Obesity Types

Overview

Obesity is an extremely complex condition. Even though the symptoms and characteristics of obesity are the same, the causes are fundamentally different. Being obese does not necessarily mean that you are unhealthy or that you overeat. Chances are that you do need to reassess your diet, lifestyle, and exercise habits, but you will also need to assess other factors in your life.

Not all "big" people are obese. You may appear larger because of your bone structure or muscle mass. You may also have substantial amounts of muscle with a layer of fat that makes you look a little bit bigger. You might also have wider bones that give you a larger frame. Muscle mass and bone structure can make you look deceptively big and make you fall outside the typical "healthy" weight range for people of your height - even if you only have a little bit of fat on your body.

Along these lines, your BMI will be deceptively high if you have heavy muscle mass, a bone density, and a large frame for your height. For this reason, it is ineffective to rely on suggest guidelines and numbers alone if you are trying to determine whether you are overweight or obese. In order to determine whether your body weight is ideal (for you), you should talk to a doctor, who can assess whether you are obese based on your body's fat composition, your diet, and exercise habits.

Depending on your age, certain types of obesity can cause and exacerbate other conditions, including heart problems, hypertension, and diabetes. No matter your age and lifestyle, it is important that you talk to a doctor about getting your weight under control so that you are at your healthiest.

Simple Obesity

This type of obesity describes the majority of cases. In most situations, obese people will consume more calories than the body can burn. The number of calories that the body is able to burn varies between individuals, depending on factors that include the body's metabolic activity and lifestyle. Some people are able to burn more calories and can consequently eat more, while other people burn significantly fewer calories. This population variance occurs as a result of a number of factors that include genetics, activity levels, age, gender, and overall health.

Medical professionals can help you gain control of your body weight by providing guidelines that suggest how much a person of your height, age, and gender should consume. A dietician can help you plan meals so that you do not accidentally over-eat.

Many people with simple obesity are able to lose weight by monitoring their caloric intake, dieting, and exercising. Talk to your doctor about safe ways to diet, especially if you have other medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, anemia, and heart problems.

Secondary Obesity

Some medical conditions can cause your body to experience a hormone imbalance. As a result, you may gain weight, even if you diet and exercise. Certain thyroid conditions can cause you to gain weight as a side effect. Other medical problems include Cushing's syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and insulin tumors.

A simple blood test may be available to determine whether you have any of these underlying conditions. Many health problems are identifiable through a routine physical exam.

Childhood Obesity

A rising number of children and adolescents fall outside of the healthy weight range for their height and weight. Children and adolescents who are obese are at risk for developing complications as they age including diabetes, hypertension, thyroid problems, and high cholesterol - conditions that normally affect older adults. As a result, obese children may experience complications in their growth and development.

Mood Disorders

Certain mood disorders such as depression can cause you to over-eat and gain weight. While some people stop eating when they are depressed, others will eat more - sometimes to an unhealthy extent. Usually, treating the mood disorder is the first step to helping you treat your obesity. If you think that you have a mood disorder and you are gaining weight, you should talk to a doctor immediately. Treating your mood disorder will help you stop gaining weight, but you will still need to determine a course of action to effectively lose the weight that you have gained.

Medications

Certain medications can cause you to gain weight. One drug that can cause your body weight to fluctuate is the birth control pill. Steroids can also cause people to gain weight by increasing appetite. You should talk to a doctor or pharmacist to see if weight gain is an effect of the drug that you are taking. If you are gaining weight because of your medication, you should talk to your doctor to see if other options are available.

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