When a person is overweight and if their Body Mass Index (BMI) measures over 30, the person is considered obese. The Body Mass Index is a scale that calculates obesity by measuring a ratio between height and weight. A BMI of 25 to 29 is considered overweight, and a BMI above 30 is considered obese.
It is important to understand that BMI is only a rough guideline for measuring obesity. A person may have a high BMI for reasons other than obesity including muscle mass and bone density. A doctor considers additional factors including your diet and lifestyle when determining whether you are obese. It is important to understand that there are varying levels of obesity and that a heavy person is not necessarily obese.
Obesity is common and is a risk factor for multiple conditions and health complications hypertension, type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
A person can become obese as a result of a variety of causes. Your weight may be related to your diet and exercise, or it may relate to other factors including injuries and underlying medical conditions.
Symptoms of obesity include weight gain and an excess of fatty tissue all over the body. People may experience pain in the joints and arthritis flare ups due to the amount of pressure put on the joints by the excess weight, backaches, sleep apnea, heartburn and indigestion. Obesity can also result in high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood sugar, irregular menstruation, shortness of breath, and other potential complications.
While poor eating habits and overeating are main causes of most obesity, hereditary also plays a vital part in becoming obese. You may become obese as a result of an underlying medical condition or injury. Some medications like steroids can also cause obesity as a side effect.
For people with secondary obesity, the underlying condition must be treated.
For people with primary obesity, a healthy eating plan combined with exercise is generally the first course of treatment. A healthy diet plan helps the person to burn more calories than they consume, so that the weight comes off slowly over a period time, giving them the best chance of not regaining the weight later. Sometimes, doctors will also prescribe appetite suppressant medication.
Bariatric surgery is a term used to describe all weight loss surgical procedures. Two bariatric surgical procedures have gained popularity for treating obesity. They are gastric bypass surgery and the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (Lap-Band):
Diagnosis of obesity is made based on the visual appearance, weight, and BMI rating. Calipers are tools that measure the amount of body fat in a given area. However, most cases of obesity are quite obvious with a visual examination.
A doctor can also examine the type of weight gain in order to determine whether you have an underlying condition and whether you are at risk for complications down the road. Normally, if the fat is concentrated around the stomach and middle area, then the person is more at risk for certain conditions like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. When fat is concentrated in the hips and thighs, then the person is at less risk of developing those above conditions.