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Understanding causes of obesity


PHOTO: AFP /getty images

pH and obesity
By way of definition, obesity is simply the accumulation of too much fat in the body. Obesity can be said to be the visual sign of an ongoing process in the body. Obesity is not a primary process on its own. It is the symptom of an underlying disease; a process that may have gone wrong as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. We need to understand and agree with this definition to be able to successfully combat this fast growing epidemic called obesity. If you are overweight, you will agree with me that all your effort to deal with this problem in the past have failed. The reason is because you have been dealing with the symptom and not the actual cause of the disease.

Obesity is fast becoming an epidemic all over the world and understanding the root cause of it will go a long way in reducing the prevalence of the disease. There is no doubt that obese individuals have made genuine efforts at controlling their weight but such efforts have been targeted at the wrong things. Concerning obesity let me say this: obesity is not a primary disease; it is a fall out of an internal condition that has gone wrong. Examples of such conditions may develop from dehydration; wrong eating habits and wrong choices of food,


The pH and obesity
Simply put, the pH is the hydrogen potential (the power of the hydrogen ion). The concentration or activity of the hydrogen ion in any given solution is measured in a pH scale that is from 0 to 14. In chemistry, an atom is said to be made up of protons, electrons and neutrons. The protons and electrons have charges and the neutrons have no charge. The protons have a positive charge while the electrons have a negative charge. An atom always carries an equal number of protons and electrons; positive and negative charges which cancel each other out.

However, in a situation where an atom loses an electron, the atom becomes positively charged. If on the other hand, it gains an electron the atom is said to be negatively charged. The charge that is predominant in any given solution determines the pH of that solution. When electrons are more the solution is said to be negative and when protons are more it is said to be positive. Now note this: A positive solution is acid and depending on the number of protons present in the solution the pH will register anywhere from 0 to 7 on the pH scale. In contrast, if there are predominantly electrons present in the solution, it is alkaline and will register on the pH scale from 7 to 14; a neutral solution registers as 7.


In other words, all acids are positively charged while all bases (a base is another word for alkaline) are negatively charged. The more acidic a solution is, the lower the pH and the more alkaline it is, the higher the pH.

What then is the ideal pH of the body? Generally speaking, the ideal pH of the body is alkaline but there are some parts of the body like the stomach and the vagina that are highly acidic. The pH of the blood is said to be 7.365 and there is a highly sophisticated mechanism in place to ensure that this pH is maintained at that level always. The intra and extra-cellular fluid spaces do experience some variations in pH but not so with the blood. These variations in pH can be as a result of the things that we eat and drink. The food that we eat, being over-cooked, renders our bodies acidic. Also, considering the fact that most people do not drink water, rather they prefer things like the sweetened, carbonated and caffeinated beverages. These also render the body acidic. On a long term therefore, our bodies have become chronically acidified, setting the stage for obesity.

In conclusion, the disease that we shall spend the next four weeks discussing is a four-letter word “ACID.” Obesity is a complication of acid.


In this article:
obesityPaul Joseph Nanna
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