Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index of 30 or more, is having more body fat than is optimally healthy.
Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to identify and classify overweight and obesity in adults.
Being obese is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health. Obesity isn’t just an appearance issue. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
- If your BMI is between 30 and 35 - Class I Obesity (Moderately obese)
- If your BMI is between 35 and 40 - Class II obesity (Morbid obesity)
- If your BMI is higher than 40 - Class III obesity (Super obesity)
The Body Mass Index is a reasonable estimate of body fat. However, BMI doesn’t directly measure body fat, so some people (muscular athletes) may have a BMI in the obese category even though they don’t have excess body fat. You need to ask your doctor.
Generally, Obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little. It occurs when your body consumes more calories than it burns, and the excess calories are stored as fat tissue.
Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, for example:
- Inactivity: You can easily take in more calories than you use through exercise.
- Unhealthy diet: You gain weight having a diet that’s high in calories.
- Pregnancy: Weight gain during the pregnancy can contribute to the development of obesity in women.
- Genetics: Obesity is the result of an interplay between genetic and environmental factors.
- Lack of sleep: Too little sleep can increase your appetite.
- Medical problems: Some medical problems such as arthritis can lead to decreases activity.
- Medication: Some antidepressants, anti-seizure, diabetes medications, corticosteroids or beta blockers can lead to weight gain if you don’t compensate through diet or activity.
Excessive body fat is associated with various diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, some types of cancer, osteoarthritis, and asthma.
Obesity reduces life expectancy
With a BMI 30-35 your lifespan may be reduced by 3 years. A BMI of 40-50 reduces life expectancy by about 10 years.
Being obese, you are more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:
- High cholesterol levels.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- High blood pressure.
- Heart disease
- Cancer (uterus, cervix, endometrium, ovaries, breast, colon, retum, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate).
- Breathing disorders (sleep apnea)
- Infertility and irregular periods.
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Skin irritation
Other weight-related issues that may affect your quality of life include depression, disability, sexual problems, shame, guilt, social isolation, and lower work achievement.
Treatment of obesity depends on how overweight a person is, and his (or her) overall health.The goal is to reach and stay at a healthy weight.
Dieting and exercising are the main treatments for obesity, but to be successful, any treatment must affect life-long behavioral changes rather than short-terms weight loss.
Treatment tools include:
- Dietary changes: Reducing calories intake and eating healthier are important to overcoming obesity.
- Exercise and activity: You need to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity to prevent further weight gain. To achieve a more significant weight loss you may need to exercise 300 minutes a week. You need to gradually increase the amount you exercise.
- Behavior change: Examine your current habit to find out what factors, stresses or situations my have contributed to your obesity.
- Weight-loss medications: Treatment with medication can help with weight loss. This is an option for some people who want to lose weight, however, there are not wonder drugs available. Lifestyle changes to improve diet and exercise are still important.
- Weight-loss surgery Surgery is usually only offered if you have already tried other ways to lose weight which have not worked. Surgery usually has very good results and most people do lose a lot of weight.
Am I Obese?
You can calculate here your body mass index to know if you are within the normal weight range or obese.
It may be also a good idea to check your waist circumference and keep it within the recommended limits.