Islam Treats Obesity
It is the disease of this era which exhausts the resources of countries; did Islam get any treatment for that disease? Let us read…
What is obesity?
Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A crude population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in meters).
A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight.
Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.
Facts about obesity
According to the figures of the world health organization (WHO) in 2005 approximately 1.6 billion adults (age 15+) were overweight and at least 400 million adults were obese.
WHO projects that by 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese and at least 20 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight globally in 2005.
Causes of obesity
The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed on one hand, and calories expended on the other hand. Global increases in overweight and obesity are attributable to a number of factors including a global shift in diet towards increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and a trend towards decreased physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
What are the consequences of obesity?
Overweight and obesity lead to serious health consequences. Risk increases progressively as BMI increases. Raised body mass index is a major risk factor for chronic diseases such as:
· Cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke) – already the world’s number one cause of death, killing 17 million people each year.
· Diabetes – which has rapidly become a global epidemic. WHO projects that diabetes death will increase by more than 50% worldwide in the next 10 years.
· Musculoskeletal disorders – especially osteoarthritis.
· Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon).
Obesity is the coming danger
“The rising tide of overweight and obese people is the most significant public and personal health challenge facing our society. With concerted action across government and with wide “says Alan Johnson the British secretary of state for health. He added” With concerted action across government and with wide institutional support aligned to personal responsibility, I am confident we can do what no other country has yet done and reverse the obesity trend.”
Obesity and heart diseases
In a new study it was proved that the percentage of overweight and obese adults in the United States has increased over the past two decades — undermining efforts to reduce heart disease risk factors. Also the rising obesity is associated with the lower likelihood of having optimal blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Another study indicates that weight loss may correct structural heart damage in obese patients.
The researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1988–2006, representing 8,264 adult men and women, 20 to 85 years old. All had complete risk factor profiles of their blood pressure, fasting glucose, low density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) and smoking status.
The researchers had found that during this time period, the average body mass index (BMI) increased from 26.5 to 28.8 kg/m2, a significant change. In the same period, the number of people with optimal blood pressure decreased from 48 percent in NHANES III, 1988–94, to 43 percent in NHANES in 2005–06, and the number of people with optimal fasting glucose decreased from 67 percent to 58 percent. Both blood pressure and blood glucose are closely linked to obesity and these adverse trends track with the change in body weight.
Another study was funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation (Las Vegas, Nevada) demonstrates a stronger association of WHR (waist-to-hip ratio) with subclinical atherosclerosis as compared with BMI or WC (waist circumference) in a large, population-based cohort.
In analyses adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors, WHR remained independently associated with atherosclerosis. Waist-to-hip ratio showed better discrimination of atherosclerosis than either BMI or WC.
These findings support the use of WC and WHR over BMI as clinical measures of obesity and suggest that an increased burden of atherosclerosis may explain in part the excess cardiovascular risk among persons with obesity.
Photo for a sick heart, scientists confirm that obesity increase the probability of infection by Heart disease, people must take care of their bodies and weight.
Obesity and diabetes
Doctors believe that obesity is probably the most important factor in the development of insulin resistance, but science’s understanding of the chain of events is still spotty.
Now, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have filled in the gap and identified the missing link between the two. Their findings, to be published in the June 21, 2009 advance online edition of the journal Nature, explain how obesity sets the stage for diabetes.
The Salk team, led by Marc Montminy, Ph.D., a professor in the Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology, discovered how a condition known as ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress, which is induced by a high fat diet and is overly activated in obese people, triggers aberrant glucose production in the liver, an important step on the path to insulin resistance.
In healthy people, a “fasting switch” only flips on glucose production when blood glucose levels run low during fasting. “The existence of a second cellular signaling cascade—like an alternate route from A to B—that can modulate glucose production, presents the potential to identify new classes of drugs that might help to lower blood sugar by disrupting this alternative pathway,” says Montminy.
It had been well established that obesity promotes insulin resistance through the inappropriate inactivation of a process called gluconeogenesis, where the liver creates glucose for fuel and which ordinarily occurs only in times of fasting. Yet, not all obese people become insulin resistant, and insulin resistance occurs in non-obese individuals, leading Montminy and his colleagues to suspect that fasting-induced glucose production was only half the story.
Overweighting leads to dementia
“Healthy nutrition and periodic fasting activate brain” Says Hanz diteleyv Vasman director of the Department of Neurosurgery at University of Münster hospital. Also he confirms that calories restriction prevent disorders in the brain’s functions and reduces the possibility of dementia.
He added that researches proved that healthy and low calories foods which are full of the fatty acid(omega3 ) increase the efficiency of delivering signals in the brain.
Obesity is a huge risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, scientists say…
“Obesity is a huge risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease” says Professor Clive Ballard director of research at the Alzheimer’s Society. He added “People who are obese at 60 are twice as likely to develop dementia by the time they are 75.”And he says “If we’re not careful, it might be 2m or 2.5m people who have dementia in 50 years. This is a real opportunity to reduce the numbers.” And he confirms that the research had shown a regular exercise and a healthy diet could substantially reduce the risk.
The nutrition system and Longevity
A study had been published in nature magazine which confirmed that there is a relation between the nutrition system and Longevity (Muslims don’t believe in that otherwise we believe that healthy nutrition is a reason behind longevity).
The said study demonstrated the importance of keeping natural weight to get longevity as the protein (IRS2) affects the transmitting of insulin to brain cells.
Prof/ Maurice White at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute says that a simple way to get longevity is the reducing of insulin in blood by practicing sports and following a healthy nutrition system so that the brain will be less exposed to insulin.
Eating much raise prices
Today, scientists believe that obesity has a bad effect on the global food crisis and the environmental changes as obese people are consuming calories 18% than the natural average.
Researchers say that consuming much food means more fuel consuming to produce more foods, also obese people needs transportation methods to move which needs more fuel and money. Phil Edwards one of those researchers say that the only way to reduce pollution and fuel consumption is to make people walk and move by riding bicycles also by reducing the use of cars.
Treatment from the Qur’an and Sunnah
as usual Allah almighty in His holy book preceded all scientists and researchers in solving different humanity’s problems as He says: (and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance)) (Sûrat Al-A‘râf-verse31), here Allah almighty tells us that extravagance in foods and drink is a sin that should be avoided by us.
In Islam Allah almighty ordered us to make a balances in all things even in food and drink as He almighty says about believers and the slaves of God: (And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).)(Sûrat Al-Furqân-verse67).
In many verses Allah almighty advice us not to extravagance as He says: (And it is He who produces gardens trellised and untrellised, and date-palms, and crops of different shape and taste (their fruits and their seeds) and olives, and pomegranates, similar (in kind) and different (in taste). Eat of their fruit when they ripen, but pay the due thereof (its Zakât according to Allah’s Orders 1/10th or 1/20th) on the day of its harvest, and waste not by extravagance. Verily, He likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance),*. And of the cattle (are some) for burden (like camels) and (some are) small (unable to carry burden like sheep and goats – for food, meat, milk and wool). Eat of what Allah has provided for you, and follow not the footsteps of Shaitân (Satan). Surely he is to you an open enemy.)(Sûrat Al-An’âm-verse141-142).
On the other hand the prophet (peace be upon him) asks us not to eat too much as he says: (A human being has not filled any vessel which is worse than a belly. Enough for the son of Adam are some mouthfuls which can keep his back straight: but if there is no escape he should fill it a third with food, a third with drink, and leave a third empty)[Narrated by At-Tirmidhi].
this prophetic rule is considered to be one of the basics of modern medicine which demonstrates the sincerity of our Prophet and that all what he says is by inspiration from Allah not by himself!.
Treatment by walking to the mosques
Abu Hurayrah may Allah be pleased with him said that Messenger of God peace be upon him said to his companions (do you want to be guided to what will erase your sins and raise your levels with your God, they said yes then the prophet said you have to perform the ritual ablution very well, to be keen to walk to the mosques and to always be awaiting for prayer this is the bond) [Narrated by Muslim].
Don’t you believe that if we follow these advices, the entire world will be better than now?
By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel