How does obesity become a disability?

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Although many Americans struggle with weight maintenance and consider weight loss a goal, obese Americans in particular face severe health repercussions, disability, and physical impairments that acutely diminish quality of life. However, weight loss and maintenance are possible, and can eradicate serious health threats including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Obesity arises when energy intake (Calories consumed through diet) exceeds energy expenditure (Calories expended through activities of daily living and exercise).

Although obesity does occasionally occur due to other serious but extremely rare health conditions, such as a brain tumor or endocrine disease, the overwhelming majority of obesity cases are caused by the aforementioned caloric imbalance, and are often referred to as cases of "simple obesity", whereas "secondary obesity" is caused by an underlying disease.

All cases of Simple Obesity can be remedied and controlled through diet, exercise, and behavioral change.

Secondary Obesity requires a specialized intervention involving doctors and nutritionists, with the exact treatment varying dependent upon the underlying condition and individual disease presentation.

How do you determine whether someone is Obese?

Obesity is determined according to the Body Mass Index system of classification, more commonly referred to as BMI. BMI is a ratio of body weight to body height. Obesity is generally classified as a BMI of 30 or greater, while a BMI of 2529.9 is classified as overweight, and a BMI of 1924 is considered healthy.

Do obese individuals qualify for Social Security Benefits?

To qualify for Social Security Benefits (for any condition), you must meet the financial and disability/impairment criteria as determined by the Social Security Administration. Although obesity was once considered a specific impairment according to the Listing of Impairments, it was removed thanks to obesity's ability to be prevented and treated through lifestyle choices. Additionally, obese individuals are more than capable of maintaining employment, disqualifying the individual from meeting the impairment criteria on a financial need basis.

Although Secondary Obesity may be considered for a disability claim, Simple Obesity rarely is.

That is not to say that obese individuals do not qualify for disability benefits; many medical conditions that are prevalent in the obese population (such as a stroke) may warrant a disability claim. However, the best route is, of course, to reverse obesity through lifestyle changes.

Reversing and Treating Obesity

The only effective means of mitigating obesity and achieving a healthier weight is to reduce your caloric intake (the number of calories consumed in your diet).

In order to lose weight, a caloric deficit must be created. A caloric deficit requires your body to mobilize and burn stored fat for energy. To lose 1 lb of fat, you must create a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. This deficit can be created through diet, exercise, or a combination of the two (the best method).

Many people are uncomfortable changing their dietary habits, and instead hope to lose weight by exercising enough to lose weight without undergoing any major dietary changes. However, this method rarely works. it is incredibly difficult to burn enough calories through exercise alone to achieve significant, lasting weight loss. As such, both diet and exercise should be considered essential components of a weight loss program.

Ideally, to lose and then maintain a lower weight, you should engage in moderate to vigorous exercise for 6090 minutes most days of the week, and moderate caloric intake via food measuring and calorie counting. Although daily calorie needs vary greatly between individuals, the average adult needs 1,2002,500 calories per day to maintain a healthy weight.

Women's caloric needs are generally less than that of men, and tend to fall somewhere from 1,2002,000 calories, while men's caloric needs tend to fall in the 1,9002,500 calorie range. While weight loss can be a daunting prospect, small steps to change your lifestyle can add up over time to reduce your chances of lifethreatening disease and lifeimpairing disability.

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