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Obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight, with a lot of body fat.
Defining obesity
There are many ways in which a person’s health in relation to their weight can be classified, but the most widely used method is body mass index (BMI).
BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height. You can use the BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your score.
For most adults:
a BMI of 25 to 29.9 means you are considered overweight
a BMI of 30 to 39.9 means you are considered obese
a BMI of 40 or above means you are considered severely obese
BMI is not used to definitively diagnose obesity – as people who are very muscular sometimes have a high BMI, without excess fat – but for most people, it can be a useful indication of whether they may be overweight.
A better measure of excess fat is waist circumference, and can be used as an additional measure in people who are overweight (with a BMI of 25 to 29.9) or moderately obese (with a BMI of 30 to 34.9).
Generally, men with a waist circumference of 94cm or more and women with a waist circumference of 80cm or more are more likely to develop obesity-related health problems.
Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Being extremely obese means you are especially likely to have health problems related to your weight.
The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity. Dietary changes, increased physical activity and behavior changes can help you lose weight. Prescription medications or weight-loss surgery also may be options for treating obesity.

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SYMPTOMS

For most people, BMI is a reasonable estimate of body fat. However, BMI doesn’t directly measure body fat, so some people, such as muscular athletes, may have a BMI in the obese category even though they don’t have excess body fat. Ask your health care provider if your BMI is a problem.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

If you think you may be obese, and especially if you’re concerned about weight-related health problems, see your doctor or health care provider. You and your provider can evaluate your health risks and discuss your weight-loss options.

CAUSES

Although there are genetic and hormonal influences on body weight, obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat. Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including:
Inactivity. 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 use through exercise and normal daily activities.
Unhealthy diet and eating habits. Having a diet that’s high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, missing breakfast, and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions all contribute to weight gain.

PREGNANCY.

During pregnancy, a woman’s weight necessarily increases. Some women find this weight difficult to lose after the baby is born. This weight gain may contribute to the development of obesity in women.

LACK OF SLEEP.

Too little sleep can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite. You may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to 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, corticosteroids and beta blockers.

MEDICAL PROBLEMS.

 

Obesity can sometimes be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. Some medical problems, such as arthritis, can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain. A low metabolism is unlikely to cause obesity, as is having low thyroid function.

RISK FACTORS

Obesity occurs when you eat and drink more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these extra calories as fat. Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and contributing factors, including:

GENETICS.

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. Even when someone has a genetic predisposition, environmental factors ultimately make you gain more weight.

FAMILY LIFESTYLE.

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

INACTIVITY.

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 off through exercise and normal daily activities.
Unhealthy diet and eating habits. A diet that’s high in calories, lacking in fruits and vegetables, full of fast food, missing breakfast, and laden with high-calorie beverages and oversized portions contributes to weight gain.

QUITTING SMOKING.

Quitting smoking is often associated with weight gain. And for some, it can lead to enough weight gain that the person becomes obese. In the long run, however, quitting smoking is still a greater benefit to your health than continuing to smoke.

PREGNANCY.

During pregnancy, a woman’s weight necessarily increases. Some women find this weight difficult to lose after the baby is born. This weight gain may contribute to the development of obesity in women.

LACK OF SLEEP.

Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep at night can cause changes in hormones that increase your appetite. You may also crave foods high in calories and carbohydrates, which can contribute to 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.

AGE.

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. In addition, the amount of muscle in your body tends to decrease with age. This lower muscle mass leads to a decrease in metabolism. These changes also reduce calorie needs and can make it harder to keep off excess weight. If you don’t control what you eat and consciously become more physically active as you age, you’ll likely gain weight.
Social and economic issues. Certain social and economic issues may be linked to obesity. You may not have safe areas to exercise, 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.

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MEDICAL PROBLEMS.

Obesity can rarely be traced to a medical cause, such as Prader-Willi syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and other diseases and conditions. Some medical problems, such as arthritis, can lead to decreased activity, which may result in weight gain.
Even if you have one or more of these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that you’re destined to become obese. You can counteract most risk factors through diet, physical activity and exercise, and behavior changes.

COMPLICATIONS

If you’re obese, you’re more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:

High triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Metabolic syndrome — a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol
Heart disease
Stroke
Cancer, including cancer of the uterus, cervix, endometrium, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum, esophagus, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney and prostate
Breathing disorders, including sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
Gallbladder disease
Gynecologic problems, such as infertility and irregular periods
Erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver and can cause inflammation or scarring
Osteoarthritis
Skin conditions, including poor wound healing

QUALITY OF LIFE

When you’re obese, your overall quality of life may be lower, too. You may not be able to do things you’d normally enjoy as easily as you’d like, such as participating in enjoyable activities. You may avoid public places. Obese people may even encounter discrimination.

OTHER WEIGHT-RELATED ISSUES THAT MAY AFFECT YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE INCLUDE:

Depression
Disability
Sexual problems
Shame and guilt
Social isolation
Lower work achievement

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MANAGEMENT

Work with your doctor to lose weight
Every adult should have his or her BMI calculated at least once a year. The American Heart Association offers an online BMI calculator for adults. Patients with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered obese and need treatment.
AHA Recommendation
The American Heart Association recommends obese patients participate in a medically supervised weight loss program two or three times a month for at least six months.
The treatment plan for weight loss involves eating fewer calories than your body needs, getting aerobic exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week and learning the skills to change unhealthy behaviors.
Weight loss surgery may be considered for severely obese patients who have one or more obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
Talk with your doctor about obesity screening and your best treatment options for weight loss.

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By Medifit Biologicals

www.medifitbiologicals.com