Image Caption : Obese Woman, cross section : Traditionally, obesity has been defined as a weight at least 20% above ideal weight. More recent guidelines call for classifying obesity by using the body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated based on your height and weight. However, BMI may classify as obese some people who aren't overweight but who are heavily muscled or big-boned. It also doesn't take into account the person's age. Waist-to-hip ratios (WHR) may be a better indication of disease risk, because they indicate if you have a lot of dangerous visceral fat inside your abdomen. Some doctors feel it's possible to be classified as obese and still be physically fit.
Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. The weight may come from muscle, bone, fat, and/or body water. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what's considered healthy for his or her height.
Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Factors that might affect your weight include your genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods, and not being physically active.
Being obese increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers. If you are obese, losing even 5 to 10 percent of your weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases. For example, that means losing 10 to 20 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health. People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person's weight by the square of the person's height, is over 7002294199500000000♠30 kg/m2, with the range 7002245166250000000♠25–30 kg/m2 defined as overweight. Some East Asian countries use lower values. Obesity increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.
Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. A few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications, or mental illness. Evidence to support the view that obese people eat little yet gain weight due to a slow metabolism is not generally supported. On average, obese people have a greater energy expenditure than their thin counterparts due to the energy required to maintain an increased body mass.
Obesity is mostly preventable through a combination of social changes and personal choices. Changes to diet and exercising are the main treatments. Diet quality can be improved by reducing the consumption of energy-dense foods, such as those high in fat and sugars, and by increasing the intake of dietary fiber. Medications may be taken, along with a suitable diet, to reduce appetite or decrease fat absorption. If diet, exercise, and medication are not effective, a gastric balloon or surgery may be performed to reduce stomach volume or bowel length, leading to feeling full earlier or a reduced ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children. In 2014, 600 million adults (13%) and 42 million children under the age of five were obese. Obesity is more common in women than men. Authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. Obesity is stigmatized in much of the modern world (particularly in the Western world), though it was seen as a symbol of wealth and fertility at other times in history and still is in some parts of the world. In 2013, the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease.
The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.