Obesity is a medical condition which involves having excess body fat that puts the person at the risk of having disease and weight related health conditions. The body mass index (BMI) is used in calculating the fat level in the body. It is calculated by dividing the weight (kg) by height (m) squared. Above 25 is overweight and above 30 is obese.

DIAGNOSIS

There are several ways to diagnose obesity:

  • Body mass index
  • Skinfold thickness
  • Waist-to-hip comparison
  • Screening test

CAUSES

  • Genetics:

    the way your body process and distribute fat in the body

  • Inactivity:

    living a sedentary lifestyle is one of the causes of obesity. Without exercise your body is not burning as much calories as it is taking in

  • Unhealthy diet:

    high intake of unhealthy meals such as fast foods can result in obesity

  • Sleep:

    sleeping too much or not having enough sleep can trigger hormonal changes that increase your cravings to eat more

  • Medical Conditions:

    such as Prader-willis syndrome, Cushing syndrome and osteoarthritis leads to obesity

  • Age:

    as you age, you begin to lose muscle mass and function which causes less activity

  • Pregnancy:

    gaining weight during pregnancy, which may be hard to loose.

RISK FACTORS

  • Genetics
  • Family lifestyle
  • Inactivity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Medical problems
  • Certain medications
  • Social/economic issues
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Lack of sleep

COMPLICATIONS

  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Breathing disorder
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Infertility

TREATMENT

  • Lifestyle/behavioral changes: getting at least 20 minutes exercise daily and maintaining a healthy diet
  • Medical weight loss: medications for weight loss can be prescribed in addition to diet and exercise
  • Weight loss surgery

PREVENTION

  • Exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Monitor weight
  • Be consistent with plan

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