What is Obesity

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Obesity is a chronic disease in which excess body fat has accumulated to an 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 30 kg / m 2 ,

If your BMI is:

  • between 25 and 29, you would be considered overweight
  • between 30 and 40, you would be considered obese
  • over 40, you would be considered very obese
  • over 50, you would be considered super obese

Cause/Risk factors for obesity

Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including:


Your genes may affect the amount of body fat you store, and where that fat is distributed. Genetics may also play a role in how efficiently your body converts food into energy and how your body burns calories during exercise.

Family lifestyle

Obesity tends to run in families. If one or both of your parents are obese, your risk of being obese is increased. That’s not just because of genetics. Family members tend to share similar eating and activity habits.


If you’re not very active, you don’t burn as many calories. With a sedentary lifestyle, you can easily take in more calories every day than you burn through exercise and routine daily activities. Having ​medical problems, such as arthritis, can lead to decreased activity, which contributes to weight gain.

Unhealthy diet

A diet that’s high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain.

Medical problems

In some people, obesity can be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome and other conditions. Medical problems, such as arthritis, also can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain.

Certain medications

Some medications can lead to weight gain if you don’t compensate through diet or activity. These medications include some

  • antidepressants
  • anti-seizure medications
  • diabetes medications
  • antipsychotic medications
  • steroids and
  • beta blockers.

Social and economic issues

Social and economic factors are linked to obesity. Avoiding obesity is difficult if you don’t have safe areas to exercise. Similarly, you may not have been taught healthy ways of cooking, or you may not have money to buy healthier foods. In addition, the people you spend time with may influence your weight you’re more likely to become obese if you have obese friends or relatives.


Obesity can occur at any age, even in young children. But as you age, hormonal changes and a less active lifestyle increase your risk of obesity. If you don’t consciously control what you eat and become more physically active as you age, you’ll likely gain weight.

Risks associated with obesity

Obesity is a major health crisis in our country. There are several obesity related health conditions that are associated with obesity. These conditions often lead to a decreased quality of health and life of those affected. There are more than 40 medical conditions that are associated with obesity.


BMI more than 40 (severe obesity) had higher death rates from cancer as compared to normal-weight men and women. In both men and women, higher BMI is associated with higher death rates from cancers –

  • Oesophagus
  • Colon
  • Rectum
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Gall bladder
  • Kidney


Diabetes is a life-long disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. Among all diabetes, 67 percent have a BMI greater than 27 and 46 percent have a BMI greater than 30.

Diabetes associated disease

Diabetic nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy, cardiac disease and peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy


Heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the esophagus, just below the breastbone. The pain often rises in your chest and may radiate to your neck or throat.

Heart disease

Heart disease is any disorder that affects the heart’s ability to function normally. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.

High cholesterol

Lipid disorders are when you have excess fatty substances in your blood. These substances include cholesterol and triglycerides. Having a lipid disorder makes you more likely to develop arteriosclerosis and heart disease.

High blood pressure

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Hypertension (high blood pressure) is when your blood pressure frequently goes over 140/90 mm Hg.


Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease causing deterioration of the joint cartilage (the softer parts of bones which cushion their connections to each other) and the formation of new bone (bone spurs) at the margins of the joints.

Psychological depression

Depression may be described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods. True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for anSleep Apnea

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by episodes of stopped breathing during sleep. sleep apnea is characterised by day time sleepiness, sleepless nights, snoring, need for CPAP.


A stroke occurs when a blood vessel (artery) that supplies blood to the brain bursts or is blocked by a blood clot. Within minutes, the nerve cells in that area of the brain are damaged, and they may die within a few hours. As a result, the part of the body controlled by the damaged section of the brain cannot function properly.

Obesity can cause day-to-day health problems such as

  • breathlessness
  • increased sweating
  • snoring
  • inability to cope with sudden physical activity
  • feeling very tired every day
  • back and joint pains
  • low confidence and self esteem
  • feeling isolated