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Definition of Obesity


Definition of Obesity

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation which presents risks to health.  The size of the gross population of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person's body weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his height (in meters).  A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese.  A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight.

Overweight and obesity are the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  Once considered a problem only in high-income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically increasing in low and middle income countries, especially in urban areas. WHO

Other weight related issues that can affect your quality of life include:

  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits.  Lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, lack of sleep, and high stress can increase the risk of being overweight and obese.
  • Age.  The risk of unhealthy weight gain increases with age.  Adults who have a healthy BMI often begin to gain weight at a young adult age and continue to gain weight for up to 60 to 65 years, when they tend to start losing weight.
  • Unhealthy environment.  Many environmental factors can increase the risk of being overweight and obese.  Low socioeconomic, unsafe or unhealthy social environment, easy access to unhealthy fast food, limited access to recreational facilities or parks.
  • Family History and Genetics.  Genetic studies have found that overweight and obesity can occur in families, so it is possible that our genes or DNA can cause this condition.
  • A person's sex can also affect the way the body stores fat.  For example, women tend to store less unhealthy fat in the stomach than men.

Being overweight and obese develops over time when you take in more calories than you use, or when IN energy is more than your energy OUT.  This type of energy imbalance causes your body to store fat.

How to prevent obesity?

  • Eat well.  Learn to read food nutrition labels and use them.  Choose whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and whole-grain bread.  Don't eat high processed foods made with white sugar, flour, high fructose corn syrup and saturated fat.  Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Stay active.  Target an average of 60 to 90 minutes or more moderate to intense physical activity 3 to 4 days each week.  Look for ways to get even 10 or 15 minutes of several types of activities during the day.  Walking around the block or going up and down stairs is a good start.
  • Enough sleep. Signs of poor sleep quality include not feeling rested even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up at night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disturbance. The CDC recommends seven or more hours of sleep for adults 18 years and over and even more sleep for younger people.

Whatever your reason, the goal is a worthy goal. Preventing obesity helps you reduce the risk of a number of health related problems, from heart disease to diabetes to several types of cancer and more.

if you have implemented significant lifestyle changes and are still gaining weight or unable to lose weight, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional.

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