Types of Obesity

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Types of Obesity

Android and gynoid

The fat distribution in the body is identified among the two types of obesity – Android and Gynoid. Android is the male types of obesity where excess fat is marked in the upper half of the body. Android type of obesity is likened to the shape of an apple. The shoulders, face, arms, neck, chest and upper portion or the abdomen are bloated. The stomach gives a stiff appearance. So also the arms, shoulders and breast. The back seems to be erect but the neck is compressed. There will be a protruding chest because of the bulk in the stomach. The lower portion of the body-the hips, thighs and legs are thinner beyond proportion in comparison with the upper part. In these persons the vital organs affected will be mostly the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs.

Though this type of obesity is found more in males it is common in females too. Those females who are under hormone treatment for their menstrual abnormalities or after childbirth, are more prone to this type of obesity. It occurs in females around menopause too due to thyroid gland’s functional disturbance. In this type, the excess flesh is less likely to reduce especially in females.

High risk of heart diseases

The fat is always on the muscles walls of the vital organs like heart, liver and intestines. When the circumference of the waist is more than the hips, the waist is heavier because the fat is stored in the inside and does not hang loose.

When the fat tissues surround the liver, gall bladder, heart, intestines and kidneys and keep accumulating further, the weight increases pushing out the whole abdomen. The heavy fat tissues do not allow the muscles of these organs to even move property, let alone function. Oxygenated blood becomes steadily insufficient. The cell membranes in the abdomen get bloated by the fat. The cells of these membranes get filled with cholesterol and triglycerides. This makes fat turn out to be fat cells. Unlike the fat cells in other organs, fat cells in the abdomen are more active4. These cells deposit the fat into blood, passing towards the liver. The liver in turn produces low density lipoprotein and sends the same to the blood, proceeding to the heart, lungs and arteries. A portion of this low density lipoprotein become cholesterol, and damages the arteries resulting in heart diseases.

It is certainly evident that the android type of obesity is a major risk for heart damage and heart diseases due to high cholesterol.

Android afflicted can take heart

One marked feature in Android type persons is that they are swift in their movements. They can walk fast, sit down and get up faster than the Gynoid persons. That is why the diet and exercise for this type of persons help a lot to reduce and stay that way, if they try hard to stick to it.
It can be a solace to know that in the android category reduction in the cholesterol level is easier in a weight reducing programme. This is mostly achieved by correcting the diet , avoiding or even reducing the intake of food which is high in cholesterol and by doing exercises regularly.

Gynoid-the female type

In the second type gynoid, the lower part of the body has the extra flesh. This type of obesity is also common to both sexes though females are more affected . gynoid type of obesity is similar to pears(see illustrations on page 46). The flesh is somewhat flabby in the abdomen , thighs, buttocks and legs. The face and neck mostly give a normal appearance. In some persons, the cheeks may be drawn too. As these persons grow old the whole figure assumes a stooping posture and the spine is never erect due to the heavy hips and thighs. The vital organs affected mostly are the kidneys, uterus, intestines, bladder and bowels. But the functions of these organs sometimes have a direct effect on the heart.

In the Gynoid type of obesity where the fat is stored in the hips and thighs, neither diet not the exercise will help reduce weight beyond the certain limit. The weight reduction in the upper part of the body is faster than in the lower part of the body. This is because the fat cells in the hips and thighs do not release much fatty acids as found in the fat cells of other parts of the body, especially the abdomen. So any amount of cycling or other spot reducing exercises or even dieting will not help appreciable. But adding more bulk can be prevented and managed to a great extent.

When we say this type of obesity does not yield much to the diet programme, that does not mean that indiscriminate eating will make no difference at all, because it will. The extra calories consumed will affect the abdomen cells. The size of the abdomen will then increase enormously. This in turn will prove to be a double disadvantage and a high risk factor for serious heart disease.

Lactation, the saviour for women

In the Gynoid type of obesity, the fatty acid form the cells yield only to one activity called lactation. This type of obesity is found mostly in women after childbirth. Unlike rural womenfolk, urban women selfdom breast feed their babies; even if some do, they stop it after a few months. The penalty they play for depriving their children of the valuable breast milk, that is extremely essential for the well being and good health of the child, is to fall a prey to the gynoid type of obesity.

If a young mother wants to stay trim, it is better for her to breast feed her baby. If by any chance, she has passed the breast feeding age, weight reducing programme should include a great amount of physical activities as also a proper diet, because in Gynoid persons, these do help though at a slower pace. Once should have more patience and undertake hard work to achieve the goal of reducing weight and preventing further weight gain.

Uniformity in distribution of flesh

Besides Android and Gynoid, there is one more type of obesity. Some persons neither belong to Android nor to Gynoid category. Their whole body form head to toe looks like a barrel. Their gait is more to rolling rather than walking. The fat tissues in their body hinder the movement of all the internal organs and consequently affect their brisk functioning. This can be understood better from the following example:

Two persons are sleeping in a room.
One covers himself heavily from head to feet with two bed covers and heavy blankets. The other either sleeps with a single bed sheet not covering his head or without any sheet at all. The door bell rings. Who do you think will be first to answer the well? Letters assumed that both are still awake. Assuming that the one inside the heavy covers may be a light sleeper and the other a-sound sleeper, it would still be the later to attend the well first, because he does not have layers of sheets above him to hinter his movements. The farmer on the contrary will take more time to push aside the heavy covering and would also be more tired due to the extra effort of pushing aside the covers.

The third type of obese persons should follow a very strict discipline in diet and do plenty of exercises. For them any exercise is difficult due to the enormous size of the body. So such persons should at first start walking a few miles, slowly increasing the speed day by day. Gradually they must increase the physical activities and continued to be active for ever.

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  • About The Author


    Gopakumar Nair belongs to a Hereditary Ayurvedic family of Kerala who were Practising Ayurveda and traditional Medicine for 200 Years . They can be traced back to over six generations. His experience under the guidance of his guru Valiya thampuraan has earned lot of trust and popularity.

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