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What is Obesity?

Simply put, obesity means having a lot of body fat. In other words, the body accumulating and storing a lot of fat is termed as obesity.

BMI and Obesity?

Obesity is defined in terms of the value of the BMI. If the value of the BMI is more than 30, the individual is said to be obese. However in countries like India, where the mean height of the population is shorter than the westerners, generally if the BMI is beyond 28, the condition can be called obese.

Calculate your BMI here.


Is Obesity a disease?

Obesity causes a lot of health problems. In a nutshell, many diseases arise as a result of being obese. Since the general health takes a toll due to obesity, it leads to a diminishing quality of life for the obese individual. It also causes marked productivity loss for the economy of a country. As a matter of fact, American Health Standard and WHO have rightly declared obesity as a disease. Obesity disease number – WHO code?

The health-related issues that can prop as a result of being obese

Being obese invites a host of other medical conditions. They are clinically called co-morbid conditions. Some of the medical conditions or ailments that can appear as a result of being obese are

  • Coronary heart diseases
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Menstrual disorders in women
  • Fertility issues in both men and women
  • Stroke in some cases
  • Migraines
  • Dementia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Chronic back pain

Apart from these physical ailments, the obese also face social stigmatization. When they are not socially active they are more stressed. If left untreated and unchecked, the chronic stress can lead to depression in an obese individual.


Causes of Obesity

Many factors are attributed to causing obesity. The main culprit is sugar which has led to a change in diet patterns across the world. Sugar increases empty calories. Processed food, colas and beverages, sweetened drinks, and many junk foods have a high amount of sugar. The manifold increase in the consumption of such food has led to obesity. Child obesity has become very common. The junk foods have contributed immensely to the rise in child obesity.

Other important reasons for Obesity

Sedentary lifestyle – Less to nil physical activity leads to less calorie being burnt. Sedentary lifestyle combined with increased calorie consumption is a double whammy for disaster.

Hereditary factors – In some DNA is responsible for bringing about obesity. Such hereditary or genetical diseases like Prader–Willi syndrome, Bardet–Biedl syndrome, and Cohen syndrome cause obesity.

Some illnesses – Few illnesses like Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency, binge eating disorder and night eating syndrome can cause obesity.

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