What is Obesity? – Causes, Effects, Treatment And More

What Is Obesity?

Body mass index (BMI) is a calculation that measures body size by taking into account a person's weight and height. According to adults, obesity is defined as a
BMI of 30.0 or higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity is associated with an increased risk of serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But BMI isn't everything. There are some restrictions as a countermeasure.

Factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, and muscle mass can affect the relationship between BMI and body fat, according to one study. BMI is still widely used as a method of measuring body size.

How Is Obesity Classified?

The following are used for adults over the age of 20.


18.5 or below - underweight

18.5 to <25.0 - normal Weight

25.0 to <30.0 - overweight

30.0 to <35.0 - Class 1 Obesity

35.0 to <40.0 - Class 2 Obesity

40.0 or above - Class 3 Obesity

What Causes Obesity?

Eating more calories than you burn during your daily activities and exercise can lead to obesity in the long run. Over time, these extra calories add up, leading to weight gain.

But it's not just about calorie intake and excretion, or a sedentary lifestyle. These are certainly the causes of obesity, but some causes are out of control.

The Common Specific Causes Of Obesity Are:

• Genetics can affect how the body processes food into energy and how it stores fat.

• As you get older, you lose muscle mass, your metabolic rate decreases, and you are more likely to gain weight.

• Not getting enough sleep can change hormones, make you feel hungry, and want high-calorie foods.

• Pregnancy, because weight gain during pregnancy is difficult to lose and can eventually lead to obesity.

Some Health Conditions Can Also Lead To Obesity - These Include:

• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes imbalances between female reproductive hormones

• Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare disorder at birth that causes excessive hunger

• Cushing's Syndrome, a condition caused by high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in your system.

Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough important hormones.

• Osteoarthritis and other conditions that cause pain can in turn lead to decreased activity which causes weight gain.

How Does Obesity Affect The Body?

People who live with obesity are more likely to develop a variety of serious medical problems. These health problems affect almost every part of the body, including the heart, brain, blood vessels, gallbladder, liver, bones, and joints.

How obesity affects different parts of the body.

Nervous System

Being overweight or obese greatly increases the risk of stroke and prevents blood from flowing into the brain. Obesity can also have a significant impact on your mental health. These include increased risk of depression, low self-esteem, and body image problems.

Respiratory System

Fat buildup around the neck can narrow the airways too much, making it difficult to breathe at night. This is called sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea may stop breathing for a short time.

Digestive System

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when acid leaks from the stomach into the esophagus. Obesity may also lead to an increase in the risk of developing gallstones. This is when bile accumulates in the gall bladder and hardens. This may require surgery. Fat also accumulates around the liver and can lead to liver damage, scar tissue, and even liver failure.

Cardiovascular And Endocrine Systems

In obese people, the heart has to work harder to pump blood into the body. This leads to high blood pressure. Stroke is mainly caused by high blood pressure.

Obesity can also make somatic cells insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone that transports sugar from the blood to cells and is used there as energy. In the case of insulin resistance, cells cannot absorb sugar, causing hyperglycemia.

Increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, where blood sugar levels are too high. Type 2 diabetes is associated with a variety of other health problems, including heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, amputation, and blindness.

In addition to excess body fat, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar can cause the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart to become stiff and narrow. Hardened arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are also common causes of chronic kidney disease.

Reproductive System

Obesity can make it difficult for women to become pregnant. It may also increase the risk for women with serious complications during pregnancy.

Skeletal And Muscular System

Obesity can cause loss of bone density and muscle mass. This is known as osteosarcoma obesity. Osteosarcoma obesity increases the risk of fractures, disability, insulin resistance and can worsen overall health. Being overweight can also put excessive pressure on the joints, causing pain and stiffness.

Integumentary System (Skin)

The rash can occur where there are skin folds of body fat. A skin disease known as acanthosis nigricans can also occur. Acanthosis nigricans is characterized by discoloration and thickening of the skin in the folds and wrinkles of the body.

Other Effects On The Body

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of various cancers, including cancers of the uterus, liver, kidneys, cervix, colon, esophagus, and pancreas. The higher your body mass index (BMI), the higher your risk of developing cancer.


If you are obese and unable to lose weight on your own, medical assistance is available. You can also take the advice of a doctor to lose weight. The team may include a nutritionist, therapist, or other medical professionals. Your doctor will work with you to make the necessary changes to your lifestyle. Sometimes they also recommend medication or weight loss surgery. Find out more about obesity treatment.

What Lifestyle And Behavioral Changes Can Help You Lose Weight?

Your health care team can educate you on food choices and help you come up with a healthy diet plan that works for you.

A structured exercise program and increased daily activity (up to 300 minutes per week) can help increase fitness, endurance, and metabolism. Counseling and support groups can help identify unhealthy triggers and address anxiety, depression, or emotional dietary problems.

Lifestyle and behavioral changes are children's favorite weight loss methods unless they are overweight.

How Can We Prevent Obesity?

Over the last two decades, obesity and obesity-related illnesses have increased dramatically. Therefore, communities, states, and the federal government are emphasizing healthier food choices and activities to prevent obesity. At the personal level, choosing a healthier lifestyle can prevent weight gain and obesity.

• Try to exercise moderately for 20-30 minutes daily, including walking, swimming, and cycling.

• Choose nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein and eat well.

• Eat moderately fat and calorie foods.

Obesity affects almost every part of the body. If you live obese, you can treat or control many of these risk factors with a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes. If you lose only 5-10% of your current weight, you can reduce your risk of developing these health problems. Talk to your doctor about weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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