Obesity is a medical condition where the body stores an excessive amount of body fat. If you have a BMI over 30, you are considered obese.
People who are overweight or obese are at a much higher risk of developing cancer, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
More than 35 percent of adults are obese (78 million adults).
The most common sign of obesity is the presence of excess fat on the body. Other health problems that obesity can cause include:
• Increased breathlessness
• Orthopedic back and joint pain
• Inability to perform daily activities
Obesity is most commonly caused by overeating and inactivity. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn through activity, you will likely gain weight. Continuing this habit over months or years can lead to obesity.
Diets high in simple carbohydrates, such as sugars, fructose, soft drinks and beer, can increase blood glucose levels, stimulate insulin production and therefore cause weight gain.
A variety of medications can cause weight gain including antidepressants, anticonvulsants and corticosteroids.
Conditions such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance and Cushing’s syndrome can contribute to obesity.
Genetics — children of two obese parents are more likely to become obese as well.
Inactive lifestyle in combination with poor eating habits — people who lead an inactive lifestyle and regularly eat high calorie meals are more likely to become obese.
Social factors, such as poverty, can put people at higher risk for becoming obese. People who have less income are more likely to eat high-calorie processed foods more often.
If you have recently quit smoking, you are more likely to gain weight. Nicotine increases metabolism to burn more calories.
Treatment for obesity depends on the cause of the obesity and severity of your condition. Your doctor will likely recommend lifestyle changes as a first-line therapy, and if unsuccessful, he or she may also recommend medications, behavioral weight loss treatments and/or surgery.
Your doctor may recommend specific lifestyle modifications to help you lose weight and develop healthy habits. Recommendations may include:
Your doctor may recommend a healthy eating regime that is full of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and healthy fats. To lose weight, you should consume fewer calories than your body burns daily.
Exercise is an integral part of a healthy weight loss plan. Your doctor will likely recommend increasing your physical activity level to lose weight.
Research shows a strong correlation between sleep deprivation and obesity. Your doctor may recommend maintaining a healthy sleep schedule in order to lose weight.
Some patients may benefit from a structured weight loss program led by a trained healthcare professional. Behavioral weight-loss programs combine healthy diet plans, an exercise program and behavioral treatments.
If lifestyle modifications are not effective, your doctor may prescribe weight loss medications. Medications are not recommended as a stand-alone treatment for weight loss but should be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes.