Obesity: The Disease and the Cure
OBESITY: THE DISEASE AND THE CURE
The chain of scientific discoveries that prove the truth of the noble prophet, peace be upon him, goes on…
Dear brothers and sisters in Allah, here is a group of scientific news about obesity, the dangerous phenomenon that cost America 147 billion Dollars yearly!! And from which millions die every year, the obesity phenomena even had become a global crisis as important as the global financial crisis and has many bad effects and terrible consequences…the solution is very simple which the Quran had summarized in a part of a verse!
But before that, let us review the scientific news
Obesity costs America 147 billion Dollars
American researchers said that spent money on obesity related diseases comprises 10% of the total medical expenses in the US, which is equal to 147 billion Dollars a year. According to a study published in the Health Avenue Magazine, the total expenditure on obesity related issues had doubled in less than 10 years.
Dr. Thomas Freden, the director of the US centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that it is very important to have effective actions immediately to decrease the enormous burden on the country resulting from obesity. More than 26% of Americans are considered obese meaning that they have Body Mass Index 30 or more (Body Mass Index BMI is measured by weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters).
Obesity is a major cause of cancer
A famous scientist warned that the cancer incidence is increasing all over the world in a dangerous way on humanity comparing to the climate change phenomenon.
Professor Michael Marmout, the teacher of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of London, verified that the prevalent obesity disease is a major causing factor of cancer incidence.
The study concentrates on the cases of weight gain and obesity which results in the incidence of about 14 thousand cases of cancer in Britain every year. It is also showed that third of these cancer cases is coming from diet and lack of exercise. Experts advice people to be slim and avoid having too much fast foods, red mead, preserved meat, bacon, gammon in addition to alcohol.
Cancer causes seven million people to die all over the world yearly according to the latest estimates of the World Cancer Research Fund, and it is expected to increase to more than ten million by 2020. This crisis requires immediate action as the numbers are threatening all over the world and cancer is considered the second causing factor of Death in Britain after Heart Diseases.
In the other hand, a study in the last issue of “the epidemic of cancer” magazine revealed that obesity doubles the incidence probability of bone marrow and blood cancer in old ladies, this study was conducted by a research team from Minnesota University in the US.
Obesity affects the structure and the function of the Heart muscle
Australian researchers verified that people suffering from obesity are exposed to changes in the structure of the Heart muscle which affect its proper functioning, even if they did not have any heart disease. These changes might lead to later fall in the heart.
Researchers from the Queens Land faculty of Medicine in Australia measured the speed and strength of the heart muscle stretching using updated version of Ultra Sound waves technology in 142 persons noting that none of them had any of Heart diseases, blood pressure or diabetes. Also none of them suffered from symptoms that prove that there is congestion in the muscle of the heart. The average age of the participants was 44 years old.
The participants were classified into four groups according to their weights. When comparing the heart muscle in people having appropriate weight with the heart muscle in people having morbid obesity it was verified that the blood pumping of the left ventricle of the heart in obese people plus its ability to relax between two pumps were obviously weaker. This complete relaxation allows the ventricle to be completely filled in blood before it pumps the blood to the rest of the body organs.
Dr. Thomas Marwick, who led the research team, said that this study shows the direct relationship between obesity level and the rate of dysfunction of the heart muscle apart from the other causative factors that may affect heart muscle functioning like high or low blood pressure.
The results of the participants’ heart picturing before being exposed to ultrasound tests showed that the pumping power of the heart muscle in each one of them is normal which means that they do not suffer from heart failure. Nevertheless, the study concluded that the limited or little structural or functional changes caused in the heart muscle by obesity have effective relation to heart failure that can not be ignored.
Obese children live shorter lives than their parents.
Health experts warned that today’s children might not live longer than their parents because of obesity. Those experts see that the expected average of age may decrease for the first time since hundreds years if the current situation goes on as expected.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper mentioned that quarter of the 5 years old children and more than third of the 10 years old children suffer from over weight or obesity. It is expected that the numbers of those children would rise sharply in the coming few decades.
Dr. Colin Ware, the president of the National Obesity Forum, says that we might be in front of a generation who live shorter life than their parents, which is an annoying probability. The greatest danger is represented in the second type diabetes which we started to see in large numbers of teenagers as we notice levels of incidence of heart diseases started to raise after they remained declined for 30 decades. He also warned that the teenager with type 2 diabetes might have decades not only years subtracted from his expected lifetime.
The Health media estimates that half of the people of Britain will medically suffer from obesity by 2050 and the health problems related to obesity will increase like diabetes, heart diseases, and some types of cancer which will affect the expected age of those people. Doctors emphasize that the younger the obese, the much less is his expected lifetime, and they say that this increment in obesity is the first in hundreds years gone by!
Daily activities, emotional stress and obesity
Researchers at Mayo Clinic in the USA discovered that people who spent more time laying on the bed are more exposed to obesity whether they exercised or not. They also concluded that regular attending of the gym does not determine if the person is obese or slim but the daily normal activities and emotional stresses may play greater role in this matter.
Dr. James Levin, the chairman of the researchers who conducted the study, says: “I think that this study represents a glimmer of hope that if we could raise our daily activity to a level similar to what was before 50 years when obesity was not epidemic in the USA, we would be able to lower the incidence of obesity”
David Jacobs, the teacher at the Minnesota University, said that there is no easy answer about obesity, as there are many factors contribute to this phenomenon like over eating, he added that it is also important to find a way to make the lazy potato eaters, active ones.
The study had found out that the obese people who participated in the study were used to set for 150 minutes more than the thin participants which mean that they burn daily 350 Kcal less than their counterparts. The study said that if the obese people do activities in the same way their thin counterparts do, they will lose 15 kgs in a year without need to go to the gym.
Islamic teaching and obesity
Now, after we have reviewed the conclusions of the new western studies and found out the main causative factors of obesity are:
1. over eating and drinking
2. less exercise and activity
3. emotional stresses
These are main factors that cause obesity and consequently cause dangerous disease like heart diseases, diabetes, blood pressure and cancer. But what about the Islamic teachings which was revealed 1400 years ago?
Allah, the Almighty, had specified a golden rule in diet as He said: ” and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allâh) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance)” (31:Al A’raf.). The most dangerous thing is extravagance and as long as the person is moderate he will be at the safe side, this is what stated by the western scientists!
Even, the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, had given us a remarkable rule in diet which explains Allah’s saying (but waste not by extravagance), he peace be upon him says: (the son of Adam had filled a bowl not worse than a belly! Enough for the son of Adam are small mouthfuls to stand him up, but if he was beaten by himself then a third for the food, a third for drink and a third for breath) (the right sequence 2265). The prophet alienated his companions from overeating and said (the son of Adam had not filled a bowl worse than a belly) in order to have in front of their sight while eating that this food might be harmful to them if they fill their bellies with it!
And this is a new scientific method to which the psychiatrists gone today. As they alienated people from overeating and connect this to the dangerous diseases like cancer and other diseases as what we have seen in the previous studies. However, the noble prophet used this method of teaching before the western scientists by long centuries, what does this indicate?
Also, the prophet peace be upon him, made the overeating as the disbelievers’ habits in order to get the people away from it. He, peace be upon him, said: (the disbeliever eats in seven intestines and the believer eats in one intestine) (Al Bukhari and Muslim). The prophet seemed to guide to lower food intake as much as possible in a hidden way (1: 7 parts). And in deed the avid person can eat food seven folds greater than what his body needs!
The second causative factor of obesity is emotional stresses, this was not overlooked by the prophet of mercy, peace be upon him as he said repeatedly to the Bedouin seeking for advice: “do not get angry..and repeated it many times”(Al Bukhari). Also the prophet considered the good manner as the heaviest thing in the one’s balance at the Day of Judgment, he said: “there is nothing heavier in the balance than the good manner” (narrated by Al Tarmithi).
But, what about the daily activity which the scientists said that it a crucial factor in the treatment of obesity? The prophet, peace be upon him was the most active, moving and worshipper to Allah among people. The prophet had summarized this in one golden rule and said: “shall I guide you to doings by which Allah erase sins and raise grades” they said yes prophet of Allah, he said: “do ablution thoroughly on offenses, more footsteps to masjids and waiting for prayer after prayer as that is ArRabat” (narrated by Muslim).
Look with me at these daily practices that the believer can not leave till he meet Allah, the Almighty, the ablution is activity and cleanness, and the more footsteps to the masjid is the walking sport which the scientists consider as one of the best sports, and the prayer beside being a worship to Allah, it is a group of movements that is very beneficial to the spinal cord, heart muscle, belly and back, therefore, the life of the believer is full of activity and laziness never exits.
So, the prophet, peace be upon him, forbade overeating, also forbade anger, hatred, negative thoughts and ordered activity, walking and praying.
And do not forget, my beloved readers, that these teachings were pointed to a group of people who were accustomed to fulfill their bellies with food, moreover they were boasting in overeating as we knew from the life of ignorance era before the prophet delegation. Those people were also extremely angry and feverish for the most trivial reasons; a war that extended for 40 years was because of a camel!! The question here is that if the prophet wanted the power-as what the enemies of Islam claimed-why should he order his people with new habits that they may not response to him!
And what would he gain from these teachings? And why should he order them not to get angry and not to over eat…this has no logic explanation except to believe that the prophet did not give anything of his own desire but it is a revelation from Allah, the apostle, as he is the mercy bestowed upon us, and by Allah that if the Godless people knew the greatness of this merciful prophet and the strength of the teachings he came by, and if they were convinced with these teachings, the science would progress by hundreds years!
The scientists, as we see, watch nights, make experiments, spend money while they are lost and have no base or structure or light to guide them except what they see by their eyes and touch by their hands, and you find them after hard studies which extends for long years reaching the same results which the prophet of mercy had legislated! Isn’t that sufficient evidence on the truth of Islam message?!
By: Abduldaem Al-Kaheel