top of the calories consumed in these drinks. Those people who regularly go to the bar might also be missing out on healthier activities where they would be burning calories.

Obesity and Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse can certainly lead to obesity. A heavy drinker may be consuming an extra 1000 to 3000 calories per day on top of their diet. They are also likely to be engaged in a lifestyle that does not involve a great deal of physical activity. It is even possible for alcohol abusers people to be obese and still suffer from malnutrition. This is because although they are consuming plenty of calories they are not getting the right mix of nutrients that their body needs to stay healthy.

Obesity can be used as a justification to abuse alcohol. Those who are overweight like this tend to suffer from low self esteem and this can lead to symptoms of depression. Alcohol offers a temporary reprieve from uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. This temporary comfort comes with a high price because it is likely to lead to further misery. Alcohol abuse can take people on a trip to alcoholism and further weight gain. They may lose everything they cherish along the way.

How to Avoid Alcohol Related Obesity

There are things that people can do to avoid alcohol related obesity such as:

* Understand the calorific content of different alcoholic drinks.
* Keep to the recommended levels for safe alcohol consumptions. This is one drink per day for adult women and two drinks per day for adult men. For the purpose of these recommendations a drink would be considered a standard beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of spirits.
* If people are unable to keep to the safe levels for alcohol consumption it is advisable that they quit altogether. Inability to moderate is one of the symptoms of alcohol abuse.
* Keeping active can help people burn off some of the extra calories they consume while drinking alcohol.
* It is important to realize that just because an alcoholic is labeled as ‘lite’ or ‘low calorie’ does not that it is safe to drink in high qualities.
* Those people who drink need to pay special attention to their diet to make sure that the empty calories they are consuming with alcohol do not replace needed nutrients.
* If people with alcohol problems do enter recovery they need to be aware of turning to food for comfort. It is not uncommon for individuals to experience obesity in recovery if they are not careful.

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