MAINTAINING BODY WEIGHT

Weight is one of the gross parameters of our health. A healthy normal person reaches the desirable weight for his/her height by 25 years of age. It is advisable for a person to maintain that weight throughout life. This is the reason why all tables indicate desirable weight for height for men and women at 25 years.

When energy intake is equal to body needs, body weight is  maintained at a fairly constant level, in a healthy adult. Thus constant body weight is an index of energy balance in healthy adults. Consistent intake of inadequate food, which is unable to meet the body’s need for energy, leads to use of body fat to make up the deficit and there is loss of weight. An underweight person has reduced capacity for work, vitality and decreased resistance to disease.

On the contrary, continuous intake of energy in excess of one’s needs, results in deposition of fat. If this practice is continued, the gain in weight may be observed. Overweight is associated with ailments of heart, circulatory system, kidneys and diabetes.

If increase in weight continues then it indicates that intake of energy is in excess. The body has no mechanism to get rid of itself of this extra energy and therefore stores it in the form of fat. Hence it is necessary to reduce energy intake to a level lower than one’s needs, to use up the deposited fat. Exercise in the form of outdoor games, walking and indoor fitness exercise help in weight reduction. It should be accompanied by consistent, regular, carefully planned reduction of energy intake.